Lebeeficus 3:16 - And The Meat Shall Inherit The Earth
It was a cold Switzerland evening as he entered the party, clad in the finest handmade tuxedo money could buy. It was an invite-only, white-tie event that any aspiring socialite would be proud to find themselves at, sipping champagne served by eager servants as the waltz reverberated around the ballroom. But he wasn’t here just for the champagne or the Blue Danube…he was here on a job.
He was George…International Man of Leisure and Intrigue. The raging blaze in the stone fireplace at the front of the room provided a crackling warmth inside the room as the snow lightly fell outside, with the occasional glimpse of an armed guard wandering the grounds, protecting the party from intruders.
George glided across the polished floor to the bar. One glance at George told the bartender he was dealing with a man of refinement and class, and he stepped up ready to take his order.
“One Sazerac,” ordered George as he slipped a $50 bill into the tip jar. “Not too generous with the bitters, my good man.”
“You got it!” replied the bartender, as he quickly began preparing the drink. As George waited he glanced around the room. His eyes moved up and down the other partygoers, and each detail opened up a world of information to his mind. At one corner of the room his eyes met a world class beauty - an elegant and gorgeous creature, with red-tinted curls framing her porcelain face, and a string of pearls highlighting a chest that would make almost any man beg for mercy. Her perfectly-curved figure was clad in a tight satin dress that hung like the Devil himself had cut it just for her, and she stood sipping her martini posed with the help of a pair of 4-inch heels that looked as though they’d be just fine to walk in, so long as she did it on the backs of hundreds of helpless men. And as it turned out, her eyes were already on George.
“That’s Angola VonMasterson,” said the bartender as he returned to George with his Sazerac. “Rich, powerful and a man-eater, if ever there was one!”
George turned to grab his drink and looked at the bartender with a sly grin on his face.
“Let’s see if this kitty has any claws,” smiled George as he took his first sip of the cocktail, then turned and began his steady walk to the beauty. She watched him every step of the way across the dance floor to her corner of the room, and as he got closer her eyes examined every inch of him, and finally she spoke as he stepped within inches of her.
“Do I have the honor of meeting the one and only George?” she slyly asked.
“That depends,” George returned, taking a casual sip on his beverage, “on whether you consider that a good thing or not.”
She smiled with an evil smirk at his response. “We may be in for quite an evening, sir.”
George took another sip of his cocktail. “In that case, I might need to find a telephone.”
“Whatever for?” asked Angola, pretending to be worried as she raised her martini once more to her perfect, supple ruby lips.
“Because,” smiled George. “Looks like I’m not making it back for the next Burger Blog trip.”
Hello and welcome back, dear readers! Yes, unfortunately it is true - George was not able to make it out for us on this most recent trek, but we did manage to bail James out for it, and we even have a special guest who tagged along to keep our numbers up and beef-to-person ratio equivalent to that which could murder the average family from Oklahoma. And to top it off, we even went with a restaurant option filled with religious totems and verbage, because that seems to be the climate in America these days. Praise be to Jesus, let’s eat some meat! Sarah Palin will love it. Except for the whole San Francisco thing.
Our latest burgerventure found us heading into the SoMa area of San Francisco, also known as “South of Market” or “that place where the weird leather party happens every year.” SoMa was once a much more scary area of the city, but is now gaining quite a few trendy eateries and clubs that just look like somebody was once stabbed in the bathroom during a coke deal. And that’s a perfect area to put a religiously themed burger joint!
Holy Grill is pretty shiny and new, like a kid’s Christmas toy that hasn’t been in the potty yet. It’s located in the middle of a strip-mall-esque collection of shops across from a large office building that appeared to be empty, except for a security guard playing “Angry Birds.” You’re greeted as you walk in by a giant Buddha…
…because if any religious figure knew how to pound down some calories, it was Buddha. Seriously, on the 4th of July between him, Jesus, Xenu, Moses and whoever else on Coney Island, Buddha would kick ass eating some Nathan’s Hot Dogs. You’ve gotta respect a religion that basically started as a lazy guy saying he was gonna sit down for a while and think about how awesome everything was.
Holy Grill goes for the lunch style ordering system, so you put in your order at the counter, pay and their handy team of grill ninjas gets to work immediately on your order. Seating is limited inside the joint, but they do quite a bit of takeout and they even deliver to a limited area, because who wants to waste any burger calories walking and carrying? That’s for poor people!
