Day 4 & 5: Robots are taking our jobs!
I’m packing in two days of burger content so I’ll skip the set up stories and get straight to the good stuff: burger reviews.
Creator is a place that has been on my list for a while, not because of the burger but the novelty of it all: the burgers are all made by robots. In other words, it’s peak San Francisco.
In San Francisco, there is a robot coffee shop, a vegan robot restaurant, and now one specifically for burgers. It begs the question: has science gone too far? As an investigative burger journalist, it’s my duty to find out the truth.
Adam and I walk in, and to my surprise we were greeted by humans. In fact, there are at least 20 humans working in the restaurant. In addition, the burgers are all concepted by famous Bay Area chefs. The most surprising thing of all? Every burger is only $6.
I have to admit, it’s really fun to watch your burger made by what feels more like a Rube Goldberg machine rather than a robot. Apparently, it took over 8 years to make it a reality. My burger “arrives” i.e. pops out of the machine, and a human serves it to me.
I was really interested in the Masala burger, but after my experience with the spicy Volcano burger, I reconsider my tolerance for heat. I pick the Mission burger instead, which has charred scallion garum, scallion mayo, dehydrated beef, pepitas, fried shallots, black sesame seeds, and pickles. The bun is good, but overall it’s way too overseasoned and salty. I rate it a 7.5/10. I suppose robots aren’t taking all of our jobs (...YET).
Barrel Head Brewhouse
I had plans to meet with my friend Dwight, who just moved to the city from Portland. We hold montly “Treat Yaself” dinners, where we ball out on a very nice dinner and dessert. But unfortunately he’s no stranger to my burger week antics, and he must oblige to my request for a burger.
I gave him two options near his neighborhood, and he picked Barrel Head Brewhouse. I forgot that it’s located right near University of San Francisco, and to my dismay, there was an extremely loud group of college kids having a party, causing the servers to be very stressed out and the clientele (aka me) to get very annoyed.
We waited a while for a table, and then decided to just sit at the bar. It was so loud that we had to scream to talk, which distracted my focus from the true goal: trying their burger. It took a very long time to arrive, and as we wait, the group edges closer to us and starts playing Pac-Man right next to us. Then, they start screaming. I’m so annoyed and hangry at this point, I come close to unplugging the game. Then, my burger arrives.
It’s a standard cheeseburger with the works: lettuce, onion, tomato, patty, cheese, bun. It’s the first burger that feels “healthy” because the lettuce, onion and tomato add a crisp crunch. But overall, it’s nothing exciting and I only give it a 7/10. The atmosphere was unbearable, and the burger missable, so I don’t think I’ll be back.
I work from home in the morning because I have tickets to the weekend long festival in the park, Outsidelands. Everyone says the Causwell’s burger is one of the best in the city. While this would typically break Burger Week rules, I cut myself some slack since I don’t have time to make it to a restaurant while I’m on the clock. I’m so thankful that San Francisco is a city where you can get anything your heart desires, delivered.
I order the Flour and Water burger, which has pancetta, provolone, caramelized onion, roastic garlic, Calabrian chili relish, and two beef patties. I didn’t really read the fine print that said “two beef patties” and when I take the bag, it feels like it’s 10 pounds. This is a hefty burger, and it’s very messy. They also give me a large side of crispy onion fries, which I don’t touch because there’s no way my arteries can handle it, but I do sneak a few onto the burger.
I reheat it, and it’s still really good, which is saying something because it spent close to 40 minutes in transit. I surprise myself by eating all of it, even though I’m extremely full. I give it a 8.5/10, but could imagine giving it a 9/10 if I could try it IRL at the restaurant. It’s probably a TERRIBLE idea to eat this burger right before a music festival, but I had to do what I had to do to continue my burger week quest.
Outsidelands - Kronnerburger
I’m surprised to find that the burger they have at Outsidelands isn’t just any burger, but a Kronnerburger. The Kronnerburger is a high quality burger known around the city, and it’s not what I expected from a festival.
I’ll be honest in that I was drinking waaaay too many watermelon vodka coolers, and I’m overstimulated by the pumping music and people watching, so the details are extremely hazy on this burger, but I do remember consuming it at some point in time. The bun is great, and there’s a little too much mayo for my liking, but it has lots of flavor. I finish it in what feels like seconds because I am so hungry. I give it an 8/10
Tomorrow is the last day of unofficial SF burger week, and I’ve added another obstacle to my journey: a weekend long music festival. I’m tired. I’m greasy. But I forge on.