On today’s exciting blogisode I’m introducing a new series called “I Remember the 1st Time I Ever…” an exciting new way to reminisce about your most memorable culinary adventures. I remember the first time I ever ate a SpruceBurger from Spruce over in Laurel Heights.

This swanky gourmet bistro on 3640 Sacramento Ave. is not a casual affair, and I found myself embarrassingly underdressed for the occasion. When we walked inside, the silent judgment of the maitre’d made it abundantly clear that I was not exactly their desired clientele. This was going to make ordering the cheapest item on the menu that much more satisfying. And it’s not even THAT cheap – $17 for a hamburger and fries would be enough to infuriate many a burger lover. The only reason I was putting up with all this pageantry was because in doing my research, Spruce was hyped as one of the best burgers in the city.

Me and my ragtag scallywags sauntered over to a multi-leveled bar providing instant social awkwardness: one person in our group had to sit at a different height than the rest of us. Luckily for us, a hip and knowledgeable bartender was happy to quell our uneasiness with expertly-doctored libations. I’m not a cocktail-sissy myself, all I really cared about was the carnage of cattle that I was so soon to behold.

When it arrived I could hear a choir of radiant angels hymning in the distance. I can remember it all-so-clearly now: the burger, a meaty masterpiece of robust juiciness. All of the components top-notch, from the housebaked semolina bun, to the house-pickled zucchini, cucumbers and red onions adorning a half-pound Niman Ranch patty, cooked to order on a cast-iron skillet. Fresh cut kennebec potato fries, well-done? Yes, please.

Feel free to share some of your fond first-time memories in the comments section below…

Photo credit: Brad Japhe