Welcome to the 2009 Burger Bonanza wherein two girls eat 20 of the city's best burgers, on the path to burger enlightenment. The 10 best will then be chosen to be featured—in ranking order—in 7x7's September magazine issue. Burgers must fit our "fancy burger" parameter: made with beef and available as part of the regular dinner menu at upscale restaurants in SF. Beyond that, we're open to suggestions, which we hope you will leave in the comment box below!
Beef: Ground in-house from "different cuts from various sources", 8-oz. patty
Bun: Brioche bun from Bay Bread.
Fixings: Caramelized onion marmalade, truffled Brie cheese, frisee
Condiments: Truffle mayo and truffle vinaigrette
Cooked over: Grilled over fruitwood
Just to be upfront about it, I'm hardly ever the person who declines food because it is "too rich." In fact, I'm largely skeptical of people who cannot handle combinations of peanut butter and chocolate, or cream and bacon or, in this case, beef and truffled brie cheese. I wonder about their constitution. Now I'm not saying you should eat a lot of it, or that you should eat stuff like that often, but occasionally? Yes. Just do it. And yet, and yet—this burger at LarkCreekSteak is kind of intense.
Does a burger need truffle mayonnaise, truffle vinaigrette and truffled Brie? I mean, honestly. My beefy patty (which I ate in the bar, where there is great service and drink specials, though you can also order it in the dining room) was a bit undercooked, and curiously the onion marmalade was spread on the bun beneath the patty. Beneath! Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Yes—burger juices aplenty and wet onion marmalade equal a bottom half of a bun that's thoroughly saturated, making picking up the burger a very dicey proposition. So there I am, in the bar with my $25 burger, which has by this point exploded on my plate, leaving me to spear forkfuls of burger, bun and fluffs of frisée. This is a burger that, by all accounts, should be a pretty luxe affair, but eating it I didn't feel very luxe. I felt overstuffed, messy, and overwhelmed. Maybe this feeling was heightened by my post-dinner plans—a screening of the film Food, Inc. Not the wisest choice, perhaps.
Bonus: The Lincoln-log like fries—crispy on the exterior, fluffly mashed potato within. Triumph.