Food

New York’s Famed Superiority Burger Is Coming to Elle Next Week

Brooks Headley is serving vegetarian burgers at the Mount Pleasant restaurant for one night only.
Superiority Burger's Brooks Headley.

The vegetarian burgers at New York’s Superiority Burger are legendary—and I don’t use that word lightly. Seriously, there are few dishes that I hear a more diverse set of people (young and old, adventurous and tame, vegetarian/vegan and not) rave about than one of Brooks Headley’s quinoa-based patties from the tiny East Village joint. On Tuesday, March 12, you can save some Amtrak bucks and try one at the Mount Pleasant cafe/dining room Elle, where Headley is doing a one-night pop-up.

Specifics for the à la carte menu are still up in the air, but the offerings will definitely include that veggie burger, plus some other vegetarian sandwiches, salads, and maybe some of Headley’s gelato. “He knows we have a fancy oven, so he definitely wants to make his focaccia,” Elle/Bad Saint restaurateur Nick Pimentel says. Elle is typically closed Tuesday nights, but it’ll open for service at 5:30 “until we sell out,” Pimentel says. The idea is to replicate the order-at-the-counter experience in New York, so it’ll be pretty casual.

So how did the collaboration come about? If you’ve been in DC for a while, Headley’s name might sound familiar. Before he moved to New York, he was a rising star in our pastry scene. He worked in the kitchens at the late Galileo, plus Tosca and Komi. He’s remained longtime buddies with Pimentel—they grew up in the same town north of Baltimore, were in the punk-rock scene, and lived in Mount Pleasant—as well as Elle/Paisley Fig pastry chef Lizzy Evelyn.

“I think it was as simple as ‘Hey, Brooks, wanna do a pop-up on a Tuesday night when we’re closed?’ ” Pimentel says. He’s kicking around other chef collaborations for future nights off. 

Our tip for next Tuesday: Get there early.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.