If you caught my Ultimate Oakland post, you would know that I got the idea to quasi stalk someone based upon a Refinery29 article on Oakland.
When I arrived at Umami Mart, I was told I should totally give Kronner Burger a shot. Jesus I am glad I did that. (btw, they have a burger phone.. brilliant). Located in the Mission inside/adjacent a bar called Bruno’s (actually close by Mission Chinese) is the pop up done by former Bar Tartine chef, Chris Kronner.
The exterior of Kronner Burger kind of looks like one of those places men probably used to go in the middle of the day to see racy movies. Not that I know what those places even look like, I just kind of got that feeling per the outside.
When we arrived we were given the option to sit at the bar which we gladly accepted. I neglected to tell my sordid tale of stalkery immediately, ordering a “Buck Yeah” which I believe was a mezcal based drink. Really tasty.
“Carbonated Motherfucking Margarita” as well as a “Scotcholate” to get things going. I particularly enjoyed the the Scotch and Cocoa combinations, it almost had a malt like consistency.
I wasn’t crazy about seeing the word Motherfucking on a menu. I glanced around the room as we arrived just after 6pm and I saw several older couples at 2 tops. I can’t imagine what my grandfather would’ve thought. I am starting to get the feeling dining out lately that such an effort is being made to be ‘unpretentious’ that it’s almost backfires, yet then again – this is San Fran – outside I saw several people walking up the steep streets with blunts in their hands, of all ages.
Our bartender though was really excited about us experiencing the food, something I think is incredibly important in furthering the guest experience. Even if you’ve seen it 300 times, it’s the first time for the guest, and your excitement elevates their experience.
The house pickles were really well done, nice texture, not overly acidic, crunchy, and piquant. The onion rings however, were superb, as was the accompanying sauce. The crunch was audible, the onion interior warm and thickly sliced.
Being originally from Indiana, a patty melt is a really serious thing. For me, it is basically the evolution of a hamburger, one that I feel I will execute to it’s fullest potential some day in a restaurant of my own. (by the way, I literally can’t stand when someone calls ground beef, ‘hamburger meat’.. it reduces the quality of the plate with mere misdescription) Basically a grilled cheese sandwich with onions and ground beef.
The bun can get in the way of a great tasting burger. This iteration gets top marks. I read a review that said the patty was thin and dry – well it’s a patty melt so the patty isn’t supposed to be huge, but it certainly wasn’t dry. The term glistening comes to mind -The texture was nice, evidence of a hand ground and most likely hand formed patty, nice fat content gave some significant juice and flavor. The salting was even and adequate.
What really took this meal to the stratosphere though was the bone marrow adorned, beef cheek poutine.
Just mind numbingly good, greasy, and delicious. I kept thinking that the cheeks were oxtails, because the depth of flavor and background seasoning.
I’m not a huge dessert person but the ice cream here was really excellent and certainly homemade. I want to say this was a bread pudding, but I was barely able to sit up straight at this point so I could be mistaken. As well, the interior of the restaurant is so dark that I literally could’ve passed out on the countertop if it weren’t for the cool light bulbs protruding out of the bar top.
A great meal, affordable and filling with some really well done food. The lighting made it difficult to get much photography done, but I was more interested in eating anyway.