Chef Brooks Headley is a Renaissance man of the best sort. That is, if men of the 1400s knew the secret to making the best vegetable burger ever, the most delicious labneh gelato and a mind-blowing cashew-based cheese.
If you want to taste his exploits, you need to get yourself to Superiority Burger in the East Village ASAP.
Much has been written about this burger, and there was even a dedicated following long before Headley opened the shop. Here’s exactly what you need to know:
1. Brooks Headley is legit. He’s the former pastry chef at four-star Del Posto and has brought the sourcing practices of a place with unlimited resources to this teeny spot. He says, “I know it’s a cliche but I spend a lot of time at the farmers’ markets. Obviously the quality of the produce there is unmatched by anything you can get delivered.”
2. His burgers deserve mad respect. His secret-recipe burger ($6) consists of nuts, quinoa, beans and tofu and comes on a pleasingly squishy bun wrapped in brown wax paper. We’ve never eaten a veggie burger that gave us such meaty satisfaction, but at the same time left us feeling really good after we scarfed it down. You can bring your vegan friends, too. The menu happily announces: “Everything is vegetarian a lot is accidentally vegan—just ask!”
3. You can afford it. We ordered literally every single thing on the menu and still came in under $50 (we brought some friends, OK?). That means you get a side of burnt broccoli salad ($4) peppered with bright red chilies and cilantro, an Arnold Palmer ($3) and finish with whatever gelato is on offer to finish ($4).
4. He wants you to try to recreate the experience at home. For those who want to achieve veggie burger nirvana in their kitchens, Headley counsels, “Listen to your favorite piece of music ever and then start cooking. I would also suggest turning up the heat on whatever veg/bean/grain combo you are using. It’s amazing what vegetables at high heat can do for a veggie burger.”
5. He is humble. When we asked Headley how he decided on “humility” as the restaurant’s core value, he responded: “We think food should be taken seriously but it’s gotten out of hand. At the end of the day, Superiority Burger makes the best plant-based burger in the universe, but also that doesn’t mean much, right?”
430 East 9th St.