Every Thursday and Saturday, the Ferry Building has a farmer’s market, with Saturday being the big one. The whole building is surrounded by local foods and concoctions, and more often than not it is crowded beyond belief. In addition to all the vendors selling fruits and veggies, there are about 10 different stands preparing breakfast and lunch, with two meat companies vying for the burger crowd; Prather Ranch and 4505 Meat. I’ve had both numerous times, and today I chose Prather Ranch.
Now eating at the crowded Ferry Building isn’t much of a dining experience; you get your food on a compostable plate, and find somewhere just better than sitting on the ground to eat it. If you luck out you can get one of a few tables, where you then gamble on if the tourists you are sitting with will be interesting, talkative, smelly, gross, or rude. Otherwise it’s the foot tall wooden parking block for you. So most importantly, the food has to be good.
Prather Ranch, as it may sound, is a meat company supplying the bay area and beyond with high quality, humane beef. I’ve been meaning to pick up some of their meat for a barbecue of my own, I just have not gotten around to it. Briefly reading over their website and you can tell how serious they are about quality and standards. That’s always nice to hear, but doesn’t guarantee great taste. Thankfully, Prather comes through.
This is a straightforward burger grilled outside in a tent, but since they are showcasing their meat it is no amateur job. I got a simple cheeseburger with lettuce, which ran me 8 bucks, a little high for a burger with no sides. They did use two slices(!) of a great white cheddar that tasted rather similar to one we tried walking around the farmer’s market, and I wouldn’t doubt if they went that route. The meat is buttery and almost melts in your mouth, reminiscent of one of my favorites, 510 burger. Consistency was top notch, and it was cooked just right. This was another sesame-bunned burger, though that was my only gripe.
Overall, this is a real good burger. On a nice Saturday, it makes the perfect lunch, and it’s a good reason to go to the Farmer’s Market, a gesture your significant other may appreciate. The burgers are basic, but satisfying. They are serious about their meat, and it shows. You can also find their meat being used at Weezy’s Burger Shack in Marin, which is pretty tasty, and Mission Beach Cafe, which I wasn’t all that thrilled with. I’d definitely recommend grabbing a burger direct from the source!
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