Pearl’s Phat Burgers (Mill Valley, CA)

(Update: Pearl’s Phat Burgers closed in December 2016, but the main Pearl’s Deluxe over in San Francisco is still alive and well).

Sometimes you just want a burger.

Anyone that’s followed my Flickr feed knows that I have a weakness for a good hamburger. Indeed, I’ve got an entire set on Flickr dedicated to disproving a former coworker’s comment that “a burger is just a burger.” So, any time I’m traveling, I like to try out some of the local burger places, be it a chain (indeed, I can make claim having eaten at Fatburger, Habit, In-N-Out, and Five Guys all in the same 24 hour period) or an honest one-off burger stand.

So, while Carol and I were wandering around before my friend Steve’s wedding, we found ourselves in Mill Valley needing a fairly fast lunch.

Luckily, Mill Valley is home to Pearl’s Phat Burgers. This was a nice little burger joint, a small neighborhood places with about half a dozen tables and a long line out the door. Menu-wise, they’ve got a wide variety of burgers available (including teriyaki burgers, pesto burgers, and all sorts of varieties of novelty toppings), but when asking at the counter what they thought was their best burger, they told me that it was hard to beat their straight-up cheeseburger. I’ve got to like a place with that kind of confidence, so I went with the cheeseburger and a side of garlic fries. With the line out the door, I decided to get it to-go, and ate down in the park down the street.

This was quite a good lunch combo. The burger was top-notch. Very messy (especially since I opted for medium rare), so this was one of those “once you start eating, you can’t stop” burgers.
However, despite the medium rare, it had a very nice sear to the meat and some very crisp veggies, making for a solid performing cheeseburger. It was very juicy, but not to the point of falling apart, and the meat had nice flavor to it. The garlic fries were very nicely done- freshly cooked crisp fries, and a nicely caramelized bit of garlic added on top.

Overall, one of the better burgers I’ve had, probably a top 10 list contender. And a pleasant place for lunch as well.

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