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Pizza Burgers (MSP, but elsewhere in Midwest okay, too)

Esteemed Midwest 'hounds: I hope I haven't posted this before. If I did, I can't find it any more.

Does anyone besides me remember pizza burgers? I could swear that when I was a kid my local DQ served a hamburger patty with cheese, that was breaded and deep fried, then smoothered in red sauce and slapped on a bun. Was that just in my little town or was that at DQ's everywhere?

Anyone know where I can find a pizza burger like that? In the Twin Cities, ideally, but I'm willing to travel for a good pizza burger.

The Dairy-ette drive-in on Minnehaha in St. Paul (address in my profile) does a pretty good one, though, it's just not quite the same. Anywhere else you recommend?

By the way, anyone seen Sven since the new software came up? I know we're missing a few of the regulars, though, forgive me if I can't list you all by name. I hope you're all still out there and are planning to come back. The new software takes some getting used to, but, it's alright once you get the hang of it.

Thank you everyone!


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  1. Hmmm...Pizza Burger, Pizza Burger....didn't A&W have one...or maybe that was the Teen Burger? I have distinct memory of an icy cold root beer and a Pizza Burger. Of course, talking about the East Side of St. Paul...that may have been at the late, great fried chicken emporium Jerry's on White Bear Avenue...

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dragon

      I remember the Teen Burger, but I don't remember whether it was the same as a pizza burger... I miss A&W and those frosty mugs.


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        The Teen Burger was a bacon cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato with Teen Sauce.

      2. re: Dragon

        I believe that the A&W on Rice Street north of Highway 36 in Maplewood has pizza burgers.

        1. re: blgaarder

          Huh, no kidding. Might have to try those.


      3. There is a place in Des Moines that still sells the breaded deep fried pizza burger. Little Johns burgers on 2nd ave. Just a fast food drive through window place, but with a few extras the chains don't usually have. I make it a point to go a few times a year for a pizza burger and breaded mushrooms. Then again, it's only a few miles away. I'm not sure it would be worth a roadtrip. Like many things, it probably wouldn't be as good as you remember it.
        Shwanns used to sell them. Don't know if they still do.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Bobfrmia

          Well, I'll have to check out Little John's next time I'm in Des Moines. I'm not there often, but, it's not out of the question. Where's Shwanns? Is that in Des Moines, too?


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Schwans is a home delivery service. I think they are in the MSP area. They used to sell packages of frozen pizza burgers, but I haven't dealt with them for years. The web-site seems to limit what you can see unless you call them for a password.

            1. re: Bobfrmia

              schwans doesn't have pizza burgers anymore i wish they did. you can log in to their website by registering and using a password, then you can view their whole catalog and order online

          1. I remember eating pizza burgers when I was a kid back in Huron,S.Dak.There was a resturant across the street from the state Fair called Harold's cafe. They had great pizza burgers with the mozzerella cheese and the breading on top and the sause. They no longer have that resturant, but since it's such a small town I may be able to find out where they got them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: TerryBurgos

              Hey another great place is Scotty's in Aberdeen, South Dakota...when I head back that way I pick up my Aunt Mary Kay and we go yard 'sailing' and grazing at Scotty's... the best....

            2. Oh wow, this brings back memories of eating pizza burgers at the Chef's Hat in Iowa. Yum. The last pizza burger I ate was up at Gordy's Hi-Hat in Cloquet a few summers ago.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jaycooke

                I finally got up to Gordy's Hi-Hat in Cloquet, MN (just south of Duluth) to try their pizza burger. It was pretty basic-- a burger, smothered in mozzarella cheese and red sauce. Very good, but not the deep fried patty of my past. The banana shake was awesome, with slices of banana. An order of onion rings was huge (definitely enough to share) but pretty ho-hum. The cheeseburger was a classic "road food" type burger.

                I still have to try some of these other places recommended in this thread. Slowly but surely...

                Photo of the pizzaburger is attached. Other Gordy's photos included in this thread http://www.chowhound.com/topics/53281...


