Courtesy of Tasting Table, I heard about Mission Burger and Danny Bowien’s take on a burger that is inspired by Heston Blumenthal’s granulation technique. Mission Burger is set up behind the meat counter in Duc Loi Supermarket. It is a strangely random location to set up shop. The supermarket sells a hodge podge of American, Latin and Asian groceries, but has an interestingly cleaner feel than you would expect from an ethnic grocery store, especially considering it is located in the Mission. The menu is pretty simple, offering two main types of burgers. Unfortunately, there was no fried chicken sandwich today, so we ended up getting burgers, french fries and a mint lemonade.
The mint lemonade was a mint liquid concentrate added to your regular old lemonade. It tasted okay. The mint flavor wasn’t as strong as I expected, but there was some different kind of taste in the lemonade. I thought it might be like a virgin mojito, but it wasn’t. It was neither minty or lemony… just kind of subdued tasting on both sides of the flavor spectrum.
The french fries were delicious. They came right out of the deep fryer and on to our paper plate, so they were hot and crispy…. kind of reminiscent of Burger King-style fries… a little more potato tasting than McDonald’s fries. They were good and definitely needed to be eaten hot.
The burger was something special. It is 1/3 lb patty of brisket, short ribs and chuck topped with A LOT of caramelized onions, monterey jack cheese and sandwiched between aioli-spreaded Acme bread. The beef patty was initially fried in oil for a few minutes to give a little crispiness to the outside and then cooked on the grill to finish. It was a little bit salty but full of flavor. I thought there were a little too many onions for my taste. In fact, I thought the sweetness from the onions was way overpowering the saltiness from the beef. I had to take a whole bunch out, but Pdho seemed fine with the massive amount on the burger. I liked how the Acme bun was toasted on the griddle. It had a nice texture on the outside but still bready enough on the inside where along with the cheese, it helped to soak up the greasy goodness of the beef.
So I was curious to know a little bit more of about this Blumenthal Burger. Heston Blumenthal is a 3-star Michelin chef who owns The Fat Duck, just an hour west of London. The key to his burger is the granulation process which, according to the description on the menu, “combines strands of ground meat to create a loosely grained “meat column”, then the column is sliced into patties.” I’m still not sure exactly what all that means, but nevertheless, the result was a really tasty burger. The unfortunate part is the burger is huge! I could barely finish half of it, so I definitely recommend just ordering 1 burger and splitting.
2200 Mission St (between 18th St & 19th St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
PAFO Ratings for Mission Burger:
Price 1 ½ stars
Ambiance 1 stars
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 3 ½ stars