Joe’s Cable Car Restaurant
Stop the presses!
Although I think in this day and age of online publishing, what do we now say—stop the downloading? Somehow, that doesn’t have the same sense of urgency to it.
Still, this is important.
I know you’re going to find this hard to believe, but my search for the perfect burger was not to be resolved in Paris.
I found burger bliss in the heart of San Francisco.
Ok, the outer Mission district isn’t necessarily the heart of the city, but it’s well worth making the trip if you’re anywhere within driving distance (yes, San Diego counts…) to go to Joe’s Cable Car Restaurant, which makes one of the world’s truly great burgers.
The beef is fresh-ground daily in their glass-enclosed butcher area up front, then shaped into 4, 6 and 8 ounce patties. My first thought was, “I’m going for the 8 ounce!” until I saw an 8 ounce go by, put my eyeballs back in their sockets, and switched to the 6’er, which turned out to be p—lenty big.
You’re probably wondering why I chose to show you the onion rings first, at the top of the post: it’s because they deserve top-billing, as they were The Best Onions Rings I’ve Ever Had.
When I picked up the first one and stuck it in my mouth, the millisecond my teeth were just about the shatter through the firm, brittle coating, I knew that the subsequent bite would be one of the highpoints of a life of eating.
The fries were decent, although I wasn’t as excited about them as I thought I would be. Nicely-fried, whoever salted them was a wee-bit timid, and didn’t do it the moment they came out of the fryer, so the salt wasn’t glazed on and embedded into the crust. To those people who say food should be undersalted, to allow diners to do it themselves with the shaker on the table, I have one word for you—phooey!
Next time I’m getting a double order of the onion rings, which will likely be tomorrow, since I leave on Saturday, and I’m being hooded, kidnapped, and spirited away to a vegetarian restaurant on my last day in town.
Aside from the so-so fries, I did witness one major atrocity: they automatically plop mayo on the burgers. I managed to scrape most of it off, but in a stunning feat of expertise, the chocolate malt I ordered was a textbook example of how a great milkshake should taste. The last shake I had a couple of years ago, was bland and insipid, which I still remember in it’s insipidness, and I wasn’t expecting much this time around. But at Joe’s, the chocolate malted had lots of chocolate flavor, wasn’t undrinkably thick, and flowed like manna.
Joe’s Cable Car Restaurant is now on my permanent list of places to eat in San Francisco. Now if I could only get them to open a branch in Paris, I’d never have to come back.
But then I’d miss another chance at having another one of the incredible Rocky Road cupcakes I had this afternoon…