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Secret menus of San Francisco

By Allison Landa

If we told you that San Francisco is a foodies’ paradise, your rejoinder might be “and the sky is blue!” Yes, it’s well established that we know our food around these hills, but what about the items that you won’t find on the menu? They proliferate behind the doors of some of the most hotly coveted restaurants. The Nob Hill Gazette did a little snooping, and we’d like to share our findings with you. Yes, you. The one with a fork in one hand, a knife in the other, and a champagne flute at the ready. You.

THE BIG FOUR
Turkey Club

This society standby could never entirely eliminate their most beloved off-menu item for fear of disappointing their regulars, who consistently request it. “It really is a local favorite,” Scarlet Hotels’ Mark Gleason notes. “Neighbors have been enjoying it for years.” That’s due to the crunch of the lettuce, the smoky taste of the bacon, the tart-sweet tang of the tomato and the savory style of the turkey—a classic combination whose popularity truly is no secret. Located in the Scarlet Huntington, 1075 California Street, big4restaurant.com

JARDINIÈRE  The Impossible Burger

Traci Des Jardins’ dual tribute to California and France offers a patty that encompasses its own menu. “Its popularity is due to how it is made,” notes spokesman Nick Di. “Not from beef, but from plants. It has very similar characteristics to a classic beef burger, such as smell, texture, and even bleeds like a beef burger, but it is plant-based.” Impossible Foods had the goal of making a beef-like product with a smaller environmental impact. And, apparently, a greater taste footprint. 300 Grove Street, jardiniere.com

THE TREASURY
Sherry Martini

Nolets gin, 30-year Bodegas Tradición Palo Cortado, Dolin dry vermouth, orange bitters, lemon twist. This drink is for sherry aficionados, from a bar offering one of the city’s most impressive sherry lists. Since the Nolets is distilled in small batches, it provides a crazy-amazing flavor profile featuring (get ready) Turkish rose, white peach and raspberry. Add the vermouth and sherry and you’ve got one heck of a complex libation. Now the cost: $30, and worth every cent. 200 Bush Street #101,
thetreasurysf.com

RICH TABLE

Dry-Aged Beef Burger

This isn’t just any slab of beef. Available only at the bar, this hidden gem is made in limited quantities—specifically, 12 per night. Perched on a house-made roll and accompanied by Tomme d’Auvergne cheese, an Early Girl tomato slice, tartar sauce and bacon jam, the burger comes complete with house-made potato chips topped with Rich Table’s signature umami powder. Treat for the tongue, indeed. 199 Gough Street, richtablesf.com

BOXING ROOM

French Fry Po’Boy

This one will put a smile on your face. Made with steak fries, bacon-giblet gravy and cheddar cheese on Vietnamese French-style bread with a mixed green salad, this venerable secret item remains a redoubtable leader of the pack. 399 Grove Street,
boxingroom.com

BELLOTA Animal-Style Patatas Bravas

Yes, you read that correctly: the love child of Spain and Southern California brings us this In-N-Out Burger-inspired dish made with fried Kennebec potatoes, chipotle salsa, chorizo aioli and shavings of Jamón ibérico de Bellota. Delicioso. 888 Brannan Street #110, bellotasf.com

THE MORRIS 
29-Day Burger

Blame it on chef/partner Gavin Schmidt, who opened The Morris in the former space of the city’s venerable Slow Club. Schmidt’s off-menu option pays homage to Slow Club’s own version while exuding The Morris’ personality as the ideal San Francisco neighborhood restaurant. The 29-day, dry-aged, Five Dot Ranch, grass-fed, grain-finished, $16 beauty rests in a potato-rosemary bun baked in house daily. Accompanied by David Little Farms fingerling potato fries and garlic aioli, the burger is completed with two cheese options: The Morris’ Loray Coop Comté or 3-year-old Grafton Cheddar. 2501 Mariposa Street, themorris-sf.com

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