Let's be honest. As of right now even with all the changeover that is happening downtown, parts of Market Street are still--challenging. None more so than 6th and Market. It still has a way to go but it seems some folks are willing to take a chance where others have failed. Pearl's Deluxe Burgers originally had the spot on this colorful corner but gave up the goat and not soon after the place was taken over by Homeskillet. A place that is like Pearl's meets Dottie's True Blue Cafe--which just happens to be around the corner.
I'd ventured by the spot (during the day) on several occasions and finally decided to give a try. A long narrow space, it has a mostly diner vibe, which fits well with the gritty neighborhood. No table service here though, you just go up to the counter, place your order and find a place to sit. Looking over the menu, the prices are pretty decent and choices run from breakfast food to sandwiches to a fair number of burgers. Most folks at the surrounding tables seem to have burgers so I see what my choices are and opt for the most obvious choice for me The Piglet.
A big medium rare burger with applewood smoked bacon, pepperjack cheese, grilled mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and mayo on a toasted bun. All the burgers range around $8 to $9.50 and come with a heaping helping of fries. Which is a good price deal in San Francisco. I decided to just splurge the extra $1.50 and upgrade to sweet potato fries as I was in the mood. The burger is huge and the side of fries even bigger. And much like the neighborhood the burger is a big 'ol mess, but in a good way. It was cooked to order so it was hot and chin dripping juicy. This was a two handful burger loaded with fixings. The didn't skimp on the bacon which was smoky and crisp. The mushrooms gave it some great earthy flavor and then you get the sweetness of the tomatoes and onions. I felt both bad and good eating--yeah I'm probably overeating, but man was it tasting good.
Is it my new favorite burger, well no. It's very good but the bun did break down and wasn't able to stay together with all the wet toppings. Piling on it fine, but ya' buns gotta last. Even though this was toasted, with butter, if they are going to do this kind of burger the bun needs to be up to the task. Oh well, I had more than enough fries to make up for any lost carbs. Though in this instance these were slightly overcooked and a little under salted. The salt was an easy fix but the cooking part I couldn't do much about.
Homeskillet has many things going for it besides the fact they are giving a difficult location a real go. If you've got a big appetite then they have a big messy burger and a load of fries to fill you up. Plus you can take a seat at the bar along the big window and watch what happens outside--fascinating street theater. I can't say I'd make this a destination place, but for folks who live or work in the area it's a pretty decent spot for quick burgers and grub. Especially as an alternative to the Carl's Jr. across the street or waiting in line with the (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives) tourists at Dottie's around the corner. And really, who wants to stand in line in this part of town. Just hit up Homeskillet--no wait, no worries, good burger.