Everyone knows that the Bay Area is a haven for foodies. From the organic revolution started by Chez Panisse in Berkeley to the current craft cocktail craze taking over San Francisco and Oakland, there's no food or drink that the Bay Area hasn't tried to re-invent.
So it's no surprise the most American of American dishes, the hamburger, is the Bay Area's latest food project. And Lynn Gorfinkle and Josh Spiegelman – the inspired and conscientious owners of Roam Artisan Burgers, with two San Francisco locations and one in the East Bay – have made a hamburger that's a cut above all the rest.
Roam burger (and friends) — Photo courtesy of Paige Green / Roam Artisan Burgers
"We want to enhance people's lives through better eating," explains Spiegelman.
Every ingredient on Roam’s menu is selected by taking into account what contributes to the long-term well-being of the entire ecosystem. This is not a slap-some-pickles-and-some-meat-on-a-bun operation, in other words. Roam’s classic burgers are made with 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef from Pacific Pastures.
The menu also offers free-range turkey, all-natural bison and house-made organic veggie burgers.
Roam brings together the finest local producers in their respective crafts: farmers, ranchers, growers, bakers and artisans from well-respected, family-run businesses right in the Bay Area, such as Straus Family Creamery, Lev’s Original Kombucha, Blue Bottle Coffee, Pacific Coast Baking Company and Richard Donnelly Chocolates.
Rush hour at Roam — Photo courtesy of Paige Green / Roam Artisan Burgers
And for those who think this is more of that crazy, experimental, radical California "foodie" movement, think again. Roam is actually going back to the traditional methods of beef production, when hormone-free was the norm and not the exception.
"The meat we use is 100% grass-fed, just like in the old days before mass production," Gorfinkle explains. "Most cattle are weaned off of grass for the last 60 to 90 days before butchering and fattened up through corn. But the beef we use is fed rich Humboldt grass their whole lives. The cattle are basically fattened on omega-3s, just like wild salmon."
And just because this food is ethically prepared and good for the earth does not mean it skimps one iota on taste. When you taste food that doesn't have corn syrup, hormones, antibiotics or added trans-fats, you'll be amazed that you ever craved that junk in the first place.
And if that's not enough, consider this: all of Roam's appliances are energy-efficient, and much of the interior of the restaurant is made from reclaimed wood. Not to mention that food scraps and to-go ware are composted and converted into soil, which is used to grow more food.
Excellent food, ethically made. The question isn't why should you eat at Roam. The only question is why you aren't there right now.
Hamburger at Roam — Photo courtesy of Roam Artisan Burgers