Monday, May 02, 2016

Breakfast @ Super Duper Burger

Super Duper Burger is obviously known for, well, the burgers.  But, I went for breakfast.  And it was great.

I'll rewind a bit.  Super Duper is a relatively small chain, with 6 locations in SF and a few in the surrounding areas.  I remember when the first one opened, and I thought, "oh, just another cheap burger place".  I glanced at the menu, and wasn't really inspired to visit.  They only have regular fries, no fun sides like sweet potato fries or onion rings (random aside: it is even on their FAQ about why they don't have sweet potato fries, so, clearly, I'm not the only one who wishes they did!).  They have basic beef, veggie, or chicken burgers.  And not much more.  Of course, the one thing that did catch my eye is the dessert, as they offer soft serve ice cream.  Yes, soft serve ICE CREAM.  I grew up in the land of soft serve, and really, really miss it in San Francisco.  Given that it is Straus Family Creamery organic ice cream, I imagine it is quite a bit better than the only other soft serve ice cream I know in town: McDonald's.

Super Duper's slogan, er, "promise" is "Fast food burgers.  Slow food values."  This translates into a fast-casual establishment, with decently fast food preparation, reasonable prices, and quality ingredients.  Everything is made to order.   The beef is humanely-raised, 100% vegetarian-fed and ground fresh daily (Niman Ranch).  The buns are made by a local bakery.  The pickles are housemade ... and unlimited!

But anyway.  I still have never been to Super Duper to try a burger, nor to try the fries, nor to get an ice cream cone (which, by the way, they offer with chocolate dip too!).  I went for breakfast.

Let's just say ... I was impressed.  As a fast-casual establishment I expected something more like McDonald's, or perhaps Starbucks or Panera.  But no, Super Duper is much higher quality, in terms of product and preparation.  And seriously, how many other fast casual places serve Four Barrel coffee and bake their own donuts?

The Space

Front Counter
The front of the store has two registers and menu boards with the main menu.  You order at the register, and either take a buzzer or just give your name (seemingly depending on how busy it is?)

The kitchen is to the side with an open pass.  My order was ready in less than 5 minutes, and my name called out from this area.
Condiments, Drinks, PICKLES!
On one the side is a self-serve soda fountain, napkins, salt, pepper, and basic condiments to go along with the burgers (ketchup and mustard), and ...  house made pickle spears.

All you can eat pickles?  Complimentary?  ZOMG.

On the other side is the self-serve coffee with sugar and creamer, along with water.
The decor is pretty hard to describe.  Industrial feeling flooring, but brick walls.  Metal chairs and stools, but carved wood tables.  There are booths, regular tables, and large communal tables inside, and more seating outside.  At lunchtime, there is always a line.
Outdoor Seating.
Super Duper is also a rare find in San Francisco, with a decent amount of outdoor seating on the sidewalk.  During the week, this area is always full.

The Food

Super Duper Burger is, at its core, a burger place.  The main menu is burgers, and standard things that go along with burgers like fries and shakes (and of course chicken sandwiches and veggie burgers for your non-beef eating friends).  But I was there for breakfast.  The lunch/dinner menu isn't large, but the breakfast menu is even smaller.  They offer two things: breakfast egg sandwiches and donuts.

The standard breakfast at Super Duper is the "Mini Breakfast", for $6 ($5.50 without cheese).  It consists of a egg and cheese sandwich on an english muffin, a mini donut, and a small coffee.  Now, to me, a full english muffin egg and cheese sandwich is a full size breakfast, so, how you can add on a donut and call it a "mini" breakfast is beyond me.  But, hey, why not?

For $2 more, you can also upgrade to the "Super Combo".  This turns your small coffee into a large (totally reasonable), adds your choice of bacon, sausage, or avocado to your sandwich (again, reasonable), and ... turns the single donut into 3 donuts!  I hope that means you are supposed to share with friends.  Even though they are mini donuts, a full egg sandwich (with meat) and three donuts seems a bit ... ambitious for an everyday breakfast.  Anyway.

Coffee is self-serve, and Four Barrel.  I applaud them for offering decent coffee and partnering with a local roaster.
Breakfast Sandwich: Egg & Cheese.
"Super Duper’s breakfast sandwiches are made using farm-fresh organic eggs, cheddar."

As I mentioned you can also opt to upgrade to include sausage, bacon, or avocado.  I stuck with the basic egg and cheese, although, I do love a good sausage patty!

Since I got my order to-go, it came packaged in a foil bag (with a paper wrapper around it), all compostable.  The foil really did work wonders to keep the heat in, although I opened my bag and ate it as soon as I was a few steps out the door.  I couldn't wait!
Breakfast Sandwich: Inside.
I was really impressed with my breakfast sandwich the moment I opened it up.  It was clearly made to order, nothing like the pre-made and magically heated up offerings from Starbucks.

The english muffin was toasty on the outside, with a slightly crispness, and not at all burnt.  One point for that.

The cheese was well melted, it was good quality flavorful sharp cheddar, there was plenty of it.  More points.

And the egg?  Swoon.  This was no microwaved egg patty.  Remember all the different "egg" options I tried at Starbucks?  Yeah, this was not that.  This was, gasp, a real egg.  Fried.  It was perfectly cooked, not rubbery, and the center yolk was the right level of gooey and oozed out once I got to it.  Swoon.

I'm really not a huge egg fan, nor english muffin fan, but, I'm still somewhat in disbelief at how nicely done this was.  Quality ingredients, freshly prepared, what a concept.  I'd certainly get it again if I were craving an egg sandwich.  Next time I'd need to try the sausage too.
Donut Bag!
Donuts are available in 3 flavors: vanilla glazed, chocolate glazed, and cinnamon sugar coated.  I opted for the vanilla glaze.  My donut came in a really cute little paper bag that said "Donuts" on it.
Mini Vanilla Glazed Donut.
"We make our donuts fresh each morning using a super-secret recipe and an old-fashioned donut machine. They come dressed in a dusting of sugar or a sugar glaze."

I may have thought that a full egg sandwich and a donut was a bit sizable for a regular work day breakfast, but, there is something pretty fun about having a "dessert" waiting for you as part of your breakfast.  And, you know how much I love donuts.

The donuts looked pretty simple, just small, standard cake donuts, but, wow, this was a great donut.  It was clearly quite fresh (still warm even!).  It was a fairly dense donut, and it was a little greasy, in the fried dough sorta way (although it was a dense cake style not a lighter raised dough).  It was slightly crispy on the outside, but very moist inside.  It had a nice tang to the base flavor.  As for my topping choice, I really liked the sweet glaze.   I'm pretty sure the cinnamon and sugar would be excellent too.

The mini size was actually perfect, it made it not feel too indulgent.  An everyday donut if you will.

I really enjoyed this, and would certainly get another.

In addition to being sold as part of the combo breakfast, donuts are sold individually for $0.75 each, 3 for $2, or a dozen for $8, really an incredible value.
Mini Vanilla Glazed Donut.
And ... I had another.

Again, a nice donut.  A greasier, denser style, but not in a bad way exactly.  Tons of very sweet vanilla glaze on top.  This one wasn't warm, so not quite as good as the first I had, but I did enjoy it with my coffee, and, the size really is perfect.
Super Duper Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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