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Roam Artisan Burgers
1785 Union St
(between Gough St & Octavia St)
San Francisco, CA 94123 (map)
When In Roam -
Still in San Francisco, I wanted to make use of the little time I had to explore the city and experience some great burgers West Coast style. Among my searching the name of a small burger eatery kept popping up. Roam Artisan Burgers. Usually, the word “artisan” strikes a romantic chord in my heart as I imagine something like wood burning oven baked pizzas made by someone who’s family has passed down the craft for generations in some far off place where technology and mass production has not corrupted pure skill and talent… But usually my experience has been bread that has gone hard and ingredients that are lacking in flavor. However, I am a sucker for the artisans. I set my GPS and once again made my way up, down, in, and through the steep streets of San Francisco in search of this burger artist’s fantasy. It was a misty, overcast day and parking was hard to find. I managed to get a spot about 5 blocks away with an elevation drop of about 300 feet (maybe, it was steep). In spite of these conditions, Roam was full of people. Not only that, but some patrons had their dogs with them. HUGE plus in my book for letting you bring your pet in with you.
Roam Artisan Burgers claim is that they use only sustainable, organic, carefully sourced ingredients all in an effort to make great burgers.Read more here (link)…. Hmmm. OK. That sounds great but seems to try to appeal to the socially conscious diner. Does this mean a great burger? As I looked over the menu the burger line-up was definitely impressive and I had faith that their efforts made prior to my eating would pay off.
Roam Is Where the Heart Is -
The line was short and having done my research I was prepared to make my order. On the menu is a burger called the Sunny Side. As the name would suggest it has a fried egg on it, organic free range, of course. It also includes aged white cheddar, caramelized onions and sweet chili sauce. Reading the description alone made my mouth water. I also ordered a side of Russet fries (cooked in rice bran oil) and Straus Family Creamery Dagoba Chocolate Shake (organic ice cream)… OK, so you need a few more words in your vocabulary to order fries and a shake here. All of the attention to detail was really impressive, but not cheap. This burger, fries, and shake combo topped out at $16. Ouch!
I was given a small chalk board placard with my number on it and found a seat. BTW all tables are made out of reclaimed wood. Cool. The wait was not long. Out first was the milkshake. It was tall and creamy and very, very good. I have to give props to the Straus Family because their ice cream makes one heck of a shake. Next arrived the burger and fries… It was an amazing burger to behold. It had a perfect visual balance of all ingredients, most noticeably the free range egg which perfectly covered the entire burger… The melted aged white cheddar running off of the patty was also great. I immediately dug in. WOW! This burger was GREAT! All of the flavors played so well with each other. The patty was juicy and beefy with just enough saltiness. The greens and tomato were very fresh. The bun was the sesame seeded bun that San Franciscans seem to love. It was fresh and did a good job keeping most of the juices and egg yolk in the burger and out of my beard. What really set this burger apart from many others that I have had was the addition of the sweet chili sauce. It gave a wonderful complexity and heat to an already delicious burger. The fries were great as well. I’ve never had fries cooked in rice bran oil but these were perfectly crisp on the outside and moist in the inside. They were sprinkled with what appeared to be sea salt and fresh herbs. They were fantastic.
The Wrap It Up -
So I am a fan. If this is what organic, earth friendly, enviro-consciousness taste like, sign me up! Just let me get my wallet. This was great and the effort that went into Roam Artisan Burgers pays off hugely, but so will you. A $16 burger meal is not a casual lunch choice and puts these burgers well into the gourmet burger category. Deservedly so. These burgers are fantastic and certainly of the highest quality. The question is, is it worth it? Yes! Without a doubt. I am now 1500 miles away from Roam and have no idea when I will be back in the San Francisco Area, but I already know the first place I want to go when I get there.