review: those buns…

4505 Chicharrones

I often worry about my esteemed colleague, the tentacled chuckeats.

Between his enviable emails entitled “Manresa tonight” and “Gagnaire tomorrow,” he’s prone to long pauses, hours – sometimes days – of silence.  He goes on all-night project benders without notice, disappearing into his exciting world beyond the internets. He doesn’t call, he doesn’t write, only to resurface with a post-4505 burger hiccup on Twitter once a week; a sign to me that all is well in his world.

And I breathe a sigh of relief.

chuckeats made the 4505 Meats burger famous.  Or, at least he made me aware of it, namely, as the best burger in his unusually wide reach.

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4505 Burger

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I like my burgers more soft than firm, more rare than cooked.

Generally, I prefer the patties more thick than thin. I want cheese, please, and mustard too.  Onions, if you’ve got any, and tomatoes only if they’re ripe and good.

And, of course, the bun: folks, you’ve got to toast the bun so that it’ll stand up to all the juice that’s going to come out of my ideal burger.

Well, the 4505 Meats burger was a good burger. But it wasn’t my ideal burger, far from the coital experience it apparently is for chuckeats.*

Ryan Farr’s 4505 Meats stand was the third (or fourth?) stop on my graze through the Saturday farmers’ market with friends at the Ferry Terminal Marketplace in San Francisco.  By noon, I had already downed half a porchetta sandwich, a cup of coffee, and sampled my way through at least half a basket of fruit.

And so, I was quite thankful that the 4505 Meats burger was a tight little package; perfect for one (chuckeats ordered his own), or for two to split on a grazing binge (Miss O.M.G. and I shared one).

The thing is, there were so many good things on this burger that the meat got lost for me.  The patty was thinner than I had expected, and a bit overcooked for my taste.  I like a patch of pink in the center, highlighted by a thin, red line.  As you can see in the photo above, this patty was closer to medium-well.

But the rest of the packaging was awesome.

The tomato (still in season) was juicy, excellent. There were onions, a thin laminant of cheese, and a fair amount of 4505 Meat’s deliciously zippy sauce – one part relish, two parts creamy.

The bun was fantastic, totally eclipsing everything stuffed between it.** It was toasted, of course, and shockingly buttery, enriched with cheese, scallions, and flocked with sesame seeds. I could eat a lot of these.

4505 Meats is also well-known for their chicharrones.  And we got a bag of those too.  Oddly salty-sweet, these pork rinds were unbelievably light. They left a starchy film on my tongue that I found more strange than unpleasant.

chuckeats, Miss O.M.G., and I toured the market a bit to work off our sins before the two retired for the afternoon to digest and prepare for our dinner at Manresa.***

I returned to the 4505 Meats stand to rendez-vous with another set of friends. One of them ordered the “Deluxe Burger,” which included oversized slices of the butchery’s sausages.

As a practical matter, the Deluxe Burger was in an impossibility, stacked so high you’d need an unhinged jaw to take a bite.  But the sausages were good. And that bun…

From what I’ve heard from friends who have taken Ryan Farr’s classes, he’s a talented butcher and chef. And, from my narrow experience, it’s undeniable that he offers great, artisanal products. If, like chuckeats, my zip code were 4505, I’d revisit Farr’s grill with some frequency, hoping for a rosier center, and many, many more of those amazing buns.

4505 Meats: you’ll find them every Saturday and Thursday at the Ferry Terminal Marketplace.

* For an example of my ideal burger, clicketh here.

** The buns are made by 4505 Meats.

*** They’re excellent guides. They introduced me to a wonderful charcuterier, a pickler, and almond milker (that’s three different people, mind you).

~ by ulterior epicure on December 3, 2010.

One Response to “review: those buns…”

  1. admittedly, an excellent characterization. i won’t take credit for making 4505 famous – unless you’re talking about the fascination Texans holds for this burger – i think more people from Houston eat this burger than those from SF.

    the Black Label is the only burger i’ve had that i would label “better.” and it, with the 4505, are the only two burgers i’ve had where the minerally dry-aged flavors are pronounced.

    and that’s my beef with most burgers – they sacrifice real taste for juiciness – more fat than meat – and the meat they usually use is not dry-aged long enough.

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