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!
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