Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thin Layer of Insecurity

17 July 2008-
Pearl's Deluxe Burgers: 408 Post Street in San Francisco
Cost: $7.15 (bacon cheeseburger, fries extra)

Image Source: blogger's own

I've always wanted to survey the original Pearl's Diner in Mill Valley, but realizing that there's another location a little closer to home in downtown SF, decided to head out there after work one evening. The place has been hyped as one of the best burgers in the Bay Area. So, with high expectations, and equipped with a hungry appetite, I climbed up Jones to my destination.

Although Pearl's Deluxe is located a little ways above the Tenderloin, the area can be quite a bit sketchy. I remember seeing the place a while ago, and then trying to locate the restaurant again when the sun with setting and without directions or even a correct address - only to hurry my body quickly back down to Union Square's familiar territory. The surrounding vicinity is not for the faint hearted, I'd also recommend mapping a proper itinerary path up to Pearl's Deluxe since it's quite easy to lose your hungry appetite if you're not careful about your directions and meander into the wrong neighborhood.

Pearl's serves up a wide variety of burger permutations as "deluxe" or "mini" size. I ordered the deluxe bacon cheeseburger, and was waiting for them to confirm grilling preference. After an uncomfortable pause, I inquired about their grilling preference policy. Of course, it's possible to request burger patty preference, but one must know about this in advance since there's a sign on the menu board which states that 'medium' is their standard unless otherwise specified.

Verdict: You know 99% of the burgers that I survey could be improved if only the buns were properly toasted. I think it would be better for the environment too, since you'd actually injest the grease rather than waste napkins wiping the grease from their faces while chomping the burger. You might also be able to multitask while eating, and perhaps put your burger down for a second to work on the fries since a toasted bun acts like a sponge which both soaks up the grease in the cellular air pockets created from the act of toasting, as well as, supports the structural integrity of the burger.

I noticed that even if the buns were in fact properly toasted, I wouldn't dare put today's Pearl's Deluxe burger down on my red, plastic burger tray separated by a thin layer of wax paper. The 50's diner aesthetic is cute, but what's the deal with these reusable, red, plastic basket trays and a thin layer wax paper to serve burgers on? Maybe I missed something in home ec class, but what's so incredibly sanitary about wax paper? Can someone please explain what side of the paper the visible greasy mess is on the bottom of my basket tray? Is the wax paper protecting my burger from the leftover grease from a previous burger; or is the wax paper preventing my drippy, greasy burger mess from spattering the burger basket? Also, what precautions are then taken to prevent germs from transmitting between the reusable, red, plastic tray surface and my fries and that bacon draped over the edge (see picture above)?

Aside from this, the burger meat definitely had some redness, though the taste was a little bland. The fries however, are definitely blog worthy.

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