              2. Frisky's in Anoka used to have Pizza Burgers. Not sure if they do anymore though. I'll see if I can find anything out for you.

                1. There was a story in the Racine, Wisconsin paper recently that a dive bar in Racine, "invented" the pizza burger. It is called DeRose Bar. I have not tried it; the place is such a dive that it is hard to find people to go there with me. I would be interested if anyone has tried it. It is supposed to be good.

                  1. I used to cook pizza burgers at the A&W in Sibley until I was fired for sending out a burger-less "Papa Burger".

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: jwagnerdsm

                      PLEASE share the A&W pizzaburger recipe...I've been craving one for years now.

                      1. re: cathynnc

                        We hope that jwagnerdsm will share the information directly in this discussion. A tip sent only in email helps just that person, but sharing it here will help everyone who is reading along or searching for this info. Thanks!

                        1. re: cathynnc

                          Don't hold your breath. The last time jwagnerdsm posted to CH was September 2008. The interesting thing is that I grew up about ten miles from the A&W he mentioned.

                          1. re: John E.

                            So, do you know where to get one of those pizza burgers these days?


                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Are the pizza burgers you are looking for the kind that is stuffed with cheese and then breaded and fried? I only have vague memories of them. I don't remember geting them at A&W.

                              I spent about 5 minutes looking and found a place that makes them and distributes them to various commercial accounts.


                              If you find yourself near Des Moines, it's about 40 miles sw in a town called Melcher.

                              1. re: John E.

                                Yes, that's exactly the kind I mean.


                      2. The Dairy-ette in Dalton Ohio serves pizza burgers, but they use sausage patties instead of burgers. They top theirs with melted provolone and red sauce. They also serve the best hand-cut fries and fantastic milk shakes.

                        They are only open from March through November. It is located on the corner of US Highway 30 and Ohio 94.

                        1. Mmmmmm Pizza Burgers. Don't know what's in 'em and I don't want to. Most Maid-Rite's have them, so you can get one year round. The best I've had, not fancy-ifed but above par is Uncle Pete's in the Quad Cities, on the Avenue of the Cities, just take that exit off I-74 and go East, just past Hardee's, in a strip mall and get a gyro, cause those are awesome too, oh, and a tenderloin....The other solution is find a food distributor that sells to the public, check your yellow pages, you can get a box of them. TPC, Harker, those kind of people.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Ctaaj

                            I'm from the QCs and have never heard of Uncle Pete's, but I'll have to try that next time I'm back. And it'll always be 23rd Ave to me ...

                            I have a memory of having a Pizza Burger at the Leaning Tower of Pizza on University in Minneapolis a couple summers ago, but now I don't see them on the menu. Does anyone else remember having them there.

                          2. There was a diner on Mitchell Street in Milwaukee, not far from Goldman's called Deschainne's - or something like that - back in the sixties. They had pizza burgers. I don't remember them being breaded, though. They were a sort of chipped meat, tasting of Italian pizza sausage, with mozzarella in the inside. I didn't much care for the very thick tomato sauce served over them as I was just a kid, but the burgers were fabulous. There was also a fast food restaurant at Muskego Beach Amusement Park, open just during the summer months, that also had pizza burgers. I think they also served root beer in frosty mugs, but I don't remember if it was an A & W or not because I didn't like soda (still don't).

                            1. ha - the best pizza burgers i know of are at rainbow - (in the freezer section - by morningstar farms - tomato & basil pizza burgers.. they're WONDERFUL) =)

                              1. I am a lifelong fan of the pizza burger. Just the sight of this thread initiated this insane jones I have now. I would recommend checking out a local food wholesaler and picking up a case. I used to do that and it sure beats paying 3 or 4 bucks for someone else to dunk it in hot oil. :)

                                1. DQ---

                                  ---Funny this should come up again just now. I was shopping at Rainbow the other day and saw some Pizza Burgers in the freezer. Looked like it might have been a small local brand. Just a generic looking white cardboard box labeled Pizza Burgers. Don’t know if you’re interested in ones to make at home, but as soon as I saw it I remembered this thread from last year and thought, “I have to let DQ know about this....”

