Gamine serves what some consider the "best burger they've ever had" | A Foodie Review
Welcome back SF foodies! A few weeks ago, Steven and I were busy visiting the Marina District looking for kitchen supplies for the new apartment we’ll be moving into in the near future! (More on that later.) And boy did we find a very special little French Bistro on Union Street right across from Sur La Table. It’s called Gamine and it’s well known for its burgers. All throughout the Yelp page, I found countless reviews on the restaurant stating that the Basic Burger was anything but, and that it was one of the best burgers they’ve ever tasted. Does this place live up to the hype? Let’s take a look…
WHAT TO EXPECT
This place is located near Union and Fillmore, surrounded by great shopping and a lot of fabulous food competition. It’s very dedicated to its French theme with charming outdoor seating (which we obviously took full advantage of,) and waiters who great you with a big “Bonjour!” This made us chuckle, as at the time we had recently watched the awful new Beauty and the Beast remake, where Obi-Wan spent most of his time doing a cheesy over-the-top French accent, probably causing Jerry Orbach to roll over in his grave. Steven joked in the same accent “Maybe he could be ze one. Ze waiter to break ze spell!”
But from the warm welcome from the staff, the look of the menu, the doilies underneath our plates and the side of mayonnaise with everything, it was truly a delightful and very French experience.
THE HORS D’OEUVRES
During our visit, we started out with Gamine’s version of our favorite appetizers. Whenever Steven is given calamari as an option for an appetizer, he always goes for it. And I am the same with tuna or steak tartare. At Gamine, they had the latter with a raw egg cracked on top. These dishes were just as beautiful as they were delicious. A bit too much of a vinegar taste in my tartare for my liking, but perhaps that’s the way the French do it.
After reading positive review after positive review about this place’s Basic Burger, we each ordered one. Mine with egg, his with bacon. The burger is served on a toasted French roll smeared with aioli sauce, with well-seasoned vegetable toppings on the side. Good for anyone who isn’t a fan of a typical burger bun, or those who are picky about the quantity of each topping on their sandwich. For instance my Steven – of course – left his greens behind for me to finish.
While it’s hard to pinpoint where this burger places in our mental list of the best we’ve ever had, it definitely has a high score with me. It might not be one’s first choice if they are looking for a burger to hurry and chow down on or swallow whole – as many prefer to do – as you sort of have to assemble it yourself, it’s made with a toasted roll that’s hard to chomp on and the patty isn’t particularly thick. But for people like me who just want complex flavor and texture, plus a whole lot of veggies, it’s an awesome choice.
Finally, we ended our meal with an item that caught Steven’s eye on the Yelp page: their very tall chocolate mousse topped with fresh whipped cream.
Sharing this dessert outside in the perfect weather was just the cherry on top of our very romantic evening in the Marina. And after this, we headed across the street to Sur La Table, where I discovered and purchased my dream silicone kitchen brush. Needless to say, we felt very grown up and sophisticated on this particular evening…and then we went and saw Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlet Johansson in theaters and the feeling went away.
Regardless, we had a great time. And I hope you enjoyed this article. For more foodie recommendations in the San Francisco Bay Area, please subscribe or give me a like on Facebook! Au revoir.