I've been a fan of Jeff Mason's crazy-but-delicious sandwiches ever since I first sunk my teeth into his BLT-Zarella when he was slinging 'wiches out of the back of a liquor store. Since then, Pal's Takeaway has moved to slightly nicer and more permanent digs down 24th Street in La Movida Wine Bar, where he's gone on to take both the first and second slots in my roundup of The Best Sandwiches in the Mission.
Well here's some good news for burger lovers: Jeff is applying his trademark skills as an expert curator and combiner of wacky flavors to burgers. Starting this Thursday (February 13), and continuing every other week, Pal's Takeaway will be converted to Pal's Burger Time, a lunch-only burger operation serving three different burgers. After this week the burgers will be available every other Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
I stopped by to talk to Jeff when I was in San Francisco last week. I don't want to give away all the secrets, but rest assured, the man knows what he's doing. The burgers are all based around a five-ounce patty made with sirloin, brisket, chuck, and dry-aged beef fat, cooked smash-style on a hot griddle and served in a soft, brioche-like bun (that Jeff swears is not brioche). Toppings were still TBD when I spoke with him, but it looks like homemade pimento cheese, yuzu mayo, and a roasted cherry tomato relish will work their way into a burger or two. I know, I know. It sounds weird. But trust me, you're in good hands with Pal's.
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.