I'm back from vacation and getting back into the local food again, though to be honest, it's not that much different. While I noticed a number of similar dishes spanning the continents, one thing I didn't see a lot of (outside of that McD's place) was the hamburger. That good ol' American favorite of most anyone who eats meat. So what better war to get back in the swing that with a burger review from a new outpost of Belcampo Meat Co. that has opened here in the city on Polk Street.
They've been slinging meat and treats in Larkspur for awhile now and are slowing expanding their empire beyond farmer's market appearances. Their latest is a combo butchery at the front of the space
and narrow dining area off to the right.
I got a chance to stop by for lunch one random weekday not too long after they opened to check out what was going on. For me it was a perfect time as it wasn't crowded yet and hopefully the kitchen wouldn't feel rushed to get food out or worse, be backed up with too many orders. It's a limited lunch menu with a handful of appetizers and equalish number of mains. I decided to start off something that caught my eye and pairs so well with meat--fried cheese! Or griddles cheese as they are calling it.
A mix of provolone and taleggio with a sprinkle of chili oil and some chopped oregano. And yes it also came with that big old knife, which in the grand scheme of things was a bit unnecessary, but interesting nonetheless. Truth be told, I've been frying my own cheese like this for years--that's what time on an Atkins diet will teach you how to do. Seeing it on a menu was a surprise. For $7 I was hoping it would be a bigger serving, as it was, it's fried cheese with a slight pepper kick mixed with some tangy provolone and really it's terribly hard to mess this up unless you burn the cheese which they didn't. Did I like it? Duh, yes, I'm a cheese junkie, especially melted. As stated, I'd have liked this a lot more if was say $4. Sigh, San Francisco pricing. I'll give them a half pass on this. Again though--FRIED CHEESE!!
They are known for their meats and what else am I gonna get but some meat and here the burger.
Specifically a cheeseburger, medium rare with butter lettuce, caramelized onions, white cheddar cheese, house sauce on a toasted sesame seed brioche bun. Served with fries and pickled veggies. Some basics--the bun was buttered, yum. The fries were hot and crisp, a little under salted but I fixed that easily. The pickles were somewhere between sweet and tangy--also yum. The pickled carrot and radish, not my thing but good. The ketchup and mayo or made in house and the ketchup has something like cardamon in it giving it a unique flavor that's, umm, different, slightly sweet. The house sauce is actually a mix of these two. For fry dipping it was so-so, but I thought it worked really well on the burger. As for the meat, what can I say, it was really good and cooked perfectly.
Moist, tender, juicy, nicely seasoned, freshly ground beef--everything you'd expect from a burger at a butchery. I really enjoyed the individual parts of this when they were all together. Each bite was a great combination of hot, crunchy, tangy, cheesy, buttery and whatever else you'd like to toss in. As an addition to the burger scene in this town I'll say it's a real winner. At $13 it's right in line with affordable burgers in SF since that includes sides that are tasty and plentiful.
Is this my new favorite burger in town? It's definitely in the running and I'd rank it right up there with some of the stalwarts around the area too. As an addition to the choices on Polk Street it's a winner and while I was there the butcher section was doing a steady business which comes from a built up following of quality meat. I will suggest you also stop for a bite first, then get meat to go, either way I don't think you'll be disappointed. And as I said before--FRIED CHEESE!