The Chieftain Cheeseburger is what legends are made out of, says wchane. It starts off as an innocent-looking $8 burger: bun, patty, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, sliced onions. The important thing is to order all the extras. We mean, everything. You have to pile it up: fried egg, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, crumbled blue cheese, smoked bacon, and maybe even a second patty. The second patty is optional; the rest isn’t. Once fully loaded, it is scrumptious. With a side of thick-cut fries drizzled with malt vinegar, it’s real pub food.

Most of the other stuff is, by general hound opinion, pretty poor. Most seem to consider the Chieftain’s burger as their sole moment of shining glory. vliang disagrees: what’s sucky is all their other American/Californian items. So go for their Irish stuff, especially Irish breakfast–bangers and mash, corned beef hash, cottage pie, and vegetable pie. Those things are as awesome as the burger. Some also like their fish and chips.

Back to burgers. The Chieftain’s is the best, but a decent second best is St. John’s, says wchane. Their’s is a perfectly grilled hamburger with thick-cut bacon, crumbled blue cheese, and fresh baked buns. It’s a great burger–but it would not inspire legends.

The Chieftain [SOMA]
198 5th St., at Howard, San Francisco

St John’s Bar & Grill [South Bay]
510 Lawrence Expy. #110, Sunnyvale

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