IF YOU HAVE yet to visit Fast Food Francais (F3 for those in the know), the third restaurant by Oliver and Susannah Souvestre of Le Garage fame, we suggest heading over ASAP. Far from your typical burger joint, F3 serves up Frenchified renditions of your favorite American fare — think pommes dauphines (decadently rich tater tots), Brussels sprout chips, and patties crafted from duck confit. Behind the cuisine is chef Ray Kacenjar (rhymes with passenger), raised in Ohio, who spent many hours fishing on Lake Erie and assisting his grandfather in the kitchen of the family restaurant. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., he continued to learn the restaurant ropes at Swamp Fox in Charleston, S.C., where he developed an appreciation for market- fresh ingredients. That approach obviously fits right in in the Bay Area. “F3 redefines fast food, making it something more inventive, delicious and elegant,” says Kacenjar, a Zuni Cafe alumnus. “At the same time, we are making French food more approachable. It’s the perfect platform.” If you don’t feel like going out tonight, you’re in luck, as we succeeded in getting our hands on one of the restaurant’s most indulgent treats — a burger finished with béarnaise. eatf3.com
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 8 ounces butter
- 4 five-ounce beef patties, ½ inch thick
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 4 slices Saint-Nectaire cheese
- 8 pieces wild boar bacon
- 4 crusty hamburger rolls (ciabatta if possible)
- Aioli or mayonnaise
- 4 Boston lettuce leaves
For Béarnaise Sauce:
- In saucepot, cook wine and shallot pieces on medium-high heat, until they become amber in color.
- Strain through a fine sieve into a 2-quart mixing bowl.
- Fill saucepot with water and return to medium high heat; bring to simmer.
- Add water, egg yolks and apple cider vinegar to wine reduction in the mixing bowl.
- Place mixing bowl over simmering water and whisk to combine.
- Slowly pour melted butter into mixture while whisking.
- Continue to cook sauce over simmering water until mixture thickens; do not cook for too long or eggs will scramble.
- Remove bowl of sauce from water bath and store in a warm place.
- Start charcoal or gas grill prior to use so it is sufficiently hot for grilling.
- Oil grill surface lightly; the oil should smoke slightly.
- Season patties with salt and pepper, place on grill and grill for 60 seconds.
- Carefully lift and turn burgers 90 degrees and grill for another 60 seconds.
- Flip burgers; cook for 60 seconds.
- Turn 90 degrees again and add the cheese and wild boar bacon (1 slice and 2 pieces, respectively, for each burger).
- Cook for 60 seconds more; the cheese will melt while the burgers finish.
- Remove patties from heat, place on a warm plate and let rest for 2 minutes.
- Toast rolls over coals or grill and spread with aioli or mayonnaise.
- Place burgers on rolls and top with 2 ounces béarnaise sauce each.
- Finish with lettuce leaves and enjoy.