The Patron Saint of lunch
Saint Francis of Assisi may be the patron saint of animals and the environment but after a recent visit, I wonder if St Francis neighborhood restaurant in Central Phoenix can live up to it’s namesake.
I’d heard several things about this little restaurant near Camelback road and Central in Phoenix via both Facebook and Twitter, mostly from people who seem to know a thing or two about a good meal. After having stopped in on several occasions I’m ready to share my thoughts.
The restaurant is larger than it appears from the outside, in fact, you can (and I have on many occasions) drive right past with nary a glance. The parking is terrible but once inside things begin to come together. The decor is modern, funky and comfortable, the staff accommodating, and the menu enticing.
As I’m a true fan of a good burger (something so simple yet often executed so poorly), I was drawn to the French onion burger with it’s promise of applewood smoked bacon, gruyere cheese and crispy onions ($13).
I’ve had quite a few “gourmet” burgers in my time and have sadly discovered the only thing gourmet about many of them is the price tag. Having said this, I was a little dubious about what would arrive.
My (notably) pleasant server arrived with my meal in short order and I was quite pleased with both it’s presentation and size, not obnoxiously large but certainly enough to justify the price if that were the only criteria.
On first bite I knew something was different about this burger, it was perfectly cooked mid-rare, juicy, and the thick, crunchy bacon played well with sweet, slightly salty gruyere cheese. Crispy onions seemed a great addition and added texture and flavor while the bun, and this is important, didn’t go all soggy and fall apart.
Flanked by some of the tastiest French fries I’ve had in a while, I’d have to give this burger high marks for concept (simple but well executed), texture (not the typical dry OR mushy patty passed of as gourmet), and taste (in this case, exactly what I’m looking for in a burger).
If you find yourself in need of sustenance on the long road to wherever it is you happen to be heading, make a point of stopping in and partaking in the food and hospitality of St. Francis.