You can’t go wrong with a place where you can grab a six-pack of beer, a bottle of tequila and a good burger. Hard to imagine that such a place exists, but it does. Ganim’s Market on Potrero Hill fulfills all these needs and then some. After driving by this little market hundreds of times I finally decided it was time to see what this place was all about. Although it appears to be a liquor store, the main focus is on the food, specifically burgers. The hole-in-the-wall is frequented by blue collar workers and folks from the neighborhood who seem appreciate generous amounts of food for a little bit of coin.
I scanned the menu while waiting in line next to a well-stocked beer cooler. I was pretty hungry so I decided to try the double cheeseburger ($6.50) since the single burger was advertised as being a quarter pound. I was envisioning some thin patty like an In-N-Out burger and that wouldn’t suffice today. An array of beer advertisements with scantily clad women kept my interest before steeping up to place my order. The big soft-spoken dude with a shiny bald head greeted me at the counter like I was an old friend, very nice guy. I got a quick glance into the kitchen where all the burger magic happens. Two women alternated between the grill and the condiment table. They worked like a well-tuned machine.
A small group of Latino workers sat in the corner watching a game on TV while people continued to stream in to grab a pack of smokes or pick up a to-go order. When my number was called I went to pick up the paper-wrapped bundle of joy. I was surprised to feel the heft of this burger as the soft-spoken counter dude dropped it into my hands. Back at the table, I unwrapped my gift to discover a sesame seed bun that was dwarfed by two massive hand formed beef patties. I swung my head over to the menu, did I not read that correctly? O.K., yup. Says the double cheeseburger has two quarter-pound patties. There is no way that these patties are quarter pounders. Just looking at it is making me feel full.
I’m examining the mammoth 100 percent Angus beef burger and taking a few photos of it when a guy yells over to me from across the room.
GUY: “Hey man, this your first time here?”
ME: “yeah, been wanting to check it out.”
GUY: (nodding head w/ a smile on his face) “I remember my first time…yeah, Best burger in SF.”
I couldn’t postpone the inevitable, so I waged war on the big beast. My first bite was all meat and cheese, and it was so good. I was instantly transported back in time to the taste of the burgers that my mom used to fry up in her old seasoned cast iron skillet. The juice flowed freely as I continued my one-man assault on the griddled patties. I finally hit the crisp lettuce and tomato along with the double serving of cheese. A little too much mayo, but that’s my only complaint. The meat didn’t taste like it had any seasoning but it really wasn’t a factor since the beef’s flavor carried itself well. Next time I won’t be so ambitious with the meat consumption and settle for the single burger.
Cold beer, booze, lottery tickets, nice people and a kick ass burger, what more could one ask for? Well, maybe the rest of the day off since I am now in a food coma.
1135 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Hours: Monday – Friday 11AM – 9:00PM
Saturday – 11AM – 8:00PM
Sunday – Closed