Opening with little fanfare over 3 years ago, who knew Super Duper Burger would expand into 5 locations around San Francisco and Mill Valley. Since the first place opened it's been a steady stream of customers and great press about a place that specializes in only slightly upscale burgers served in a fast food like setting with little wait time. I know when I walk by the locations downtown they always seem to be packed with customers. I've been to Super Duper a number of times since they first opened but began to wonder how the original location in the Castro, at Market and Noe, was still holding up since I first wen there only a few months after they opened.
A mini, added bacon and cheese and egg (all up-charges), with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, pickle and special sauce (all freebie extras) with a side of garlic fries with grated 6 month aged white cheddar. Total cost $7.75 for the burger and $2.75 for the fries.
4 ounces may not sound like a lot, but it is, especially when you add on the extras. The burger is perfectly charred on the outside and medium rare-ish on the inside. Juicy and seasoned perfectly, just a sprinkle of sea salt on top and bottom. The cheese is California aged cheddar and adds a nice touch of sharpness and flavor. There were several large pieces of bacon, that while not crispy crunchy, added some good smokey bacon flavor that went well with the cheese. The egg was cooked sunnyside up so that the yolk pours down over the rest of the burger when you bite into it. It's like a hearty breakfast sandwich. Personally, while I liked the addition of the egg, I would have asked for it with the yolk a little more cooked so it wouldn't be as runny and messy as it ended up being. The special sauce is exactly what you think it is--just like that other fast food restaurants special sauce--kind of thousand islandy meets remoulade, I liked it as an alternative to just ketchup and or mayo. Once big plus of this burger is the bun. Specially made for them by La Boulange and toasted on the grill, the actually held up under all the weight of the wetness--the yolk, the sauce, the burger juice--and didn't get soggy or fall apart. For me this was a big plus, I can't tell you how many burger buns don't seem to make it all the way through, but this one did and kudos for that. This burger is a yummy tasty handful and one of the better, less pricier burgers you can get in San Francisco.
The garlic fries were fresh and hot out of the fryer, crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. I liked that the garlic was overpowering on these. Some places just load it on and the flavor can get bitter as you eat them, but here it was leveled out just right and offset nicely with the shredded aged cheddar over the top. And for me when I dipped them in ketchup they were just right. I didn't even need to add any extra salt either. Overall, a winning side for the burger.
Sure there are better and fancier burgers available in this town, but Super Duper offers up a tasty, affordable and juicy version for everyone without having to go to a sit down restaurant. It's this accessible and consistent goodness that has attracted the crowds they get and helped them expand into the mini-local chain they've become. As long as you don't go to one of the ones downtown during the lunch rush, next time you are hankering for a hunk of meat on a bun without all the fuss, Super Duper Burger is a good alternative worth a visit.