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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Dagwood at Crown Burgers

Posted By on Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 7:41 AM

click to enlarge The Dagwood, a quarter-pound cheeseburger with hot link, ham, and egg, $7.50. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • The Dagwood, a quarter-pound cheeseburger with hot link, ham, and egg, $7.50.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

click to enlarge JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
The back wall's a shrine to the doomed (Marilyn, Michael Jackson, Jesus) in framed, faded prints that look thrift-store campy, until you realize they probably landed there new. Like the grandma and grandpa who operate this barred-window place in the Bayview, Crown Burgers has been around since 1947. Grandpa calls everyone "G," and serves up what might be the city's lumpiest, heftiest, drippiest burger, from an ancient flattop shiny with grease.

Order the Dagwood, and he hoists a precooked patty from a covered saucepan onto the grill's black surface, followed by a butterflied hot link, a thick slice of lunchmeat ham, and onions. Meanwhile, grandma cracks an egg, flips and twists it till it's gnarled like her hand. It all ends up on a single bun flocked with mayo and yellow mustard, a beast of a burger: salty and fatty, spicy and creamy ― more delicious than you thought you'd admit ― and absolutely impossible to linger over. Within minutes, the bun dissolves under the weight and juice like a plastic foam cup filled with hot grease. Glancing over at your table, a kid with muscle-y arms and a do rag becomes your co-conspirator: "How's that burger taste, cousin?"

What else can you say? "Goood, man."

Crown Burgers: 4000 Third St. (at Galvez).

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Contact me at John.Birdsall@SFWeekly.com

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