The Grill's The Works! Burger
First-time restaurant owner Mary Anne Lane has created the man cave of SOMA lunch spots. Show up after 1 p.m. and Lane's 4-week-old The Grill can feel quiet as an auto-shop waiting room, lined with the kind of bead-board wainscoting that looks like it was crowbarred off the set of a Bath Crashers episode. There's a kid with an elaborate chest tattoo just visible above his vee-neck T, lacing his Chicago dog with a thick rope of ketchup as two guys in slacks from the Sheriff's Department wonder aloud why Obama won't just man the hell up and fix this shit. Even the menu items all end in exclamation points, like they're being shouted over the roar of a generator.
Gregory A. Smith ― Lane's son-in-law ― oversees the cooks' line. He grinds his own beef for burgers like The Works! ($10.95). It packs enough fat calories to paste-wax the linings of your aorta: four slices of bacon, a frizzled pile of fried onions, avocado, gooey Jack, sautéed mushrooms, even a buttered bun. Push half of it aside and you're left with a decent burger. The meat tastes minerally, like iron, the texture ― at a bloody medium-rare ― is soft as tartare, you feel your body shifting all its energy into digesting the load. Good thing there's Blue Bottle coffee to put hair on your chest.
The Grill: 799 Bryant (at Sixth St.), 543-4745.