Hamburg Heaven


The best is yet to come: Clown Alley becomes Pickles.

Friends, we’re about to become a world-class burger town. If you were among those who scoffed when Daniel Boulud first presented his $40 foie gras stuffed burger at his restaurant in NYC, thinking it would never come to our shores…well, let’s just say you might be eating crow.

Hubert Keller is stepping into the fray, of course, with another outpost of his very successful Las Vegas Burger Bar, opening sometime in 2008. But in the meantime, there’s plenty to bite into: Tom Duffy, the owner of Myth, has taken over the sensory overloading Clown Alley (42 Columbus St.) and renamed it Pickles. The menu will be changing a bit over the summer, likely offering a few more “gourmet” burgers and Chicago-style hot dogs—and those of you who share my fear of those crazy clowns will be cheered to hear that the décor will be changing some, too. Here’s hoping the skin-on fries stay exactly the same.

But that’s not all, folks—later this summer, Best-O-Burger (493 Pine Street) will open, serving sliders (two-bite burgers) by the bagful. In SoMa, the Custom Burger/Lounge will be opening in the Best Western Americania (121 Seventh Street). My only remaining question: Who is going to transform the kitschy temple-to-times-past, Whiz Burger, which stands in all its glory on South Van Ness? Restauranteurs, consider this a challenge.