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Zuni Cafe lost a burger trial versus
Joe's Cable Car Restaurant

Zuni Cafe
1658 Market St./Gough, SF
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Post-trial hearing at Zeitgeist

Burger Review Only


Zuni is one of SF's finest restaurants, award-winning and respected. When I heard they made a mean freshly-ground burger for lunch, I feared Joe's Cable Car could have competition. This threatened to shake the foundation of my burger belief system. A potential paradigm shift in my personal burger world. DOES Joe make the best burger available anywhere?

Yes. Yes he does. Zuni does a nice job, but frankly the burger I had there could not hold a candle to Joe's. Perhaps it was old meat, I don't know. But it cost more than Joe's and came on focaccia bread that fell apart. The gourmet lettuces didn't add much either. Mine was cooked medium, but I don't think that should suck the flavor out. To be sure, they are making a top-flight burger, but the one they served me came nowhere near the lofty heights achieved by Joe.

Long live the king! Long live Joe's Cable Car!



StoreWe know. Zuni sounds a little "beyond our ken," to use an expression no one uses anymore. And it probably is -- but when you fall down over a burger like we did for Joe's, and then you hear about someone else who "grinds his or her own," you owe it to the Füd Court fan base (growing like exponents even as I type) to check it out. So we did. They only serve the burgers until 6 (and then again late night, I'm pretty sure), so we got there at 5:30 and felt mildly uncomfortable as we ordered our beers (4 bucks a bottle, nothing on draft).

The fries run you $4.50 but come in quite a generous mound that fed all of us. However, they're shoestring style, and I felt sort of weird eating these with my hands. The form seemed more suited for...a rabbit or something.

The burger itself, slightly rotund, reminded us of a backyard, hand-formed patty, and mine seemed to burst with more flavor than Turner's or McClure's, perhaps because I ordered medium-rare. But it didn't elicit any "oh goshes" out of me. And the focaccia was a little awkward -- my burger fell out at one point. Overall, good but not great. And at $9.50, it needs to be great.



A good burger at a high price. First off I want it to be clear that all we had were burgers, fries, and a few beers. The rest of the menu was untouched by the Court. The meat was very good, just not as flavorful as I was lead to believe. The focaccia "bun" is a nice idea but it does not hold up under the burger pressure. The fries are excellent, the shoestring variety, if you like that style. Our meals were not cheap, over $20 each. I say if you're hangin' out at Zuni in the late afternoon having a drink, getting a little hungry and have an extra ten bucks in your pocket, order a burger. Oh yea, if you want the fries dig around for another five.







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