.Burger & Brew: A pairing for the ages

Consuming animal protein with a fermented beverage represents an ancient evolutionary step in the development of humankind hearkening back to the Neolithic Age. We’ve been perfecting the combo ever since.

The dominant iteration of the pairing, for at least the past century and a half, is the hamburger and beer. Typically ground beef (though there are a few acceptable variations), sandwiched between a pair of buns, dressed with various garnishes and chased with a frosty brew is about as American an experience as it gets. This may sound ironic since more than a few other countries claim to be the burger’s birthplace. Hamburg, Germany, of course comes to mind for obvious reasons, but the same applies to a pair of brothers who claim to have served a ground beef patty betwixt halves of a bun at a county fair in Hamburg, New York, circa 1885.

The history of beer is just as murky (unless it’s properly filtered). But all this frothy japery is beside the point when one is on deadline and needs a burger and brew ASAP. Where to go in Marin on an early Thursday afternoon? Fortunately, we now live in the Information Age:

“Okay, Google… Find me a burger and a beer, right now and right here,” I commanded my phone. I was at Venture Pad in San Rafael (a.k.a., our Marin field office), and my faithful phone recommended Flatiron, which was A) within walking distance and B) had just fired up the grill since it opened at noon on Thursday.

For this excursion, I went classic—the signature half pound burger delivered in a Tribeca Oven challah bun, crisp lettuce, ripe tomato and the neighborhood favorite’s own secret sauce (there are plenty of extras to choose from as well, from avocado and bacon to fried egg and “melted onions”). Likewise, the beer selection is broad, featuring the usual suspects from Lagunitas to Hen House, to more obscure offerings like the East Brother Red Lager, Vienna Lager or the Almanac LOUD! Hazy Double IPA at a whopping 8.3 ABV. Overall, a straight up burger and brew experience with all the contemporary accoutrements, but old school enough to do it right.

Flatiron is located at 724 B St., San Rafael, and is open Tuesday-Saturday noon to 2am, Sunday 10am to 12am, and Monday 5pm to 2am. For more information, visit flatironsanrafael.com or call 415-453-4318.

Daedalus Howellhttps://dhowell.com
Daedalus Howell is the writer-director of the feature filmsPill Head and the upcoming Werewolf Serenade. Learn more at dhowell.com.

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