No. 41: Fifth Floor's Burger
|Fifth Floor's burger, $16.|
A burger, most of all, should taste of beef, not mealy, pink-slime-fortified ground meat. David Bazirgan's cooks form the patty out of ground short rib, chuck, and skirt steak -- all cuts known for their deep flavor, as opposed to that namby-pamby sirloin -- and well-larded with fat.
They grill it so that it's pink and oozy in the center and grill-crisped on the outside. No need for molecular gastronomy here, just good cooking. Then it's smothered in caramelized onions and melted comté cheese and placed between a brioche bun so light you'd suspect the burger was levitating its way to your mouth if it weren't for the buttery taste of the bread. With fries and a drink (and tax and tip) in Fifth Floor's lounge, you'll pay $30. Pricey: yes. Worth it: that, too.
Fifth Floor: 12 Fourth St. (at Market), fifth floor, 348-1555, www.fifthfloorrestaurant.com.
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46: Duck with beets from AQ
47: Tai nigiri at ICHI Sushi
48: Fish with explosive chiles from Spices!