As per usual, we all made our choice without any regard to what the others were getting, because we’re all precious snowflakes. Before we get onto the meat parade, let me introduce our special guest for the day…longtime reader and associate, Erica!
Erica is a Capricorn who enjoys men with hairy chests, the music of Isaac Hayes and riding on Vespas. That may not be true - but hey, ask her! Prior to being allowed to join us, Erica was put through the burger paces by being forced to identify the difference between types of beef, and swearing a blood oath to never again eat a veggie burger. Then, we made her go out and rob an old lady to prove her loyalty. Blood in, blood out. Also, she had to agree that she would pay for everybody’s food, and she had to eat whatever we ordered for her. Hope she likes 2-pound Jalapeno burgers cooked rare!
As I mentioned before, everything on the Holy Grill’s menu has a religious tint to it, so this escapade will be a blessed march into the halls of beef dogma. Glory be unto us, brothers and sisters. This is my body, taste of it and pray for extra bacon and cheese. Enough blasphemy, time for burgers! And probably more blasphemy.
Chris chose to forsake Him and got a Pagan Burger, with cheddar cheese and hickory bacon. If being Saved means no bacon, so long, Evangelicals! Chris also gained extra radical points by ordering the “Gratitude Cheese Fries” -
- which is possibly the best name for Chili Cheese Fries, ever. Truly, gratitude is what everybody you sit next to on the bus a few hours later will feel as you gleefully squeeze out a whole orchestra’s worth of melody from your gratitude-hole. They call their chili “Voodoo Chili,” so it may have cost Chris two pinky fingers, a dead pirate’s skull and a skin of blood wine. But all his enemies now have Herpes. Worth it? You betcha!
James, always dapper and ready to roll, ordered up the Trinity - cheddar cheese, avocado and bacon. The Holy Grill’s faith system is quickly becoming something I can get behind. They do all of their burgers as a 1/3 pound of Meyer’s Ranch beef, which they form into patties by hand on the premises. Everything gets cooked medium well unless you ask otherwise (which most of us did - medium well is for the rubes) and comes on a bun cooked at a local bakery topped with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Pickle and their concoction called “Holy Sauce.” Growing up, my grandparents called their Sunday morning pitchers of Bloody Marys that, but at this joint it’s actually a mixture of ketchup, mayo, sweet relish and a dab of dijon. And nothing blatantly racist came out of anybody’s mouth after this Holy Sauce.
Joe walked into the mountains with nothing but his faith and came down carrying two tablets of beef and the word of his savior, because Joe decided it was the kind of day to eat two burgers. Somewhere inside that skinny runner is a gigantic fat man, just waiting to escape. When that day comes, it’ll be like watching Bruce Banner turn into the Hulk, except with a lot more Meat Lover’s pizzas and Playstation.
Anyfart, Joe once again proved himself as Conan the Burger Destroyer by getting two of them - a Holy and a Divinity. The Holy comes plain with their regular toppings, the Divinity has cheese, crispy onions and Holy Grill’s honey-chipotle sauce.
Erica (who went from the extreme closeup on her burger) got all Epiphany’d, which is what they call a plain old cheeseburger. But hey - cheese is an epiphany. What else can pack so much gooey goodness and calories in such a small package? Erica got hers with “Baby” Swiss, and I never figured out what the baby part meant. Maybe that it wasn’t old enough to understand racism yet.
Yours truly got a Trinity, topped with cheddar cheese, bacon and a dollop of avocado. I’m running out of religious jokes to make my dead relatives cry, but let me just say this was one I’d consider tithing for. Jesus zing!
Leila, who actually grew up Catholic and quickly tired of my need to talk smack about her savior, fulfilled the typical George role by ordering the “Holy,” a plain burger with their standard toppings. Then she drank two bottles of His blood, aka $5 Shiraz from Trader Joe’s. Catholicism: come for the guilt, stay for the drink specials!
Marci went with a Divinity Burger, which usually comes with cheese (she opted out, durn healthy fool), crispy onions and a honey-chipotle sauce. There were a few closeups of her burger, but they all appeared to have been taken in a bowl of vaseline during a lightning storm, so instead there’s Erica and Marci with a look at Holy Grill’s decor.
And thusly, the feasting began. French fries begat onion rings, and onion rings begat burgers, and burgers begat the magical chili-cheese fries. There’s magic in the Bible, right? They might get more followers if a Wizard shoots some lightning bolts at a dragon, like a sweet heavy metal album cover.
And as Rambo said, we killed ‘em all and then decided to sort ‘em out ourselves. God was busy. Let the judgement day begin!
