First Look: 4505 Burgers & BBQ Opened Saturday to Huge Lines

By Virginia Miller | May 7, 2014 By Virginia Miller  |  May 7, 2014
Credit: Virginia Miller

Ryan Farr's 4505 Burgers & BBQ opened Saturday in the former Da Pitt/Brother-in-Law's space on Divisadero Street, and we've been a couple of times to get an early taste of what's on offer. Just as they have for years, smokers waft tempting smells down the block. But now there are regular lines stretched out the building. Staff works hard slicing meats to order, and occasionally they bring a free draft pour to those waiting in line. With the long-held cult following for Farr's meats and butcher shop in the Mission and for his drool-worthy dishes at the Ferry Building Farmers Market - including that aptly named Best Damn Cheeseburger - we'd frankly go anywhere he opens up a place, especially one open all day (and until 2 AM on Fridays and Saturdays).

Lines persisted throughout opening week, despite the fact that orders come out quicker than one would expect - usually no more than 10-15 minutes. The biggest disappointment? Brisket was sold out every time we popped in, and even pulled pork shoulder sold out while we waited in line one time. What's left? For barbecue fanatics, brisket and pulled pork are the two most painful cuts to see sell out. The pulled chicken is tender and good but not a fair compromise. More gratifying are meaty pork spare ribs (half rack $19.75/full rack $36.25), or plump hot or mild sausages. The best sides ($3-$6, or two with each smoked-plate dish) include frankaroni, a crispy rectangle of mac 'n' cheese dotted with 4505's gourmet hot dog and smoky baked beans. And the Best Damn Cheeseburger returns - with "grass-fed" added to its title.

The take-out window is rumored to open this Friday, May 9. We haven't yet had luck calling ahead for take-out orders and to inquire whether brisket and pulled pork are in-house before trekking over. But that will hopefully change as Farr and company staff up. One thing is clear from day one: 4505 Burgers & BBQ looks primed to be another beloved Farr institution. Now check out the slide show below for a fascinating vegetarian burger alternative, along with other highlights from the opening days.

705 Divisadero St.; 415-231-6993

  • Credit: Virginia Miller

    Lines have streamed out the door since opening day under this retro-inspired sign.

  • Credit: Virginia Miller

    The brisket ($27.75/lb.) has been sold out every time we stopped in, whether weekend or early weekday (and only just sold out or on its way back "in about an hour"), and one time, so was the pulled pork shoulder. But if you catch the pork shoulder ($17.75/lb. or $12/$16/$20 as part of smoked-meat platters), its tender, fall-apart goodness is enhanced by South Carolina-style mustard BBQ sauce or Alabama-style white sauce.

  • Credit: Virginia Miller

    There are beers, red and white wine and cider (the fantastically crisp and apple-fresh Boonville Bite Hard Cider) on tap, plus six-packs of beer and bottles of wine to go.

  • Credit: Virginia Miller

    Alongside the Best Damn Grass-Fed Cheeseburger ($8.75 for a single/$13.75 for a double), rightly a fan favorite for years at the 4505's Ferry Building Farmers Market stand, there's also a vegetarian rendition, which suits carnivores such fine. Grits are formed into a soft patty accented by roasted green chile peppers and crumbly Oaxacan cheese, packed in with an egg on a buttery, griddled bun ($9.75).

  • Credit: Virginia Miller

    The outdoor patio is packed with couples, friends and families chowing down on BBQ.

  • Credit: Virginia Miller

    Pig accents proliferate in the cozy space.

  • Credit: Virginia Miller

    This light fixture centers the room, hanging from a rusted tin ceiling between the bustling kitchen and small storefront where orders are placed.

  • Credit: Virginia Miller

    BBQ meats (brisket, pulled pork shoulder, sausage, pulled chicken, pork spare ribs, fried chicken fingers) come wrapped in paper for to-go orders, each sticker signifying the meat of choice wrapped up inside.

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