Marlowe’s burger has been on every list for years. I’ve tried to get there several times, but life kept getting in the way. We’ve had the burger at their sister restaurant Cavalier and wondered if they Marlowe burger really was the same or even better. Finally, before taking Hilary to the airport for her flight back to Southern California, we went and tried that burger for ourselves.
Because our starving student doesn’t have the disposable income to enjoy them on her own, we started with a half dozen oysters. To those who have been up north lately, are our oysters scrawny these days? These were. The mignonette was tasty, but the little mollusks were disappointing. Being Left-Coasters, we are used to our oysters being meaty and creamy, and these were neither.
Luckily, the famous Marlowe burger lived up to the hype. It is served with carmelized onions, cheddar, and bacon, and accompanied by fries and horseradish aioli. For once, Ken didn’t need to send it back to the kitchen because the meat was cooked perfectly medium-rare.
All the sandwiches on the menu looked good and we wanted to try as many as possible. I ordered the crispy fried chicken sandwich with caesar aioli, bacon, & field greens, while Hilary ordered the warm rock shrimp roll with napa cabbage slaw, basil, mint, citrus aioli, smoke & chili. Hilary traded half of her shrimp roll for half of her dad’s burger, and they were both grateful. The shrimp roll was good, but they agreed that the burger was the star here. My crispy fried chicken sandwich was exactly to be expected, crispy and fried, and that was wonderful. The caesar aioli, bacon and greens added to the great texture. Too often, fried chicken sandwiches are not crispy enough or there isn’t enough chicken for the bun, but not in this case. Much of what made the sandwiches so good were the Acme rolls, which were fluffy and delicious inside, while maintaining a crispiness on the outside. Trying to indulge in our love of all things fried but wishing to be reasonable, two of us ordered fries with their sandwiches and one of us ordered a salad, and we all shared. A two-to-one ratio of fries to greens was perfect. I’m not sure what we would have done if AJ had been there.
Then to complete our holiday lunch, we ordered dessert. Loretta’s vacherin was made up of coffee ice cream, meringue, toasted almond, & chocolate sauce, all flavors we love. This dessert was simple and free of fuss. What a great way to finish off a nice visit with our girl!
Has anyone been to Petit Marlowe Wine Bar and Oysterette? Because of our oyster experience at Marlowe, I’m not sure if it is worth a try. I have been getting a lot emails from Petit Marlowe though, promoting special events at their venue, and am wondering if we need to go. Please let me know if you’ve been there and what you thought about the place.
Marlowe: 500 Brannan Street, SF. Lunch Monday to Friday 11:30am – 2:30pm. Dinner Sunday to Wednesday 5:30pm – 10pm and Thursday to Saturday 5:30pm – 11pm. Brunch Saturday to Sunday 10am – 2pm. Bar menu Monday to Friday 2:30pm – 5:30pm and Saturday to Sunday 2pm – 5:30pm. Reservations available on OpenTable.com.