What’s Your Beef?

Carol Doda burger

In the grand scheme of things, I’m a very new resident to San Francisco. Having moved here just three years ago, I am not familiar with the historic icons that are represented on Bill’s Place menu, so it’s a-Googleing I will go!

In David’s review, he mentions the “Carol Doda” burger, which has two olive-topped patties, and the English muffined “Jack Hansen” burger. Now, the reason for the olive-topped patties is that Carol Doda, who was a famous San Francisco stripper at the Condor Club in the sixties, was also a breast implant pioneer. A siliconeer, if you will. Once a modest 34B, Doda implanted herself in such a way that increased her assets to a hearty 44D. Dancing on top of a white baby grand piano while dressed (or undressed) in a topless bathing suit, Carol Doda started a topless trend not yet seen in most strip bars. In fact, there’s a very respectable California grizzly bear-topped plaque commemorating this momentous event in strip bar history, which announces:

The Condor
Where It All Began
The Birthplace of the World’s First Topless & Bottomless Entertainment
Topless – June 19, 1964
Bottomless – September 3, 1969
Starring Ms. Carol Doda

Miss Doda turned in her pole in the the eighties and opened a lingerie store in Cow Hollow called Carol Doda’s Champagne & Lace Lingerie Boutique.

These “celebrity” burgers at Bill’s Place remind me of a little, odoriferous burger shack in Harvard Square called Mr. and Mrs. Bartley’s Burger Cottage. Not only can you get the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had occasion to gauvage down my gullet, but they have hysterically christened burgers that change frequently. For instance, there’s the “John Kerry (he voted this the best burger before he voted against it) a swiss cheese burger with mushrooms, tomato, lettuce, and fries,” the “George Bush Jr (not bad for a C student) a double cheddar texas BBQ burger with sweet potato fries,” the “Dick Cheney (a heart beat away) a bacon cheese burger with lettuce, tomato, and baked beans,” and the “Arnold Schwarzenegger (this is no girly burger) a double swiss burger with french fries.”

So, other than some campus in-jokes, like the Larry Summers (recently ousted president of Harvard) and the Professor Skip Gates, they’re not so much local burgers as they are political burgers. But hey, when the New York Times famously dubbed 02138 “the most opinionated zip code,” you can’t help but be political.

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