Open as of two weeks ago in Oakland is KronnerBurger, the long-awaited brick-and-mortar from chef Chris Kronner formerly of Bar Tartine, Serpentine, and Slow Club. Kronner launched KronnerBurger as a pop-up at Bruno's in the Mission back in 2012, serving a simple menu of his well-salted beef patties, wedge salads, and poutine with cheese curds and beef cheek gravy. All that is back on the expanded menu at the new Piedmont Avenue location formerly a longtime diner called J's Mexican-American Cuisine along with a couple other salads, a patty melt, a veggie burger, a bone marrow plate, and some spicy chicken wings with fermented chiles. And, like at the pop-up, you can add some marrow to any burger for three dollars extra.
There are also rotating specials that include a coal-roasted chicken, ridgback prawns with romano beans, and beet tartare with padron peppers.
As Kronner told Inside Scoop, much of the impetus for going with a burger-centric business came from working at restaurants where, like it or not, half the dining room ordered the burger every night. The marrow burger at Bar Tartine became the thing to get under Kronner's tenure (which ended in 2011, and there's no longer a burger there), and the burgers at Slow Club and Serpentine have long been certified on the city's best-burger lists. "The burger is the bastard entrée," he says. "It used to drive us crazy. At Slow Club, we would have 180 people and 90 were hamburgers."
So he decided to stop fighting and give the people what they want. And after some thwarted attempts to secure a location in SF, he decided to open in Oakland instead, where he was living.
But I would just like to point everyone to that poutine slathered in Kronner's perfectly seasoned beef cheek gravy and topped with cheese curds. You might not find poutine any better in these parts, and just as it was a special treat back in the Bruno's days, it will keep many people coming back for more now that it has a permanent home.
KronnerBurger - 4063 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland - Open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Friday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight.