Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers

Is Pearl’s burger the best in San Francisco?  Plenty of people on yelp think so, and I believe it was recently awarded that title at the Great American Food Festival.  I wouldn’t go so far (I am a Bill’s girl through and through) but best burger in the general Tenderloin area?  That is a pretty safe bet. 

Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers is one of my go to spots on a Tuesday or Sunday night, those being the two nights I most often find myself dining alone.  I’m a big fan of the buffalo burgers there, I find the buffalo meat to be so intensely MEATY and juicy and I love the texture of a medium rare buffalo burger.  It’s kind of a bummer that Pearl’s only offers the buffalo meat option for their larger burgers (the one-third pound patties), because often that is too much food for me and after consuming one I find myself groaning that I’ll never eat again.  Still, because I love the buffalo so much and because it’s supposed to be healthier, I keep ordering the larger burgers.

Well, the visit I’m writing about today was different.  Instead of heading to Pearl’s for dinner, I was  looking for something more like an afternoon snack.  I’d been TCB all day and kind of forgot to do lunch when suddenly it’s 4pm and I was supposed to go out and paint the town in a few hours.  I was hungry, but I didn’t want to go too crazy because I knew I’d be eating dinner soon.  So I decided to keep it simple at Pearl’s and try the mini deluxe burger with cheese with a small order of fries on the side.  Sorry I don’t have any pictures of the interior of Pearl’s, I wasn’t planning on field research so I didn’t have my camera.  I can tell you that Pearl’s is really really tiny, maybe six tables in a space that would better fit four.  I’d suggest ordering take out.  The people who work at Pearl’s are so sweet, I almost always end up talking to them about something totally random while I’m waiting for my food.  This visit the cashier was nice, but we didn’t end up chatting, so I got to listen to a couple hipster dudes talk about jerking off at The Lusty Lady.  Nice!  My order came up, I put a bunch of pickle spears in one of the provided wax paper bags (unlimited free pickles, so awesome) and headed home with my loot.

I was pretty surprised by how cheaply I got out of Pearl’s, because usually my tab is more like 15 bucks, but that’s with the regular size burger and the buffalo upgrade (omigod, how bored are you yet of reading buffalo?  sorry!), and this time  I made it out of there under seven dollars, which is pretty good anywhere.  I was pumped and anxious to chow down.

Ooh baby you lookin’ good.  What a color on those fries!  When I say golden that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

I was totally taken with this mini burger.  Isn’t it adorable?  I was like “Squee!  This is the cutest burger I’ve ever seen!!!!” and then I took about a million pictures of it.  Look how tiny it is, like a gourmet McDonalds burger!

So tiny! 

There were two really amazing things about this burger, beyond how adorable it was.  1) It had amazing beefy flavor, and did that thing where you get a bite in your mouth and before any food even touches your tongue a moist, beefy aroma hits the back of the roof of your mouth.  I know it sounds gross, but it is so rare and amazing.  2) This burger was put together perfectly.  The patty fit precisely inside the bun, no overhang and everything stayed together to the last bite.  No dripping condiments, no sliding tomatoes, no onions dangling.  It was shocking to be honest.  I can’t remember the last time I ate a burger and didn’t end up with food all over myself. 

THESE FRIES ARE THE SHIT.  Can I just say that?  Totally yummy fries.  Crispy, velvety, salty…a perfect storm of carbohydrates and oil.  Way to go Pearl’s.   I’ve also had Pearl’s garlic fries in the past and those do not disappoint, though I’m not super keen on their sweet potato fries.  I want to try their onion rings again, I think they were good but it’s been a while…

If you want a hamburger in the Tenderloin, especially if you don’t want to go out but you don’t feel like cooking I recommend Pearl’s wholeheartedly.  I think you’ll like it too. 

Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers

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(I think it’s pretty cute that their website has nothing but a link to their latest reviews, which are newspaper reviews from 2004.  Also, the reviews are all for their location in Mill Valley.  But also, get a real website dudes!)

5 thoughts on “Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers

  1. I have to say Bill’s has gone so far downhill that I don’t go there anymore. I’ve had a couple of rounds of overpriced burgers that were lukewarm on serving and not all that tasty. And they really go cheap on the toppings – tomatoes and lettuce are bad quality. Shakes are great though.

    I love Pearl’s – burgers, fries, and shakes.

    But you can go to Antonelli’s, pick up some fresh ground chuck, douse it with some kosher salt, and cook it just about any way you want and you’ll beat any burger joint (on the burger itself).

  2. Agreed, yummy burgers and great fries. It’s not as crowded at lunch, or when I eat lunch anyway, around 2pm. When I walk past in the evenings it’s always stuffed full of hipsters (though I would like to hear more about this Lusty Lady bit).

    In the area the only burger I like more is from Grubstake, but I’m a big fan.

    • Are you still hating on Cafe Zitouna? Their kufta kebab sandwich is really good and basically a hamburger.
      I love Grubstake too. I need to try their Portuguese stuff.

  3. Nah! I think my companions weren’t as into it as I was, but I do agree with them that it’s kinda dreary inside, which seems impossible to pull off on a corner with windows on both sides. Speaking of Kebab, are you going to review Ala Turca?

    Grubstake’s “Portuguese Corner” on the rear of the menu is good — definitely recommend the chops!

    • Huh, I’ve never thought of it as dreary, but I guess I could see that. I am planning on going to Ala Turca, I went there once a couple years ago, but really have no memory of it. I’m excited to try it again though.

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