*Editor’s note: Freelance photographer and longtime friend of The Hamblogger, David Paul Morris, continues his burger adventure as he fills in while Justin takes a break from the daily burger grind. David is a recovering vegetarian with a keen appetite for well made burgers, steak, chicken and fish. He is a photographer who covers news, features and sports as well as commercial and corporate assignments based in San Francisco with frequent trips to Asia.http://www.davidpaulmorris.com
On the edge of the Presidio just outside the Lombard Street gate sits Liverpool Lil’s. A long established restaurant in the neighborhood, Liverpool Lil’s was opened in 1973 by a man named Ralph Maher who named it after a woman he fell for while traveling back and forth to Liverpool. He was hoping that by doing so it would help persuade her to move to San Francisco to be with him. The years have gone by, Ralph has moved on and Lil never relocated. The name remains along with a pub and restaurant that offers up a great atmosphere, good drinks and quality food.
I had been here couple of times before and the ambiance is always cozy and inviting. This time was no different. When you walk into the main bar area you immediately feel like you’re walking into any pub in England and you’re sucked in by the warmth and aroma of a well seasoned bar. In the past I had always gone to Lil’s for their pepper steak, which is pretty killer especially with the mashed potatoes and veggies. I always wanted to try their burger but it was the pepper steak that kept drawing me back. When I saw the Liverpool Burger on The Hamblogger list of places to review, I knew it was time.
I arrived around 5pm on a Saturday and found the place already humming with people, mostly families from the neighborhood with strollers in tow. As the sun went down the scene slowly changed to a gathering of very eclectic people both young and old. When you first walk into Lil’s you almost feel like you are entering two places. A cool pub in front that has Guinness flowing by the pint and every square inch of wall space dominated with photographs and sports memorabilia topped off with two large screen televisions in each corner. Walk a bit further inside and you’ll find two dining rooms filled with tables draped in white tablecloths and the sports stuff on the wall is replaced with photographs and artwork that appears to be a bit more sophisticated.
I ordered what I came for – the Liverpool Burger ($13) cooked medium with grilled onions and topped with Mozzarella cheese, opting out on the mayonnaise. For the side, I chose the fries over the coleslaw. I waited in the pub area trying to recover from the sticker stock for what seemed like an ordinary burger.
When the burger finally did arrive, it looked nice and robust and was wrapped with a sesame seed bun from Wedemeyer Bakery. Along with the fries were 3 simple additions: lettuce, tomato and a pickle. I added all three and sunk my teeth into the fresh bun. It was like biting into a well-composed culinary delight. The burger, which was cooked just as I ordered, is made with 8 ounces of Angus Beef from Iowa that has a ratio of 80 –20 (80% meat 20% fat). Gil Hodges, Liverpool Lil’s proprietor for the last 5 years, likes to attribute the good taste of the burger not only to the quality of beef being used but also to his well-seasoned grill that has been sizzling in the kitchen for decades.
My burger was seasoned lightly and topped with grilled onions and melted mozzarella cheese that slid down easily and didn’t compete with the flavor of the burger. I was surprised to see that the bun held up well and didn’t get soggy which was probably because the meat wasn’t overly juicy nor was it completely dry. The consistency of the beef was nice and didn’t fall apart as I finished it off. If there were anything I would change next time I might consider having them toast the bun.
Move over pepper steak, I’m sold on the Liverpool Burger. The next time I’m in the mood for a Guinness and burger I’ll be heading over to Liverpool Lil’s. The atmosphere, staff and quality of food make the pain of shelling out $13 for a burger well worth it.
RATING: 4 out of 5
2942 Lyon Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 921 6664
Hours: Sunday 10:00AM – 11:00PM
Monday 11:00AM – 11:00PM
Tuesday – Friday 11:00AM – 1:00AM
Saturday 10:00AM – 1:00AM