(38) Burger and Fries @ Spruce's Bar

This burger is a beast of epic proportions and options. It automatically comes with lettuce, tomato and aioli on the side and you can opt to add the following: (1) Cheese: White Cheddar, Gruyere or Blue (2) Additional protein ($2): Applewood Smoked Bacon, Pancetta, fried egg (3) Additional veggies ($2):  sauteed onions, grilled mushrooms, avocado. The burger with fries alone is $16 and I was tempted to say "all the above" when the bartender asked what additional toppings I wanted but ultimately paying $28 for one single burger seemed a little outlandish...I ended up getting White Cheddar, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Sauteed Onions and Avocado ($20 burger - yikes!). Worth every dollar. The meat was super juicy and texturally awesome (they use bits of leftover steak in the ground meat!). The pickles - thinly sliced pickled squash & strings of onions that had been simmered in a balsamic reduction - did wonders for cutting through the richness of the meat patty and the butteriness of the avocado. The bun was a fresh fluffy toasted english muffin baked in house daily for this beautiful burger. To top it all off it was served with some thick cut french fries in a metal tin. One thing I learned from this experience: this burger is meant to be shared with a fellow burger lover. Go & share! Or recreate with the recipe!
Burger and Fries @ Spruce's Bar. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson. 
Burger and Fries @ Spruce's Bar. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.
Burger and Fries @ Spruce's Bar ($16+)
3640 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94118
Monday - Thursday > 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday > 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Saturday > 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Sunday > 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Serves 6

2 cups water
1 cup scalded milk
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 tablespoon, plus 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast, dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water
8 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup melted butter
Grapeseed oil, enough to coat a skillet with a ¼ inch layer of oil
Semolina flour, enough to sprinkle over the buns

1. Whisk together the water, scalded milk, sugar, and salt.  Add the dissolved yeast.  Mix in 4 cups of the flour until the dough is homogeneous. Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes at ambient temperature.
2. Beat in the melted butter and the remaining flour, and mix for 5 minutes. Cover and allow to rise a second time for 30 minutes at ambient temperature.
3. Place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface and roll out flat so that the dough is ½ inch thick. Cover and allow to rise a third time for 30 minutes at ambient temperature.
4. Using a 3-inch-diameter ring, cut out individual buns. Lightly dredge them in semolina flour and pan-fry over medium heat, cooking each side for approximately 5 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown and cooked through on the inside. Set aside.

3 pounds Niman Ranch 20 percent fat ground chuck
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Remoulade or aioli

1. Divide the hamburger meat into 6 equal balls.  Patty them so that they are ¾-inch thick. Season liberally with salt and black pepper.  Place a large cast iron skillet over high heat for 10 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low, add the grapeseed oil to the pan, place the hamburgers in the pan, and cook for approximately 3 minutes each side for rare or to desired temperature.
2. Split 6 buns in half and toast.  Place the burgers on the buns.  Serve with pickles and remoulade.


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