This fast-food chain you've probably never heard of is making a killing selling $8 burgers

"Burgers shouldn't cost $3," the website for Super Duper Burgers proudly declares.

The San Francisco Bay Area fast-food burger chain has garnered a cult following for its extra juicy, double-patty burgers that cost $8.50 with cheese. The company says it sources ingredients within miles of its restaurants.

The chain is now looking to grow its fan base by expanding from 10 locations to 13 by early 2018. Super Duper Burgers also said in a recent statement that it was in preliminary talks to launch international outposts, though we don't know where yet.

Here's what it's like to eat at Super Duper Burgers, a favorite Bay Area fast-food chain:

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You've probably never heard of Super Duper Burgers, but San Franciscans named the regional fast-food chain their "Tastiest Cheap Eat" in a 2016 Reader's Choice awards.

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"Cheap" is relative. On a rainy weekday afternoon, I stopped by one of the chain's 10 locations in the Bay Area to see whether its $8 burger lives up to the hype.

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The menu is pretty straightforward. There's a burger (that comes in two different sizes), a chicken sandwich, a veggie burger, and fries served plain or topped with garlic and cheese.

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After placing my order, I grabbed some homemade pickles from the counter. They were a little soft for my liking, though each bite delivered a big sour taste.

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My milkshake arrived first. I got the cookies-and-cream variety, which the cashier said was the restaurant's most popular.

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Again, I was disappointed. The shake ran thin, like a souped-up glass of chocolate milk.

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About five minutes later, my food order hit the counter.

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The beef at Super Duper is ground fresh daily and cooked on a chrome flat-top grill. Cooks use a sharp spatula to ensure the crusty, caramelized bits stay on the burger.

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My teeth sank in. Two thin patties flooded my senses with a slightly metallic flavor and fragrant juices. Grease dribbled down my chin, but I didn't care. It was so good.

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Piled under crispy lettuce and a hefty tomato slice, the cheese stood out. It tasted aged, sharp, and perfectly melted — a testament to Super Duper's slogan: "Fast food burgers ... slow food values."

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The underside of the toasted sesame-seed bun became quickly saturated with juice and Super Sauce, the restaurant's garlicky rendition of Thousand Island dressing.

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This photo does not do it justice, but my napkin was soaked through with juice. Some people might be put off by the grease, but it made for great flavor.

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Next, I tried the chicken sandwich topped with lettuce, tomato, jack cheese, and spicy chipotle aioli. It uses free-range chicken breast and costs a cool $8.

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The chicken was tender, not overdone. The chipotle aioli delivered a smoky, mesquite flavor — I would have dunked the whole sandwich in it, had the option been available.

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But unlike the burger — an amalgamation of rich, fresh flavors — the chicken sandwich was underwhelming. It fell apart quickly, and the top bun was almost too toasted to eat.

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Lastly, I dug into the fries, which were topped with six-month aged cheddar and fresh garlic. (We're not talking a sprinkling of garlic powder, but clumps of minced garlic.)

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I ate them by the fistful. Each thin-cut fry tasted more addicting than the last. A side of fries turned a "meh" Super Duper experience into a knockout fast-food meal.

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My total bill for the Super Duper Burger with cheese, a chicken sandwich with cheese, the garlic fries, and a milkshake: $26.92.

By comparison, a similar meal might cost about $13 from McDonald's and about $10 from In-N-Out, the Bay Area's other beloved burger joint.

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The premium prices haven't appeared to hurt business. Founder Adriano Paganini told QSR magazine last year that the company hoped to expand to as many as 50 Bay Area locations.

It's unclear when and where Super Duper Burgers will expand globally.

In October, Paganini also grew his fast-casual empire to include a fried-chicken-sandwich restaurant, The Bird. The San Francisco restaurant consistently draws lines out the door.

Source: QSR magazine 

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All in all, I'd say, worth it. Super Duper delivered fast-food convenience and premium quality — two things that don't always go together — at a fair price. I'll be back.

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