Some friends have been raving about Super Duper since it first opened a couple of months ago, and Pdho and I finally got around to checking it out today. This is the 2nd location in San Francisco with the first being in Castro and supposedly, other ones to come in the future. The burger craze seems to be continuing with undying energy with Five Guys expanding across the country and also Umami Burger, a Los Angeles upstart, soon making its debut in the Bay Area. Although I have had some good burgers of the fast-food and higher dining variety, I still think In-n-Out and Shake Shack still are my favorites in their respective categories. Father’s Office comes a close second to Shake Shack though. Many may compare In-n-Out and Shake Shack to each other, but I don’t think it’s a very fair comparison. In-n-Out is king when it comes for best burger bang for the buck, but the high quality of the ingredients put Shake Shack in a class of its own. Now we’ll have to see how Super Duper stands up to the competition whichever one it maybe. Although, I’m guessing it’s probably more of a high end burger a la Shake Shack.
Supposedly a long line tends to form during the lunch time rush, so even though we got there before noon, there was already a line out the door. The restaurant is pretty spacious extending pretty deep and including a small second floor enclave with additional seating. The ceilings run pretty high and are left unfinished giving the place a slightly industrial feel. Additionally, with an open kitchen showcasing the cooking and preparation of the food, the smell of burgers completely permeates the restaurant. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was from the restaurant, but I think I could smell the burgers in the air the moment I stepped out of the Muni station.
In an obvious effort to make the long wait less painful, they passed out samples of the regular fries with some chipotle sauce while we stood in line. So since I already had a sampling of the regular fries, I decided to try out the garlic fries instead and added on the trio of sauces even though I suspected the garlic would probably provide more than enough flavor. The garlic fries were tasty with similar but slightly less crispiness than McD’s but more distinct potato flavor like In-n-Out.
In addition to the chipotle sauce, the trio included a housemade mayo and Super Duper sauce. The chipotle sauce was definitely the best of the three. The mayo didn’t taste like much and the Super Duper sauce reminded me of a more dilute version of the Thousand Island-based sauce from In-n-Out.
Normally, I probably would have gone with a Mini Burger which is a single 4 oz. beef patty, but our friends insisted that the juicy double patties in the Super Duper made it more delicious. With 8 oz. of beef, the burger definitely was quite hearty and more than filling. The lettuce and tomatoes had the same freshness I have come to expect from In-n-Out, the bun was a soft artisanal bun like Shake Shack (but not as fluffy), and the meat was high quality beef (though not as flavorful as I would like.) I think the downfall of the burger was the excessive amount of grease that was dripping from the burger. It made quite the mess and inevitably, made me feel even guiltier about eating something so heavy.
All in all, although it was a decent-tasting burger, I can’t say it was better than either Shake Shack or In-n-Out. Aside from the greasiness, I think the one weakness is the flavor of the beef patty. I don’t know what else goes into the Shake Shack patties aside from its combination of sirloin, chuck and brisket, but it really is a very tasty beef patty that the Super Duper burger can’t beat. It still wasn’t too bad, and I was glad I waited in line to check it out, but although it doesn’t happen often, if I get a craving for burgers, I probably would end up heading to In-n-Out.
721 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103
PAFO Ratings for Super Duper:
Ambiance 2½ stars
Food 3 stars
Overall rating 3½ stars