Beale Street Bar and Grill: 133 Beale Street at Mission Street (SOMA/Financial District) in San Francisco
Cost: $6.25 (bacon cheeseburger, includes fries)
Image Source: http://www.bealestreetsf.com/burgers.htm
So I thought about being objective in my analyses. In previous times, I would always order burgers "medium" or "medium-rare" (if given the option...) - but coincidentally - coinciding with the commencement of this blog, I've been ordering burgers simply, "rare". I ordered an "I'm a hog for you (baby)" - which in Beale Street terms is a bacon cheeseburger with cheddar. I told the woman receiving my order my choice of grilling preference, and saw the most subtle facial gesture, that in retrospect foreshadowed the consequence.
The burger, from the outside looked very similar to the representation above. Beale Street Grill serves 1/2 lb. patties and even have a burger called "The Big Beale" which consists of two of these 1/2 lb. patties which equals a whopping 1 lbs. The inside, however, was a different story. I wish I had my own photograph to show the uncooked ground chuck, masked from the eater's eyes upon first glance. It wasn't a juicy, drippy rare steak either, the kind oozing with flavor, but in actuality, a cold, uncooked, grounded chuck. I ate more than 3/4's of the burger (due to hunger) and tossed the rest away without giving a second thought. (Hey, I was hungry...) Never again, or only if tempted with curiosity, will I make this same mistake again.
However, I am a Beale Street regular of sorts (my office is within a 2 block radius), and I have always had a great burger with a "medium" or "medium-rare" grilling preference with tremendous positive results. In fact, all my coworkers are aware that Beale Street is my favorite burger joint within a "2 block radius". Beale Street Grill serves up some of the most tenderized, hand shaped chuck patties to my knowledge, but they also are loyal to the customer's requests on grilling preference. Ultimately, I'll have to give this joint another review with my own photographic documentation in the near future.
Verdict: Rare is too rare at Beale Street Bar and Grill. But, based on prior experience - for the price, Beale Street offers the best burger within a two block radius of work, if not a greater radius. I only wish they would toast the bun.