No. 41: Fifth Floor's Burger

Categories: SFoodie's 50
Albert Law
Fifth Floor's burger, $16.
SFoodie's countdown of our favorite 50 things to eat and drink, 2012 edition

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The premium burger may just be the defining dish of the past decade: You can accuse it of being winkingly populist, but it's popular nonetheless. You can criticize it as a case of needless upscaling -- and in fact, there's something cynical about charging $60 for a beef patty topped in truffles and foie gras -- but, the fact is, a $16 burger like Fifth Floor's is a world apart from an In 'n' Out Double Double.

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,

Other favorites in this series:
42: Perbacco's agnolotti dal plin
43: Iced coffee from Sightglass
44: Cypress Grove's Purple Haze Chevre
45: Lechon from Tastebuds Cuisine
46: Duck with beets from AQ
47: Tai nigiri at ICHI Sushi
48: Fish with explosive chiles from Spices! 
49: Baker & Banker Bakery's blueberry cream cheese muffin
50: Kufta tajine from Cafe Zitouna

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Follow me at @JonKauffman.

Location Info



Fifth Floor

12 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA

Category: Restaurant

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