Burger hunger games generally start with the basics: Find red meat between bread. Provenance of the meat, prep method, and fat content are open for debate — wide, wide open — and texture is ever important. Eyes are politely averted from folks who insist on "protein-style" (sans bun) or order medium-well on this quest.
Of late in the Mission, the best burger is not a burger, but the beef burger's saucy sassy cousin, hidden in plain sight at Hi-Lo BBQ. Chef Ryan Ostler's meatloaf sandwich is a square-shaped beef marvel that combines two thinly sliced smoked meatloaf patties made with American Kobe beef and the chopped fatty end of the brisket.
Hi-Lo BBQ's 6 to 8 ounce meatloaf sandwich is ground and seasoned in-house. Ostler smokes the beef using California white oak. He says he decided to go with Texas toast because the bread's square shape matches the Pullman loaf pans that are used to smoke the meaty goodness. "I have brisket trimmings that get incorporated as well, which adds richness and smokiness. For us, it's a fun mix and gives you textural change," he says.
The Texas native has always loved a meatloaf sandwich and confessed that his current version is a "crusher" of a sandwich. The urge to go into a full-on gorge hits quick with the richness of the meatloaf. Still, try to share this baby if you entertain any hopes of making out with your dining companion later — it's dressed up with gooey sharp Cheddar and a relishy slash of green tomato chowchow.