Julian, 20-something, and Mark, 70-something, are on a journey to find the Mission’s burger. If you have suggestions, write a comment — or, if you prefer, send an e-mail to Julian at julian.mark@missionlocal.com. You may remember Mark and Julian from  their hunt for the best fried chicken sandwich

At last! A real burger!

I think you will agree, Julian, the Great Burger Games got off to a sluggish start. For whatever reason, mainly the time it takes to transport a meal from kitchen to mouth, local burgers and fries have been a major league disappointment. 

These are tough times, no doubt about it, but finding a good burger in the Mission can’t be that tough!

In desperation, I bought a mask from Mixcoatl to ward off the evil burger spirits.

It worked!! 

Thanks to a reader named Adam, we targeted Double Decker on 24th Street.  A double shoutout to you, Adam.

Double Decker serves up a damn good burger

This past Saturday night (or was it Friday?) was windy and cold.  So I ordered online delivery. GrubHub took more than 40 minutes from pickup on one side of the Mission to drop off on the other, giving the food ample time to cool off. 

I ordered a double cheeseburger. It comes with two generous patties, Swiss and cheddar cheese, and a toasted brioche bun. I also had a small side of garlic fries.

I specified medium-rare, assuming I would get medium.  Which is exactly what I got. The meat was still warmish, but juicy, not greasy, with a grass-fed taste of beef.

I’m not sure what the advantage of two different cheeses are, especially if one is Swiss. But it worked, adding to the visual and tactile dimensions of the sandwich. 

As for lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles –  the freshest so far. The lettuce showed some pride. The tomato slice had not gone mealy and, though it was probably grown in a warehouse, it was unmistakably a tomato. More or less. The onions were strong, as were the pickles.

Even the bun made an impression, visually as well as tastefully. It was a bun that did not mush into the meat, but held its own throughout our encounter.  Whatever sweetness it displayed seemed to compliment and highlight the meat and cheese, rather than detract, which a brioche bun can do on occasion.

I applaud Double Decker for its garlic fries. They withstood the long GrubHub trauma and, though cooler, they didn’t lose their character. The garlic was more than enough, but not too much. 

If not a home run, Double Decker hit a solid double. Maybe a triple. An encouraging sign for the upcoming season.


Mark, 

I completely agree. Finally, a real burger. 

Our beloved reader, Adam, deserves some credit for the recommendation — but, really, double the credit? 

I’ve been going to the Double Decker on 24th since it opened in 2018. It has been my go-to spot after long, grueling days at work — on lonely Friday nights when all seems lost and only a juicy burger consoles. 

I’ve cried at Double Decker, Mark, and I’ve mused about love at Double Decker. Most importantly, I found love at Double Decker — when no love could be found in a human being. 

As our journey has proved so far, finding a simply good hamburger — a perfect balance between fast and gourmet — is hard. Double Decker has always struck that nigh-impossible balance. 

This time around, I ordered my usual: the Buffalo Burger, a normal cheeseburger that comes slathered in buffalo sauce. You can choose to modify the buffalo burger with what Double Decker calls “inferno sauce” — basically, really spicy buffalo sauce. It’s stellar.

Doing these burger reviews allowed me to think critically about burgers, and eating this burger critically (not emotionally) for the first time allowed me to observe that the beef patties are fresh, and cooked a perfect “medium.” The bun (potato? brioche?) is toasted, but not dry. The veggies are fresh — yet, perhaps, too abundant. (The piece of romaine lettuce sometimes dwarfs the burger itself.) 

Perhaps the best part of the Buffalo Burger is allowing all the juices — that burger grease and inferno sauce — to drip onto the fries for added flavor. To be sure, the fries need no additional help. They are crispy and killer, especially (I agree) with garlic. 

So far, Double Decker is the best I’ve had in our quest. But then again, I’ve always found this place to serve one of the most solid burgers in the Mission. 

However, it does have stiff competition from The Red Cafe. See you there next week. 

Double Decker
2956 24th St.

Read earlier stops in the burger war.

Photo by Lydia Chávez.