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Friday, November 14, 2014

Burger Beat: Hoffman's Grass-fed Beef Burger with Pretzel Bun

Posted By on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 2:39 PM

MARY LADD
  • Mary Ladd

On the Guerrero corridor at the Mission/Noe Valley border, Hoffman's Grill & Rotisserie (1000 Guerrerro St.) has a grass-fed beef burger that scored well on a recent outing. We loved its patty quality and pretzel bun made in-house by chef-proprietor Karen Hoffman.

A juicy red beef burger that gets my fingers and hands drippy with a delicious and lickable mess is a simple pleasure that always tempts. While the style of meat, prep method, and fat content remain burning topics, I tend to be as interested in grass-fed varieties since the texture and flavor are markedly different. Burger granulation or add-ons from cheese, mushrooms, bacon, ramen, and fried onion rings have potential for sexy accessorization, too.

Rundown: The quality of the beef patty here scored an 8 out of 10. When using grass-fed beef, it can be a challenge to get the patty to be both juicy and medium rare. With this version, the patty is closer to a medium than medium rare and somewhat juicy without being messy. The beef flavor is clean and pleasing, with enough seasoning (salt). 

My plate has more than enough crispy and salty Kennebec variety fries to share — making it easy for me to thwart any attempts from my tablemate to swoop in for burger nibbles. Hoffman's pretzel bun is fresh with a warm toasty note that is pleasing. Advertised red onion to eat with my burger seemed missing from the plate, and online, the menu no longer lists onion as an accoutrement. I make due with a dish of pickles, some crisp lettuce, suitable mayo, and not quite enough ketchup for the mountain of enjoyable fries.

Price: $14 with Kennebec french fries, $16 adds blue cheese and bacon
click to enlarge FACEBOOK/KAREN HOFFMAN
  • Facebook/Karen Hoffman

Hot tip: The rotisserie (pictured right) and name of this homey, comfortable spot may be new, but Hoffman has been involved with this location for over three years, according to a staffer I spoke with. Hoffman recently bought out her two business partners of Company, which was the earlier name of the restaurant concept. She changed the name of the restaurant, and did a refresh of the interior including spiffy new seat cushions and lighting.

The brand new rotisserie should be welcome news to on-the-go types (all of us) seeking specialties such as half or whole rotisserie chicken with Yukon potatoes and cipollini onion ($14-24). For dining in, fans of local tap beer may appreciate an IPA from The City ($6) in Walnut Creek, and the wine list is petite and promising with some tap varietals. House made sodas intrigue with flavors that include watermelon, and fit with Hoffman's approach to preparing fresh and local items with apparent care.

Got a burger you totally dig? Open for business at writereadeat (at) gmail. 
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Mary Ladd

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