Burger Brawl on Sunday, we asked readers to weigh in on whether or not a patty melt qualifies as a burger. The results were split exactly down the middle: six for and six against.
On one side we had the folks arguing Yes, the meat is the key - or as commenter Tno said, “the term 'patty melt' is simply a subclass of burger.” Others presented historical evidence that bread should not be the deciding factor in burger-ness. Mark Calaguio noted that Louis’ Lunch in New Haven calls itself the first American restaurant to serve burgers - and burgers there come on white toast. KCMA points to PYT’s Luther Burger, served on a glazed donut, "as all you need to know that bread is never the deciding factor.”
In the middle, we have commenter wgkealy, straddling the fence: “Sure technically [a patty melt is a burger]. And a square qualifies as a rectangle. And kittens are technically cats. But no one, I repeat, no one, is confusing the two.” (We didn’t count that as a vote for either side, by the way.)
On the other side, we have the No way, it’s all about the bun camp, whose basic refrain is summed up by AnotherPhillyPhan’s statement that “A patty melt is a glorified sandwich!” Poshtoganache made her argument plain and simple, “A burger is recognized worldwide... if you take a patty melt overseas and call it a burger, you'll get WTF in every language.”
And, though we don’t necessarily agree with the statement (staying impartial, here) - we’re giving the tickets to commenter Rol, who gets poetic about his argument, pulling in examples from other cultures:
If anything on a tortilla is deemed a Taco,
if anything on a French baguette is deemed a Banh Mi,
one can only call a Burger as such if it's sitting on a bun.
Congrats and come out to Burger Brawl even if you didn’t win - tickets are still available (here) and we’ll be there judging.