American Eatery | Ferry Plaza, San Francisco

American Eatery's way with cow

Where's the beef?

All over the menu at American Eatery, the new butcher shop-cum-luncheonette from Prather Ranch that opened recently in the Ferry Building, kitty-corner to the shop's former location.

The ranch's dry-aged ground beef is the centerpiece of the American menu, which hinges on burgers ($8 to $12) crafted from 6-ounce patties on Acme buns. Each is available with a host of toppings, from classic (shredded lettuce, onion) to not-so (French fries, cheese curds and meat gravy, in the style of poutine).

The ground beef is also a critical ingredient in the Chuck Wagon Chili, a mildly spiced, tomato-based version with Rancho Gordo beans, topped with shredded cheddar, sour cream and scallions ($6.50).

It turns up in the beef-and-pork meatballs, served warm in a torpedo roll with the classic mozz-and-marinara treatment ($9), and again in the pulled beef sandwich ($9.50), which gets sweetness from griddled onions, and sinus decongestion courtesy of horseradish spread. Soon, the shop will also add a hot dog cart–all beef, of course.

Holy cow! Your lunchtime options suddenly got a whole lot better.

American Eatery, Ferry Plaza Marketplace; 415-391-0420 or