Monday, April 1, 2013

Cheeseburger at Mo's Grill- San Francisco, CA

This week's burger quest brought me to the popular North Beach area of San Francisco where hilly side streets are dotted with everything from tattoo parlors to fashion stores to restaurants. Mo's on Grant street serves up some killer breakfasts as indicated by 90% of the plates that were being brought to tables around us on this Sunday around lunch time. I think I even saw a breakfast chili burrito the size of small child being served to one of the patrons sitting next to us!

Mo's Grill. San Francisco, CA
Mo's claim to culinary fame is the rotating barbecue grill that rotates slowly as passersbys on the street peek in to see slowly cooking burgers and steaks dripping their lucious juices onto the flaming volcanic rock grill beneath. Seating is limited to about a dozen tables and bar seating that can host about 8 more so you can expect a wait during busy hours, however the service is fast and keeps people moving in and out the door briskly.

Beef grilling over volcanic rock
All burgers are made from 7oz center cut Angus corn-fed ground chuck- generous for most gourmet $7 burger joints- ground daily and hand formed into patties and cooked to order.  I ordered the Cheeseburger ($7.75)- medium-rare with American cheese, mayo, lettuce, tomato and onion- all served on a toasted kaiser roll. Pickles spears are available upon request.

Cheeseburger at Mo's
The burger came out perfectly cooked, however the romaine lettuce was bitter so I removed it. The soft kaiser bun was soft but only after you got passed it's overly toasted exterior. I don't like fighting through the bun to get to the meat and in my opinion the importance of a soft bun that can be easily bitten through is a crucial for a good burger. The American cheese was substantially thick but could have benefited from additional melting. The beef was super juicy and seemed to be seasoned perfectly. The ground chuck was pretty compacted, not overworked, but not entirely crumbly either. The beef taste from the ground chuck was lacking and wasn't very complex- very one dimensional you might say. They've been using chuck for years and people love their burgers- I just prefer something a little more complex. I was surprised that the grilled flavor from the volcanic rock below the grill wasn't as present as I thought it would be and you couldn't really taste the grilling. Now while Mo's cheeseburger may not be in my top 10 list, it's still a pretty decent burger, and anyone with a healthy appetite for a big breakfast should not pass this place up- it's worth it just for that. But since I only rate the burger, and not the ambiance, service or other items of the menu, Mo's fell short of my expectations.

Aburgeraday rating: 6/10

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