                                  I’ve also noticed that they have them on the menu at The Coop in South St. Paul. I’ve never eaten anything there other then the fried chicken, (which I think is pretty good....), but you might want to add it to the list for your Pizza Burger Quest if you find yourself in that neighborhood.


                                  May the Chow be with you.

                                  Uncle Ira

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Uncle Ira

                                    Thanks Uncle Ira! I might just have to head over to Rainbow one of these days!


                                    1. re: Uncle Ira

                                      The other day I happened to be thinking of pizza burgers and how no one seems to have them anymore. I stumbled across this thread. Just went out to Rainbow and bought a box of six. They're different from what I remember the local dairy corners (private knock-off's of Dairy Queen) in the small towns in Ohio served. Those looked and tasted much more like a pizza. They'd fry a huge hamburger patty, but in the last stages, generously slather the patty with pizza sauce, then melt white mozzarella cheese over that and continue frying until the cheese was slightly browned, like on a pizza. It was a little messy to eat but delicious. The pizza burgers from Rainbow seemed more like a poor imitation of a Juicy Lucy, with yellow cheese between two patties, but I had a hard time tasting any pizza sauce. The box says they're "Supreme's Pizza Burger brand" beef pattie blended with pizza sauce with cheese center. It also says "For extra flavor - place cooked Pizza Burgers in your favorite warm Spaghetti Sauce...to compliment your sandwich." I'll try that on the next iteration, they need a little something extra. Rainbow also has the same brand by the sack. I may try to reproduce what I remembered from Ohio, also. The secret is finding or creating the right sauce.

                                    2. I'm writing in response to your questions about pizza burgers. I was born west of Milwaukee, WI. When I was a kid (I'm 61 now) there was (don't know if it's still there or not) a drive-in located in Muskego, WI that advertised that they were the home of the pizza burger. This was in the mid 50's. They were the best tasting burgers that I have ever had.

                                      I had stopped in there again in the 70's, and the original owners were no longer there, and the pizza burgers were showing up in stores. The ones in the stores couldn't hold a candle to the ones I ate in the 50's, and the new owners of the drive-in distroyed the flavor by not making it the same as the orginal owners did. I am now living in MN, but some day I must stop back in there to see if they are still in business.

                                      1. The only pizza burger I had was in grade school lunch room. Creek Valley in the bubble 1969. It was great crusty bread on the out side and soft and saucy in the middle. loved it.

                                        1. My mom made pizza burgers when I was a kid. It was a different kind of recipe, but oh, so yummy. I'd put the recipe in, but it really belongs on the home cooking board. Good luck with your search TDQ.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ssioff

                                            I just saw Pizza Burgers on the menu at a cute little drive-in in Chetek, WI (near Chippewa Falls) Cute town right on the water, great place-but I can't remember the name-Northern something something drive-in...

                                          2. from the fried chicken thread I noticed that The Coop has pizza burgers on their menu.

                                            1. www.foodservicedirect.com has them the only bad thing is u pay alot on shipping rates n its sold bulk.

                                              1. I just got on my computer to look for Pizza Burgers on Dogpile and this is one of the places that came up. I went to school in Mondamin, Iowa. I graduated in 1964.
                                                They served pizza burgers at the school. My mom was head cook. They came from
                                                Harker Meats in northern Iowa. We would buy them by the case from them. My husband has been asking about them,so was trying to find out if I could still get them from Harkers, but they sold to Reinhart. They were breaded and the sauce and cheese were on the inside of that. We just baked them and boy were they good. Makes my mouth water still and I have been a vegetarian for 17 years. If I ever find them I will let you know.
                                                Please post if you ever locate them. Happy hunting!!!

