The Burger Bar & Bay Area Dining


Last night I had dinner at The Burger Bar in downtown San Francisco.

Its a restaurant owned by celebrity chef Hubert Keller. I've been on a quest to find the best burger in town, so I was pretty excited when I got invited to dinner there.

The restaurant is located on the 6th floor of Macy's in downtown San Francisco and overlooks Union Square. We were seated at a window table and had a pretty view of the Square (sorry, no photos but this one I found online will have to do).


The menu is pretty simple. There are specialty burgers that have the toppings and such already set, or you can build your own burger. I opted to build my own and ordered the kobe beef burger (well done, no pink), with some mushrooms, onions and a side garden salad. The burger did not disappoint. It was delish, it really was.

They also have an eclectic dessert menu -- a cake burger? Interesting. Supposedly their milkshakes are to die for, but I just opted for a scoop of the mint chocolate chip cream. It was huge, but I only had a few bites - just enough to satisfy the craving.

The restaurant itself was swanky for a burger joint. I mean, itts in the middle of a department store so it can't be that chic, but has a fun vibe. I will definitely dine there again, but in terms ranking the best burger in town? Polkers still tops my list.

Since San Francisco is known for fabulous restaurants, I thought I'd list my top favorite dining haunts. I was going to list my Top 5, but I couldn't pick just 5, so here's my Top 10, in no particular order:

1. La Coco * North Oakland * Family-owned Italian * Everything is so good, I can't pick just one favorite item. * Its always crowded, sometimes the line is out the door.

2. Polkers * Polk St on Russian Hill in San Francisco * Casual dining * The best burger I've had so far. My personal favorite is the Tomato-Basil Burger. They add this vinaigarette sauce that has a kick.

3. Ginger Cafe * On the corner of Mathilda and El Camino Real in Sunnyvale (in the South Bay) * Southeast Asian Fusion * The Lemongrass Chicken is my absolute favorite. They serve it in a claypot so its steaming hot. When I worked in the area, I'd have lunch or get takeout from here at least once a week. These days I try to get friends who live in the areato bring me take out. * The dim sum is good too!

4. Isobune * Burlingame Avenue * Casual Japanese Dining * Fresh, fresh sushi! The tempura maki roll is my favorite. * If you are seated at the sushi bar, you can get in and out quickly.

5. Thanh Long * In the Sunset District in San Francisco * Vietnamese cuisine * The less expension version of Crustacean * They are famous for their roasted crab and garlic noodles. However, I prefer the Shaken Beef.

6. Jersey Joe's * San Carlos * A Jersey version of a Philly cheese steak. * The mushroom cheese steak is lethal. * Ironically, my trainer is the one who introduced me to this place.

7. Joya * University Avenue in Palo Alto * A swanky tapas restaurant * The bar is always crowded during happy hour * The kobe beef tacos, grilled prawns and calamari are my favorites

8. La Mar * Along the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco * A Peruvian seafood restaurant * Everything is good but the taro chips and guacamole are my favorites

9. Harris' Steakhouse * On the corner of Broadway and Van Ness in San Francisco * The peppered steak is my favorite. * Once, during a family dinner here we saw Franco Harris. Franco Harris dining at Harris' :)

10. Wasabi & Ginger * On the corner of Vallejo and Van Ness in San Francisco * They have creative sushi rolls * While the food is good, I picked this place because of the free valet parking - a valuable service to offer in San Francisco. Its definitely a reason I frequent this joint often!

Friday AM Workout

We had a sub for this morning's class. Its always a little to sketchy to have a sub -- you never know what you're going to end up with - but this sub was awesome!

Strength Training w/Medicine Ball: * Woodchops * Burpees * Planks with hands on medicine ball * Samoan squats * Squats with lunges * One-arm push-ups with the other hand on the medicine ball * Dynamic push-ups (rotating the medicine ball between arms)

At this point I was barely breathing so I can't remember what else we did. At the end of this 30-minute class, she had us take our heart rate by counting our pulse for 15 seconds then adding a "0" at the end. I had 150 bpm.

Core Training: Half the class left so there was only 6 girls left for the second half of the class. For this session we used the BOSU and the medicine ball.

* With the BOSU turned upside down (round side on the bottom), we had to stand on it (very unstable) and bounce the medicine ball on the ground and hope to hell it bounced up back at us.

* Then we flipped the BOSU over and did crunches, bicycles and a static balance (in the same form that you would be in when do the hundred in Pilates).

* We flipped the BOSU back over again, round side down, and did push-ups while rotating left to right, then forward and back.

* Keeping the BOSU the same way, we laid down, with our feet on the BOSU and then did bridges to work the hamstrings.

* We ended with the same Pilates static stretch with the BOSU still round side down. For 2 min.

Hard workout huh? I loved it.

I'm looking forward to an 8-miler tomorrow and then another attempt at the 1000 M swim workout on Sunday. Have a good weekend - let's hope for some sun!