SANF December 2016 : Page 75

Looks like a real burger, right? That’s thanks to heme. T H E IM P O S SIB L E B U RG ER Touted in the press as the bleeding veggie burger, the Impossible Burger gets its “blood” from heme, a protein molecule genetically engineered from yeast. Though its flavor and texture most closely resemble meat’s when the patty is served raw, the cooked version also makes a fairly convincing facsimile, particularly if you haven’t eaten an actual burger for a while. Made primarily from wheat and potato proteins and coconut oil, it’s a testament to the power of food science ; fortunately, it’s also just a very good burger in its own right. Currently, it can be found only at Jardinière and Cockscomb ; get it while it’s hot. $19 AT COCKSCOMB, 564 4TH ST. (AT FREELON ST.), 415-974-0700; $16 AT JARDINIÈRE, 300 GROVE ST. (AT FRANKLIN ST.), 415-861-5555 T H E V EGG I E B U RG E R Before he opened the Lodge on Haight this past April, Matt Nudelman had perfected his veggie burger recipe at his previous Haight Street restaurant, Greenburger’s. Built from organic brown rice, organic black beans, and, in Nudelman’s words, “a bunch of other stuff” including beets, jalapeños, shallots, and housemade barbecue sauce, it’s topped off with clover sprouts, pickled beets and jalapeños, and a smear of avocado spread. Although diners at Greenburger’s customized their own burgers, at the Lodge, Nudelman says, “it’s built the way I want to eat it—I decided I should stop giving people a choice.” His despotic streak is justified: The burger’s flavors are so well balanced and satisfying that we wouldn’t want it any other way. $11, 400 HAIGHT ST. (AT WEBSTER ST.), 415-872-9502 Nothing vegan about the American cheese here, but damn, it’s good. T H E V EG B U RG E R The indirect result of the years Wesburger ‘n’ More owner Wes Rowe spent dating a vegetarian (“I needed to learn how to feed her,” he explains), Wesburger’s so-called Veg Burger is composed primarily of equal parts pinto beans, mushrooms, and barley, with some panko thrown in to keep things from getting mushy. It can be ordered to replace the beef patties in all of the restaurant’s regular burger combinations, but we recommend it in the Okie burger, a beautiful mess of grilled onions, mustard, bread-and-butter pickles, and American cheese. Veggie or not, the overall effect is that of a classic, old-fashioned burger: a visceral, lusty thing that inspires both nostalgia and obsession. $12, 2240 MISSION ST. (NEAR 18TH ST.), 415-745-9371 December 2016 | San Francisco 75

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