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Ganim’s Market in SF serves top-of-the-line burgers

After a neighborhood bartender stopped a crew of burglars from robbing his retailer and burger joint one evening, proprietor Jesse Ganim named a burger after the savior—the Nigel. It has been on the menu at Ganim’s Market ever since.

The bar, which is known as Blooms Saloon, and Ganim’s Market have each managed to remain in Potrero Hill for about half a century (and even longer for Blooms). Issues all acquired began for Ganim’s in 1974 when Jesse’s father Ahmad Ganim opened the place. It initially opened as a “grocery retailer slash meat market” additionally serving burgers and burritos. Although the Ganim household lived up north, close to Healdsburg, Ahmad was set on opening a retailer in San Francisco.

“He at all times talked concerning the traits of town, just like the panorama and the skyline,” Jesse recounted. “It was at all times about how lovely San Francisco was and the folks, the range of the folks.”

Proprietor Jesse Ganim exterior Ganim’s Market within the Potrero Hill Neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. on January 12, 2023.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

Positioned at 1135 18th St. on the nook of Mississippi Road, Ganim’s is an unassuming no-frills spot providing sincere meals, made contemporary. Over time, Ahmad slowly phased out the burritos, however the burgers remained. Individuals liked the handmade seasoned patties and scrumptious topping combos that add a little bit one thing further. They’re nonetheless a few of San Francisco’s greatest burgers.



From the start, all the things—from the hand-dipped fish and chips, that are served in extraordinarily ample parts, to the marinated lamb kabobs—was made in-house and stays so to today. Ahmad ran the store till 1996 when Jesse took over; Ahmad died in 2021.

With its lengthy historical past as a handy neighborhood nook retailer and eatery, Ganim’s has fed nearly each San Franciscan conceivable. Celebrities have even stopped by for a style. (Extra on that later.)

Owner Jesse Ganim works the register at Ganim's Market in San Francisco's Potrero Hill on Jan. 12.

Proprietor Jesse Ganim works the register at Ganim’s Market in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill on Jan. 12.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

Once you enter the small store, it is onerous to overlook the glass-encased fridges stuffed with tons of of sodas and beers from completely different manufacturers. Mismatching tables and chairs occupy the left facet of the shop, the place a big window overlooks the road nook. The register sits lifeless middle, the place a person with skinny black hair, narrow-rimmed glasses and a candy smile stands able to take your order.

“Hello there, what can I get for you immediately?” Jesse asks prospects on the entrance of the road.

The eatery actually does serve the gamut of San Franciscans. On a current go to, I observed a police officer consuming a burger whereas staring out the window, two development staff in neon orange vests devouring fish and chips and a slender man carrying a Patagonia quarter-zip fleece jacket scanning the menu.

Pictures and notes hang on the wall at Ganim's Market in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood on Jan. 12.

Footage and notes hold on the wall at Ganim’s Market in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood on Jan. 12.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

“I at all times inform folks, we have now one of the best prospects,” Jesse stated. “We’re grateful for that.”

Jesse began serving to out across the household enterprise at 6 years previous.

“I used to inventory the cooler, break down cardboard. I even went with my dad to purchase cattle [up north] earlier than taking it to the slaughterhouse for our burger meat,” he advised SFGATE. “I’ve a variety of nice recollections working with him.”

Since changing into the principle proprietor of the enterprise (his brother, Al, additionally helps out when out there), Jesse has actually targeted on caring for the neighborhood. A lot in order that the coolers are stocked with unusual soda manufacturers and beers — simply because folks within the neighborhood ask.

“If anyone requests one thing, we at all times attempt to get it in,” Jesse stated, of his customer-first stocking coverage.

Ganim's Market owner Jesse Ganim, left, jokes around with customer Joniver Caban at his store in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco on Jan. 12.

Ganim’s Market proprietor Jesse Ganim, left, jokes round with buyer Joniver Caban at his retailer within the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco on Jan. 12.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

One SFGATE staffer who used to stay close to Ganim’s stated it was “legit onerous to search out” Food plan Vanilla Coke within the neighborhood. After she noticed the drink at Ganim’s and advised Jesse she was joyful he carried it, he devoted a complete row to the soda days later.

That is the place the named burgers are available. To indicate his respect for longtime prospects and mates of the enterprise, Jesse started creating specialty burgers and naming them after these very of us.

Along with the Nigel, there’s the Bogie Burger, named after Robert Marris, who had come to the shop since he was a child. Marris, who lately moved to Fresno, was nicknamed “Bogie” as a result of his household thought he appeared like Humphrey Bogart. Dave’s Burger — which drew my urge for food and didn’t disappoint — was named after a parks and recreation employee who ran and maintained the baseball fields at Jackson Park, which is only a stone’s throw from Ganim’s.

Dave's Burger at Ganim's Market in San Francisco features two patties, American cheese, mushrooms, sauteed onions and grilled fresh jalapenos.

Dave’s Burger at Ganim’s Market in San Francisco options two patties, American cheese, mushrooms, sauteed onions and grilled contemporary jalapenos.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

Dave’s is a deal with: a double quarter-pounder with American cheese, mushrooms, sauteed onions and grilled contemporary (not pickled) jalapeno slices with fries on the facet. The 2 half-inch-thick burger patties sit between a standard sesame seed bun. American cheese slices, gently melted, drape over the patties because the mushrooms, onions and jalapenos spill out over the underside bun. All the concoction is sort of as huge as two human fists, stacked one on prime of the opposite. The speedy taste is of a basic cheeseburger—the creamy cheese towards the salty beef patty and a basic Thousand Island-style aioli.

The true showstoppers, although, are the sliced ​​jalapenos browned on the griddle. Usually, a burger with jalapenos options the pickled selection, which provides a vinegary, muted spiciness to the burger. In distinction, the contemporary, barely grilled jalapenos on Dave’s Burger are extra candy than spicy with simply the correct quantity of crunch.

Moreover serving as a dependable place for a scorching meal for hard-working San Franciscans, Ganim’s has additionally fed the casts and crews of many common tv exhibits and flicks. Everybody from the likes of the “Nash Bridges” solid to Cheech & Chong has stepped foot into Ganim’s. Even “The X-Information” star Gillian Anderson (aka Dana Scully) has eaten there. Jesse recalled that when the sci-fi sequence stopped by within the late ’90s, he mistook the solid for off-duty cops. The San Franciscans within the cafe knew higher.

Owner Jesse Ganim works behind the register at Ganim's Market in the Potrero Hill Neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif.  on January 12, 2022.
Proprietor Jesse Ganim works behind the register at Ganim’s Market within the Potrero Hill Neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. on January 12, 2022.
Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

The three piece fish and chips at Ganim's Market in the Potrero Hill Neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif.  on January 12, 2022.
The three piece fish and chips at Ganim’s Market within the Potrero Hill Neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. on January 12, 2022.
Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

The lamb skewer plate at Ganim's Market in the Potrero Hill Neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif.  on January 12, 2022.
The lamb skewer plate at Ganim’s Market within the Potrero Hill Neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. on January 12, 2022.
Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE


At left, proprietor Jesse Ganim works on the register at Ganim’s Market in San Francisco on Jan. 12. The Potrero Hill retailer affords a number of dishes common with locals, together with the three-piece fish and chips, prime proper, and the lamb skewer plate, backside proper. (Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE)

“When [the crew] left with their meals, my prospects left and chased after them,” Jesse laughed. “It was so humorous.”

Though the panorama and variety that after impressed Ahmad Ganim to open his market proceed to alter, Jesse stays steadfast in persevering with his household’s legacy. He is weathered many difficulties by means of the pandemic and stated he is by no means labored more durable in his life to maintain the shop afloat. However no matter how drained he feels, he stated he is “not planning on going wherever” and is proud that Ganim’s is a spot that calls again to a different time. And albeit, all who stroll by means of its doorways are higher for it.

The sign outside Ganim's Market in the Potrero Hill Neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif.  on January 12, 2023.

The signal exterior Ganim’s Market within the Potrero Hill Neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. on January 12, 2023.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

“It is humorous as a result of it is at all times talked about how San Francisco is altering,” Jesse stated. “However actually round right here, to me, it nonetheless stays the identical.”

Ganim’s Market, 1135 18th St., San Francisco. Open Monday by means of Friday, 11am-9pm; Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.



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