“Never eat more than you can lift,” said Miss Piggy. Her pearl of porcine wisdom remains etched to the window at Marlowe Burger, along with dozens of other food-and-drink quotations. Although the building, opposite CalTrain, remains marked for demolition, the James Beard-nominated chef Jennifer Puccio and her team got enough of a stay of execution to warrant keeping the business open in some fashion. This is great for two reasons: There’s a real shortage of brick in this town, and now we have more places to eat a Marlowe burger.
[jump] While you can technically order other things, like a crispy fried chicken sandwich (Caesar aioli, bacon, field greens), chicken nuggets, and an “egg roll” (deviled egg salad, pickled chili, bacon and aged provolone), it’s all about the titular burger ($10.50). It comes with caramelized onions, cheddar, bacon, horseradish aioli and shredded romaine, and it’s not cooked to order, but served on the rare side. Fries ($4) really seal the deal; they’re crisp, fat, and don’t retain a lot of oil, making them the opposite of In-N-Out’s.
While succinct, Marlowe Burger’s menu is a bit cheeky: “Be classy. Drink wine,” says the wine section. If you’re hopelessly déclassé, perhaps a brew? (“All reads are served in cans. We will open it for you because we’re fancy like that.”) The once-elegant exterior sign, for what used to be Marlowe proper before it moved around the block, has been artfully spray-painted out to reflect the new name, a detail which sets the tone for the entire revamp. It may not be permanent, but nothing about it feels hasty or slapped together. Rather, it’s a delivery vehicle for Marlowe’s greatest hit.
Marlowe Burger, 330 Townsend, 974-5599.