#47: Make Your First SF Meal Authentic.

#47: Make Your First SF Meal Authentic.

I’m a little late in recording my first meal –– being four weeks and many avocado burgers into California living already –– but walking by a shoddy-looking burger bar today made me think of that first glorious meal I had in San Francisco.

It was Wednesday, July 17th.
The mission was food.
I badly needed sustenance.
I was fresh off the East Coast boat and had NO idea where to go, what to eat or how much food really cost here.
Thankfully, I was in good foodie company.
My crash pad owners took me out for my first meal to a local dive-y burger joint.
Custom Burger

Turns out, when it comes to San Francisco, foodies are king, the restaurant scene is expensive and the whole eating-dining-meal experience is like an expensive game of glass-piece chess.image

You set up your board (get out your dining map), you strategize and review (you look at yelp, zomato or Zagat reviews basically), you make a plan (you order your anticipated meal), you make your first move (you take your first bite), you play the game (you dive in and devour), you make your final check mate move (you eat that last glorious bite because if you’re anything like me, you just can’t wait for leftovers), and you end it and thank your opponent (you wrap up and thank the chef).


Custom Burger was just like that –– and more.

Located in a lackluster neighborhood (just google SOMA), Jeff jokingly reminded me it was the food that counted and “this is city life.”

We walked in and were casually greeted by a cheery girl, who handed us menus, pencils and put-put-like score cards for checking off ingredients to build our burgers from scratch. Was this Man vs. Food or a normal dinner out on the town?

Couldn’t tell, but I proceeded with cautious examination.

The creative flip-side burger menu offered angus, kobe, veggie, salmon, chicken, lamb, and turkey burger along with every topping from the kitchen sink. Including green chilies, Valencia hot sauce, grilled pineapple, smoked gouda and “mystery x-sauce,” which I had to flip over twice to find. The sprinkled-oat buns were still warm from the local Bay Area Breads Bakery. And even the sweet potato fries tasted like Thanksgiving come early.

Needless to say, my bites were taken one by one and savored with every deep breath.
As if I had been stranded on an island and deprived of meat.

All in all, maybe I was just starving. Maybe it was just a block and a half away from the apartment. Maybe my eyes were slightly larger than my stomach. But safe to say, Custom Burger was an All-American “build-your-own-burger” gem that delivered all the right dipping sauces to my clamoring tastebuds at the moment of near starvation.

Even better: it prepared me for even bigger fish to fry: neighborhood browsing.

build your own burger                 image