Fast food is not what it used to be.
Ok, that’s not entirely true. McDonald’s and Taco Bell (et al.) still suck, unless you enjoy uncontrollable diarrhea. Which I do not. But Super Duper is in a new category. A category of food that I may decide to eat, like, willingly.
There are two downtown/SOMA locations, and one in the Castro. I’ve passed by more than once and noticed that they have a veggie burger on their menu. As I am on an unofficial quest to find the best veggie burger in SF, I was curious. The other night, I ventured in, alone, to experience another contender.
First, some factoids about Super Duper in general:
- The (regular) burgers are Niman Ranch and ground fresh daily
- Their ice cream and shakes use organic Straus cream from Petaluma
- Pies and cookies are baked daily in-house
- The chicken sandwich is made from free range chickens
- They make their own pickles (which are free!)
- The veggie burger is organic and house-made
- All packaging is compostable
And while none of those things is new or different in SF, and none of them seems particularly amazing by itself, together it shows a certain mindfulness of modern values like environmentalism and quality food. Which we food snobs flock to like hipsters to mustaches.
Their menu is similar to In-N-Out’s in its simplicity, but they also have a salad, a chicken sandwich, garlic fries, and a veggie burger. And none of that secret menu nonsense*. And, you can pay a bit extra for cheese, avocado, portobello mushrooms, an egg, or bacon on any of the sandos. So, for about $8 (including tax), I got a homemade veggie burger with grilled onions, swiss cheese, and avocado. And it was incredible.
Like, it was so good that I was reluctant to think it wasn’t actually horrible for me. It certainly exhibits signs of being cooked in oil, though I don’t actually know if they fry it or not. The burger itself is made of all sorts of veggies and has a really great taste and texture. It comes with cucumbers and hummus in addition to lettuce, tomatoes, and special sauce (and raw onions except that I ordered them grilled). There wasn’t too much hummus such that I was overwhelmed in garbanzo land. The cucumbers were sliced thinly so as to blend in with the other flavors and not immediately fall out of the burger. The whole dang thing seemed more gourmet than “fast”, and if you had served it to me in a fancy SF restaurant, chucked some fries on the side, and charged me $20, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it.
Maybe I’m just a sucker. Or maybe it’s just really that good.
The pickles were good, but not so amazing that I ate the whole giant jar, like I thought I might. The garlic fries smelled amazing, though I resisted them on this particular trip. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t plotting my return… sometimes some fancy fast food really hits the spot. And I obviously need to try one of those organic milkshakes…
*That I am aware of.