Super Duper and Scrimshaw celebrate the all-American burger

Burgers don’t need to be too complicated, but over the past few years, the humble hamburger has become a cause celebre. It’s not enough anymore for a burger to be just a meat patty with melted cheese, lettuce and tomato. Celebrity chef Hubert Keller is one of the drivers of this gourmet burger band wagon and his Burger Bars tout “The Ultimate Burger Experience” in St. Louis, Las Vegas and San Francisco. For a mere $60, you can bite into his top of the line chef’s burger, called “The Rossini.” The Kobe beef burger buffa is topped with sautéed foie gras, shaved truffles and Madeira sauce on an onion bun. Skinny fries are included.
Keller is not alone in instigating burger inflation, and restaurants all over the city now feature burgers in the $13 range, topped with bacon, avocado and Point Reyes Blue Cheese. Some of them are very good, like the burger at The Broken Record ($10), with a bacon-infused patty. Nopa also makes a fantastic grass-fed burger ($13), and the burgers at brewpub 21st Amendment are reliable and hearty before a game or event.
But sometimes you just want a simple burger with some crispy fries. Refusing to buckle to burger mania, Rosamunde, next to the Toronado on Haight Street, cooks an excellent burger on Tuesdays for a mere $6. And despite its name, Super Duper Burger in the Castro makes a reasonably priced burger that will satisfy your craving without causing undue harm to either your wallet or your cholesterol count.
Super Duper’s burgers are more reminiscent of In ‘N Out Burger than Burger Bar, but that’s not necessarily a negative. They’re ample and not too greasy, and the fries are skinny and crispy. The servers are efficient and friendly, and would rather call your order by name than by a number. A Niman Ranch burger will set you back $3.75 and a cheeseburger is $4.25 (add $2 each for a double). Fries are $2.25 and milkshakes and ice cream are also available.

Super Duper Burger also has something you’ll never find at In ‘N Out: a couple of well-selected beer taps. Granted, the beer variety isn’t as extensive as Burger Bar’s, but the light, refreshing North Coast Scrimshaw pilsner and the piney Racer 5 IPA from Bear Republic are more than adequate. You can eat inside the cozy restaurant or, on a sunny day, sit at an outdoor table.
Whether you’re in a blue state or red state, conservative or liberal, evangelical or atheist, burgers are as American as the 4th of July, diners and barbecues, and it’s no wonder they are such a great match with American ales and lagers. Unlike mass-market American beers, which only add cold and wet, American craft beers like Scrimshaw and Racer 5 offset the savory umami flavors in the burger.
As Super Duper Burger demonstrates, you don’t need truffles on your burger or extreme beers to appreciate this quintessentially American experience.

Super Duper Burger
2304 Market St
(between 16th St & Noe St)
San Francisco, CA 94114
Neighborhood: Castro
(415) 558-8123

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