Chef Chris Kronner was named a Chronicle Rising Star Chef in 2007 and has worked at Slow Club and the second incarnation of Bar Tartine, where his marrow burgers were quite popular. Since leaving Bar Tartine earlier this year, he has run a couple of pop-ups at Bruno’s in the Mission. Now he has found a semi-permanent weekend home at KronnerBurger in Bruno’s VIP and overflow lounge, a small intimate space adjacent to the club itself. One of the best aspects is that Chef Kronner has signed up Gabriel Lowe, Locanda’s bar manager, to oversee the bar program at KronnerBurger. Gabe’s partner Brandon Preston, probably Locanda’s longest-tenured bartender, splits time with him to helm the KronnerBurger bar, quickly making it one of our favorite weekend hangouts.
Imagine being able to actually sit at the bar and have Locanda bartenders make Locanda drinks (and some new creations) at a place that isn’t 2-3 deep with people (not yet anyway). It’s truly the BarFly’s dream come true. Add fatty burgers and poutine to the mix, then this place is almost heaven on Mission Street.
The Church cocktail (Gin, Aperol, Cocchi Americano, Lemon Juice) from Locanda is served here over semi-crushed ice in large pint glasses. It’s always a refreshing choice to start off any meal:
There are 2 salads to choose from, a chicory-based salad that is served with persimmons or a classic wedge salad. Bacon always wins out for us, and this version had an interesting twist with some parsley and dill herbs thrown in with the tomatoes and blue cheese:
We ordered the KronnerBurger super rare and with the bone marrow option thrown in. The burger had beautiful crusting, but it arrived too well-done for our tastes. The burger was tasty nonetheless and we have faith that they will get it right the next time:
The real surprise was the CrabBurger — it was actually much bigger than the beef burger. Tasting very much like our favorite crustacean, we did find out that there is some fish mixed in there as well. It didn’t really matter, because this CrabBurger is definitely worth coming back for.
As for side dishes, we did order some onion rings that were super crispy and came with a spicy aioli dipping sauce (note to selves: next time, we will ask for some of that to be spread on our Kronner- and CrabBurgers). But the real star side dish is their crispy fries smothered with tender slow-cooked beef cheek gravy (no cheese curds this time since we had a late lunch and wanted to go light):
Brandon and Gabe are constantly tweaking the drinks menu. A derivative of the Church is the Pink Limeade that also uses Aperol and Gin as a base and is equally refreshing. Other drinks on the menu include a latently spicy Harder Lemonade that includes a little bit of locally made chili tincture. There is also an “Endless Margarita” which includes ice made with the drink itself; unfortunately, the drink does end once the ice is melted.
The drinks are all very reasonably priced — they even offer a top-shelf Boiler Maker where you have a choice of a top shelf shot (Rittenhouse Rye, Wild Turkey 101, Partida Tequila, …) with a pint of beer (in this case Magnolia ale) for a mere $10:
Open Friday and Saturday from 4 – 8 pm (and they will throw you out at 8 pm to make room for Bruno VIPs), and Sunday and Monday from 5 pm until very late night, it’s the laid-back place to go for some great casual food and excellent cocktails.
April, 2013 Update
The crowds have since found KronnerBurger. Thankfully it’s still not as crowded as Locanda, but do note that Gabriel Lowe is no longer the Bar Manager at Locanda.