The Best Burger in the Mission Right Now

Mary Ladd
Smoked Meatloaf Sandwich on Texas Toast
Burger hunger games generally start with the basics: find red meat between bread. Province of the meat, prep method and fat content are open for debate -- wide, wide open -- and texture is ever important. Eyes are politely averted from folks who insist on Protein Style or order medium well on this quest, although queries around granulation are welcomed.

Of late in the Mission, the best burger is not a burger but more of the beef burger's saucy sassy cousin, hidden in plain sight at Hi-Lo BBQ. Chef Ryan Ostler's meatloaf sandwich is a square-shaped beef marvel that combines two thinly sliced smoked meatloaf patties made with American Kobe beef and the chopped fatty end of the brisket.

See also: Hi-Lo BBQ: San Francisco Gets Its Own Barbecue

Hi Lo BBQ's six to eight ounce meatloaf sandwich is ground and seasoned in-house. Ostler smokes the beef using California white oak. He told SFoodie that he decided to go with Texas toast because the bread's square shape matches the Pullman loaf pans that are used to smoke the meaty goodness. "I have brisket trimmings that get incorporated as well, which adds richness and smokiness. For us, it's a fun mix and gives you textural change," he says.

The Texas native has always loved a meatloaf sandwich and confessed that his current version is a "crusher" of a sandwich. The urge to go full gobble hits quick with rightly rich meatloaf. Still, try to split or otherwise share this baby if you entertain any hopes of making out with your dining companion later. Dressed up with ooey sharp Cheddar and a relish-y slash of green tomato chowchow, we're glad this non-burger crusher is ready to play.

Hi Lo BBQ: 3416 19th (near San Carlos)

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