Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mini Dish: Burger Joint

Burger Bite for the Pre-Baseball Set
242 King St., San Francisco
China Basin
PH: 415.371.1600
Open daily, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
No reservations, credit cards accepted

Today I went to another Giants baseball game and something I learned about non-AT&T Park food options in the neighborhood is that a lot of the fancier options, whether it's South Food + Wine Bar or Tsunami Mission Bay, are all closed on Sundays. It's like everyone doesn't show up in China Basin on a Sunday to eat, except when there are thousands of baseball fans who are tired of paying $8 for a hot dog.

I'm surprised because seems like restaurants could make a killing on a day game. So when my friend David and I looked for options after we got to the game early to claim our Brian Wilson bobblehead, we settled on one of the few options opened, the Burger Joint outlet on King Street just a few yards from "The Yard."

Burger Joint is part of a local chain that has four other locations in the city, SFO and Burlingame. When we walked in, I was actually surprised that the place wasn't more packed given the crowds streaming to the ballpark and the lack of eating options elsewhere. That just meant no major lines for us to deal with.

The restaurant offers a limited menu, mostly a hamburger, cheeseburger, a veggie-burger, grilled chicken sandwich and hot dog. The ingredients boast Niman Ranch beef. The Web site calls itself a 50s-inspired diner, but I have to say I didn't feel like I was in some 50s diner. It just looked like a fancy burger joint. (I guess it's a good thing that's the name.)

David had the turkey burger ($8.95) because he's more health-conscious than I am (he even eats veggie burgers, which I never touch). Burger Joint serves up your burger deconstructed so you can build it yourself along with the tomato slice, red onions, lettuce and pickles. David specifically made sure his burger was a no-mayonnaise zone because he's a mayo hater.

He liked his turkey burger although he wasn't a fan of the tomato, which was a bit mealy and probably the typical hot house tomatoes. But his bun was different than what I had, maybe a wheat bun?

I got the straight-forward hamburger ($7.95) made of Niman Ranch beef and served with French fries. I also got a root beer float ($3.95) because it was a day for something cold and nostalgic. The root beef float had a lot of ice cream, which was nice.

The burger was great but I felt the sesame bun was lacking. It was almost like the buns you buy at the grocery store, and it didn't hold up against the meat juices, causing it to be soggy at the bottom. For the fries, I generally would ignore it on my plate because you know how I don't eat deep fried food, but the menu specifically pointed out that it was prepared with peanut oil. So I figured that must be a healthy option, reasoning that they wouldn't point out the fact that they were made in bad oil, right? So I ate them and it was OK, nothing amazing. They were the thick steak fries, and if I cheat on my healthy eating I feel like it should be with shoestring fries.

Side note: There is a flat screen TV in the back that, of course, shows the game so it does give it a slight sports bar feeling.

They don't ask you how you want your burgers at Burger Joint because it's apparently all made the same degree of doneness, which was fine with me. Also, I did feel there was a slightly longer wait for the food to get to your table than at a fast-food joint, which, yeah I know, this isn't.

Overall, Burger Joint is pretty satisfying even though the menu is limited. It's a nice place to grab a bite before or after a baseball game.

Since this is a mini review, I won't be doing any ratings. But this is a place that serves up a decent burger and is good at a pinch when everything else is closed around town.

Burger Joint on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

when I have such good burgers, I usually just ignore the bun. I think they're a nuisance esp if they taste mediocre!

foodhoe said...

ahhh I haven't been to the joint in some years... back in the stone age they were one of the few serving Niman Ranch burgers. mmm, I love a good rootbeer float!

Hungry Dog said...

I'm with you on the fry thing--it's shoestring or not at all. And may I just say that I LOVE that you got a rootbeer float with your burger--not as dessert but as a beverage? Awesome.

Carolyn Jung said...

The hubster, Meat Boy, will definitely appreciate reading this post. ;)