Usually when I'm looking for late-night eats in North Beach I make my way to My Canh, where I satisfy the rice-mongering Filipino in me at a table alone, inhaling a fried pork chop plate topped with a runny egg. But on nights I feel like some conversation at the counter, I head to Sam's for a burger.
If you've been here before, you'd know that the guy commanding the grill in a black cap isn't Sam. He's Mike.
Since 1970, Mike Shawa has been called Sam, after his uncle who first opened the burger counter in 1966. Sam was the first Palestinian transplant that brought Shawa and eventually 50 other family members to San Francisco.