                                                1. I've been looking all over the place for the same pizza burgers had in tyhe 70's back in Ashland, OH at a Dairy Queen restaurant that my husband's aunt and uncle owned. I now live in Dallas, TX. They were the ones that had mozzarella cheese in between two beef patties. But the meat was a different flavor than just hamburger. It was so long ago, I can't remember if they were breaded or if it was just seasoning. Let me know if any of you ever locate this type of pizza burger. I can't stop craving them.

                                                  Ashland, Ashland, OH

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: majikhandz40

                                                    Thanks for giving this thread a nudge. I still haven't found the pizza burger of my youth (which was definitely breaded and deep-fried), but there are a lot of great ideas in this thread I still haven't gotten around to trying. So, it seems like I need to get cracking!


                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      Signed up for this just because I wanted you to know that I found specifically what you're looking for. I, too, have been looking for this forever with no success... until now.

                                                      There's a small independently operated seasonal ice cream/burger joint (much like DQ, only with a much higher variety) called The Dairy Barn in Sebewaing, Michigan, which is a small town northeast of Bay City (take M-25 east, and you'll come right to it). They sell exactly what you're looking for - around $3.00, but the thing is huge. They also have the best fries in human history, so it's well worth the trip if you're ever traveling up north in Michigan or just so nostalgic that you want to travel from Detroit or wherever you are (plenty to do in the thumb during the summer months, anyway, which is the only time its open).

                                                      Upon further research, I also found that Whitaker Foods is (was) the company that sold them wholesale. Looks like they were recently acquired by Advance Foods. Hopefully this won't mean the end of this item - rather, the item spreading throughout further sections of the country as Whitaker was only in the midwest.

                                                      Good luck!

                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        Oh, and upon further inspection, it looks like Advance Foods not only sells Pizza Burgers, but about 3 different types of them!

                                                      2. re: majikhandz40

                                                        I know the DQ in question (on SR-250) on the east side of downtown, so would you like me to conduct a investigation when I am in the area? I currently live in rural Wayne Co, so it isn't far away.

                                                      3. I would just like to report that I consumed a pizza burger today from the Tasty Drive-In in Luverne, MN, that was breaded and deep-fried, with cheese mixed in with the patty. It also was served with hamburger condiments, as if it was a normal burger (pickles, etc), which I thought was a bit odd.

                                                        Thanks to the original post, I knew what it was when I saw it...if I hadn't read about it here, I would have thought my order had gotten mixed up. Why would a pizza burger be breaded and fried?

                                                        Anyway, I am still recovering from the caloric load it provided. I just wanted to report that you could combine a trip to Blue Mounds State Park ( a lovely park, btw) with a pizza burger mission.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Quince

                                                          I remember the DQ version but agree with some that we had one in the local Twin Cities School district as a kid that was both crown and bottom of a cheap burger bun, with the meat, cheese' and saucy mixture melted onto each half. they were nostalgically good.

                                                          earlier today, just from reading a thread here on "the best Reuben..." I had to go out and get the easiest version I could find (w/ extra 1k island!) at our local Culvers. Not the best but darn good in a pinch for "fast food"

                                                        2. How or why not does a hot dago not fit the bill? I had never heard of one - hot dago - until living here, but aren't they (to me they are) 'za burgers?

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: green56

                                                            I love hot dagos, but they are not the same. A hot dsgo has sausage. A pizza burger is ground beef. Also, I wanted for the patty to be breaded and fried, which hot dago sausages aren't.


                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              Old thread I know DQ, but I think I know a way to replicate your pizza burger craving at home. (The Tasty Drive-in at Luverne sounds like they have what you're looking for if they would put cheese and pizza sauce on the burger).

                                                              Anyway, the frozen meat section of the grocery store usually sells frozen breaded veal cutlets. If you pan fry them in about 1/4" of oil then put it on a bun with cheese and pizza sauce it should be close to your memory. Contadina sells pizza sause in a squirt bottle.