Thou Shalt Have No Meat Before Me - Meat Quality: Like many San Francisco burger joints these days, Holy Grill has learned that serving a quality patty made with organic meat from a local farm is a surefire way to burrow their way into our clogged arteries. However - cooking a burger medium-well as the standard is a bit dodgy.
Because we are men (and women) of wealth and taste, many of us made sure to get the burgers either medium or medium-rare. I would recommend the same, because cooking a burger - or any decent cut of red meat, really - more than medium just makes the meat worthless. Sure, that cow’s hopes and dreams might not have been to get ingested by an account executive on a Tuesday lunch break, but you may as well taste the cow. Yes, some people shy away from blood or fluids that may drip while you eat the burger, but that gooey, greasy fattiness is what makes these things so deliciously decadent. Live a little and wear a bib.
Plus, Holy Grill’s meat is pretty tasty when cooked properly. Get it cooked a little less than they normally do it, and you’ll be saying “Hail Mary” and “Praise Xenu!” all the way back to your cubicle, where your God regularly ignores your dreams again.
Final Meat Score: An enchanted thirteen full collection plates out of fifteen.
Thou Shalt Not Carb - Sides-n-stuff: Much like their burgers, Holy Grill gives all their sides religion-y names. The regular fries are called the Virgin fries, so if you go there with friends make sure to loudly say, “I’ll have the Virgin fries,” then turn to your shiest, geekiest friend and point and shout, “LIKE YOU! YOU’RE A VIRGIN!!! HA-HA!!!!” It’ll be the most mature thing you ever do, and everybody will think you’re an awesome person.
Despite the obviously hilarious crack at people’s sexual maturity, Holy Grill does a good job on the fries. The regular ones are nice and crispy on the outside, hand-cut and a nice potato flavor on the inside. A little dab of ketchup and you’re a happy Virgin, except for the pangs of loneliness.
These “Halo Rings,” aka onion rings, aren’t too bad - buttermilk batter on handcut onions with a splash of sea salt and then served with a side of God’s Gift to Obesity, ranch dressing. They are, however, the thin-cut variety, and as we’ve learned before it’s hard to keep these crisp and delicious beyond a few minutes when they’re so thin. The flavor was good, but we all kinda lost interest and didn’t even finish one order between the six of us. These might just be better as a burger topping than a side.
But if you really want to commit some tummy-sacrilege, the Gratitude Cheese Fries are your new best friend. For a measly $3.29 you can spend the rest of your day knowing you showed your colon who’s boss. All of us who dared to try them were very pleased. Holy Grill is definitely a fry-centric place. And hey - the regular fries are only $1.99 for an order too. Can I get an amen?
Final Sides Score: 33 voodoo dolls out of 40.
Trust In Me And Be Saved - Destiny All Up In It: Sure, they subscribe to a somewhat hippy-dippy mentality and serve burgers with names like “Divinity” and “Enchantment Rainbow.” But if you eat one of their burgers, what happens afterwards? Will you be saved or damned?
Thanks to the quality of the beef, you’ll be just fine. Nobody got much in the way of the belly-rumbles, except for Joe - but let’s all remember that he ate two burgers. Plus, Holy Grill uses a 1/3 patty, cutting down on the meat intake slightly from the places that dare to serve up a 1/2 pound with impunity. Now, if you eat a burger and the chili fries, you may not want to have much planned in the hours ahead. That’s more of an, I’ve-got-a-hangover, sleep-it-off-in-the-park kind of combo. But it’s not the worst we’ve seen.
You Will Know My Name Is The Beef - Final Aftermath Score: 17 snakecharms out of 22.
So, should you cast your lot in with Holy Grill? They serve up a tasty burger and fries for a pretty cheap price - less than $10, in most cases - and they have a delightful faith-based decor and menu that you can either consider refreshing in a town filled with Atheist hipsters who can’t even enjoy a band for longer than six months, or that you can make lots of snide pretentious jokes about, if you’re one of the aforementioned Atheist hipsters (guilty!) The location isn’t the easiest, but there is quite a bit of parking in the area, something that all San Franciscans would gladly change religions for. Seriously, I’d shave my head and wear a robe and bang a tambourine all day if it meant I could find a damn parking spot once in a while.
Therefore, Holy Grill gets a Recommended from the San Francisco Burger Blog. In the church of Beef, all are welcome. Especially if you serve Chili Cheese Fries.
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Thanks for reading!