San Francisco, CA
"Don't let your burger be lonely."
Over Memorial Day weekend I took a little journey up to Northern California with one of my best friends, to visit one of my best friends. We spent a day in San Francisco, perusing the Ferry Building and the surrounding farmers market and arts/crafts/jewelry fair going on across the street. When it came time for lunch we got in line at Gott’s Roadside Diner and made some very tough decisions. Elizabeth and I shared a cheeseburger. Beverly opted for the Ahi burger and Johanna had the cobb salad. We ordered the garlic fries and the sweet potato fries, and Elizabeth snuck in a chocolate milkshake. While they had diet cokes, I opted for my DC/rootbeer, and watched as the cashier actually managed to punch in a “half & half” into the computer.
The place was super packed and it took a bit for our numbers to be called, but when the burger came out wrapped in paper and piping hot, I knew we waited for a reason. It was full of flavor and stacked well. They served it on an egg bun that provided a sweet contrast to the meat, which definitely had some heat in it. It was juicy and flavorful and I definitely ate every last bite. The menu had plenty of other interesting options, including a bleu cheese burger and a bacon one. (I know, its like the first time ever I didn't order the bacon burg!) I would definitely mix it up next time. Salad had fresh quality ingredients, but I would have liked a stronger dressing; it seemed watered down. Beverly’s ahi burger was excellent, she devoured the whole thing.
The fries were exquisite; a bigger part of the meal than I expected. The garlic fries were strong- if you don’t like garlic don’t even look at them. If you like garlic, order them immediately. The sweet potato fries were even more interesting: they had some chili powder concoction on them which kicked up their flavor value and balanced out the sweetness of the potato itself. They were my favorite sweet potato fries that I have had anywhere, ever. Ding Ding Ding! I may have just declared a “best!” Don't get too excited, the cucumber ranch served with the sweet potato fries was way too tangy/cucumber-y for me. I can see where they were trying to go with it- to meet the spice of the fry with the tang of the dressing-but maybe hold back on the cucumber and add some dill.
The chocolate shake was a perfect finish to the meal. It was rich and creamy and satisfying. They have the usual sodas and a small array of beers as well. My posse is addicted to Diet Coke, so I’m afraid we didn’t branch out much here. Ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper are available at mini condiment stands on either end of the restaurant. You can watch the whole grilling process, just on the other side of the counter:
Gott’s was packed with families and friends, and the dining area (indoor and outdoor) is huge. A friendly staff welcomed us and refilled our drinks while we gabbed over the long lunch. The décor is simple and neat with hints of Americana. Cost was around $15 per person and definitely worth it. I can’t wait to return and try something else!