If you know me at all, then you’d know that I practically lived at Sidebar for the past year or two. I’m on a first name basis with everyone behind the bar there, as well as most of the folks next door at the Triple George Grill where all their delicious food comes from. Because I’ve been there so much, I have had the time to try almost everything on their menu, but my favorite item is always the burger. Sure the preferential treatment always sweetens the deal, but I won’t even try to hold you in any suspense, this is one tasty burger.
Let me first explain that the Triple George Grill is a fantastic restaurant, I have never eaten anything bad there. And if you’re looking for great service, good ambiance, and some great cocktails this is your spot. Plus it’s one of the only good places to eat downtown so that doesn’t hurt. I typically eat in the adjoining space, Sidebar, which has pretty cool yet maybe a bit outdated décor, is a bit louder, smoky, but all the more entertaining. The bartenders have become friends of mine, and it’s gotten to the point that I can walk in there almost any time of day on any day of the week and I will know almost everyone sitting at the bar. This might make me sound like a bit of a lush, but it’s kind of fun. Don’t judge me, I’m here to judge burgers. The sad news regarding Sidebar is that supposedly it’s getting re-branded in the next couple months to be Mob Bar to coincide with the opening of the Mob Museum in the downtown area, complete with corny ‘memorabilia’ and some remodeling. I’m not too happy about this and don’t know what to make of it until I see the full extent of the changes.
As for the burger, it’s great. It comes with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, and your standard slice of onion, lettuce and tomato. You also get some well-seasoned and very tasty fries, a pickle wedge and some veggies which tend to get a bit neglected by yours truly although they are also quite good. While I have been there enough times to notice some inconsistency, the burger typically comes out medium-rare as ordered. The meat has great flavor, and is proportioned quite well with a crispy, slightly grilled bun. There is also some inconsistency to the amount of onions and mushrooms, as well as their level of cooking, but they always have great flavor. There is always a little bit of juice dripping out of the meat during the meal, but it never dries out and is great until the end. The fries are always cooked well, never over cooked and never too raw. As an option you can also get the thick-cut fries, which are almost like eating a big potato, but have the same great flavor and are always cooked perfectly.
The inconsistency definitely detracts a bit from this burger, there are nights that I am a little disappointed by the lack of pink in the meat, or the over-cooking that’s been done to my onions, but more times than not it is cooked perfectly and I couldn’t be happier. If you’re looking for a great alternative to the strip, and haven’t been to Fremont St in a long time, you should definitely make your way to Triple George or Sidebar for a good meal. After your meal don’t forget to wander Fremont and gander at all the freaks and inappropriate tourists. Or is that the same thing?