Sherman's Food Adventures: The Burger Bar

The Burger Bar

It appears the simple burger has come back into fashion of late. You have In-n-Out and 5 Guys leading the way with quality fast food which is both fresh and inexpensive. Beyond that, many fine dining establishments offer some gourmet variation of the modest burger. Going a bit further with this concept is the devotion of restaurants solely to burgers. It's certainly interesting that Hurbert Keller embraced this concept and opened the Burger Bar in Las Vegas, then St. Louis. Now he has a location in San Francisco, which is where his flagship restaurant resides (Fleurs de Lys). Situated on the 6th floor of Macy's in Union Square, the Burger Bar is not much to look at inside. It's merely a functional restaurant which serves freshly ground meat which is cooked-to-order. This is probably the only safe way to under cook meat without a side of E-Coli.

Not feeling all that hungry after a Showdog and with the Foodbuzz welcome party 2 hours later, I still wanted to try these supposedly tasty burgers. I had previously discussed this intended visit with local food blogger This place has been open for only about a month and there were still some kinks that needed to be worked out - such as wait times for food and execution. There were only 2 burgers I considered ordering - the Rossini or the Hubert Keller. The HK burger won out because I didn't want to shell out $60.00 for a burger despite the addition of fois gras and shaved truffle. It appears they worked out the kinks because my burger arrived in less than 10 minutes. Impressively stacked high with blue cheese, caramelized onions and baby spinach on a ciabatta bun, the buffalo meat was cooked medium (a little closer to medium rare). This resulted in a very tender burger with plenty of meat flavour. Cooked any longer and the meat could've been dry since buffalo is quite lean. Despite the strong taste of blue cheese, it did not overwhelm the other components.

The accompanying Skinny fries were crispy and light. Nothing much else to say about them really. I added the Zucchini Fries to try them out and honestly, they were not very good. They were limp and overcooked on the inside and the batter was a bit soggy on the outside. I pulled some of them out of the batter and if they ever made Viagra for vegetables, this would be a good time to use it. So was my burger worth $22.00? I guess it depends if you like burgers. I personally do and I would do it again. Still not sure if I'd try the $60.00 one though. The table next to me had it and said it was like eating meat with butter. If you like fat running down your hand and arm, then the $60.00 is well worth it. The fat content is not necessarily a bad thing in terms of taste; but it certainly takes a few years off your life.

The Good:
- Freshly ground meat and cooked-to-order
- Creative ingredients including some really expensive ones
- Service was solid

The Bad:
- If you go beyond the basic burgers, it gets expensive
- The zucchini fries are terrible
- It's very busy, go early or late

Burger Bar (Macy's Union Square) on Urbanspoon


Anson said...

Hey Sherman,

I was hoping you were going to try the Rossini because my BURGER friend said it was the best thing she ate EVER (I think she ate it at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas). Maybe you can order it and take a bite and hand over the burger to someone that's willing to foot the bill. LOL.

Thanks for the review.

Sherman Chan said...

You know what Anson, you're right. In hindsight, if I traveled all the way to San Fran and didn't try the most renowned burger at the Burger Bar, why did I go then? I'll make sure to try it the next time I'm in SF or LV.

Chris said...

Ah, rare and medium rare burgers. So good in my mind. Besides being extra juicy, I find a beefier taste.

I like the looks of that one, too bad I can't get something like that around here.

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