Fast Food Francais Burger Joint - San Francisco

Burgers even better than a Royale with Cheese

When the owners of Le Garage snapped up the former Plate Shop space in Sausalito and turned it into Fast Food Français–a burger joint, no less–the conceit almost seemed too twee to believe.

They're not kidding about the French part. The waiters have Gallic accents. The wine list, too.

But the burgers are made with American good taste in mind.

The grass-fed Niman Ranch beef patty on the BOS burger ($13), served on a ciabatta roll, is juiciest when grilled to rare or medium-rare before being smothered in St. Nectaire and béarnaise sauce. The surface is crisscrossed with wild-boar bacon, whose fat gives the beef an even more robust cast.

The Quack ($13) is built around a pan-crisped round of shredded duck confit, with goat cheese, and onion marmalade spread across the surface to cut its richness; a curly heap of crisp butter lettuce makes the top bun appear to float.

A caveat: It is all too easy, what with the Cahors ($9 a glass) and a salad, to rack up a $40-per-person check.

But golden, slim-cut Kennebec fries ($6) are essential. After all, pommes frites existed long before Burger King.