                                                              I too remember the pizza burgers from the school lunchroom in grade school. They do not include a burger patty but a meat, cheese and tomato sauce mixture spread on hamburger buns. I still make them a couple of times a year.

                                                          2. Oakland NJ was where we had the great "Pizza Burger " in a local hang out called "The Whigwam" in the mid to late 60's, It was declcious to say the least, don't see them anymore, too bad they were a great change from the hamburger, but we do have lots of "White Castles" here in JOISEY !!

                                                            1. I remember that A&W had pizza burgers back in the early 70s. On a trip out to my childhood friend's aunt's farm in western Minnesota about 1970, we stopped at an A&W for lunch. I ordered the pizza burger. I only had it that one time, but the extremely tasty flavor stuck with me ever since. I remember really liking it. I think they put the cheese or the pizza sauce inside the patty, much like a Jucy (Juicy) Lucy and the flavor exploded in your mouth when you took a bite. Ahhh, wondrous youth and the flavors of long ago. Unfortunately, they no longer make them.

                                                              1. I know this is an old post but, hey, it's about Pizza Burgers! The Pizza Burger from my youth is a breaded veal and mozzerella cheese patty that is deep fried, which is what I believe, you're looking for. It's an absolutely huge (doesn't fit on a bun) concoction that is still sold by Mishler's Drive In in Evart, Michigan. Yes, it's a ways to travel but worth it for a Pizza burger fix. It is not slathered in red sauce but with whatever condiment you care to add, i.e., mayo, ketchup, mustard, relish, chili, etc. They are still the same patties that they were when Misher's was an A&W back in the day. And, they still serve A&W Rootbeer. So, if you ever get to Mid Michigan, you have a lunch spot! Enjoy.

                                                                1. Minnetonka Drive-in in Spring Park (I think that's spring park anyway) has a pizza burger on the menu. Definitely breaded and fried. Boy ordered it once. It didn't look like much, but I'm probably not fit to judge.,,

                                                                  1. Growing up in the small town of Evart, MI, I grew up eating these elusive and delicious Pizza Burgers. They are still available at Mishler's Drive-In located on US 10 on the west end of town. They open in April/May of every year and close mid to end of September. They also have the BEST homemade root beer around that compares to nothing you have ever tasted in the Root Beer family. Steve and Deb Mishler are the long time owners, and would LOVE to have you stop by and give them a raving review! Many high school girls (including myself years ago) have worked as a Mishler's Girl delivering these delicious Pizza Burgers. I prefer mine with extra ketchup and pickles, but you can top yours with whatever you'd like! Enjoy!!!

                                                                    1. here is one cut into slices

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: zfwp

                                                                        Interesting indeed! But, it looks really gross, sorry to say, mostly because of the cheese, but also because the triangular buns don't fit the burgers.

                                                                        But don't knock it til you've tried it.


                                                                            1. re: Jordan

                                                                              o.k. I think jordan and I had best stop posting pictures...

                                                                              1. re: Jordan

                                                                                OMG. If there were a prize for revolting, Jordan wins, with "inspiration" assist from zfwp. That's enough to make me swear off of pizza burgers completely.


                                                                          1. I have not tried but Johnny the Hub has pizza burgers.


                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: zfwp

                                                                              Now that one might have promise. Thank you for the heads up on both of these!


                                                                            2. I started asking this question about the original Pizza burger back a number of years ago, because I'd like to find one again. There was a little drive-in hamburger joint in Muskego, WI back in the late 50's and 60's. They had a sign out front that read, "Home of the Pizza Burger." It was a patty of the best tasting Italian Sausage I ever tasted, it was stuffed with Mozzarella Cheese and had a dab of sauce on it. You could order it with mushrooms if you wanted. This was not a preformed patty because it wasn't always round. Does anyone know if these are still being made somewhere?

                                                                              1. I own Supreme Meats in St. Francis, WI and we make have been making Pizza Burgers for 30 years. They're Supreme is our tag. We still make them and sell to grocers and restaurants around Wisconsin and Minnesota.