Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Nuff Said.
It was a cold and windy December day. The BH and I were hungry, but the weather outside was horrible, and work was busy. (Have I mentioned we work together?) The idea of driving anywhere in the rain and chill simply did not outweigh the lost time. We fretted. What would we do for lunch (both quite hungry now, and getting hungrier). Then the proverbial lightbulb came on. A solution made itself known. We recalled that which lay just outside the back door of our office, beckoning with it’s easy goodness — True Burger!

True Burger is a newish hamburger joint on Grand Avenue in Oakland, right across from the massive glass Cathedral. It used to be a Mom & Pop CafĂ©, the sort of place that serves, breakfast, BLT’s and burgers, but one day it was just closed. Vanished. Gone. The windows gone dark and the furnishings missing or stacked forlornly against the wall. Then about two weeks later it reopened as True Burger to much buzz. Rumors that it was a West Coast version of Manhattan’s Shake Shack abounded. Talk was that the purveyors of these fine burgers had made their way to Grand via Baywolf on Piedmont. The new(ish) Oakland restauranteur dance. Noone these days who opens a restaurant doesn’t come from another one, seems like they spawn one another.

Now if you’ve never been to Shake Shack in Manhattan (a gem that is well worth the long wait in lines around the block for the cheesy fries alone) you can’t compare. But I have and I do. True Burger is definitely the real deal.

There is something universally appealing about a hamburger. Quintessentially American, the burger has been reinvented and reimagined almost to death, and yet it prevails in it’s beefy simplicity, beckoning us to partake. We all know how we like ours. Some of us have to have cheese. Others prefer none. Some like catsup, some only mustard. However you like yours, it is, for most of us at least, a ritual preference as consistent as or names. We Americans are kinda OCD about our burgers. I like mine with cheese and bacon (of course), and when the hips allow, french fries (skinny ones).

True Burger’s burgers are simple perfection. Moist beefy patties, my cheese melted like a hug over the beef and the bacon a crispy winter coat. If one desires, TB offers a plethora of side dishes like chili and (but of course) cheesy fries.

I don’t eat a lot of beef, but there are days when nothing else will satisfy. On those days, True Burger is just the ticket. Completely American, perfectly delicious. With all the trimmings imaginable, including marvelously flavored shakes. I had the toasted marshmallow, a creamy caramelized perfection. My full belly was happy for hours.

Burnt Marshmallow & Chocolate Shakes!

Check it out for yourself, if you are in the mood for a juicy slice of American history, a True Burger will definitely hit the spot.  As always, Bon Appetit!

True Burger
146 Grand Avenue
Oakland, CA  94612
(510) 208-5678