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What constitutes a "burger" and a "sandwich?"

I've seen boneless skinless chicken breasts, seared ahi tuna, and now grilled jumbo shrimp with kung pao sauce and fried noodles all described as "burgers." To me, all those are just sandwiches. They may be good or bad but I don't consider them "burgers." To me, a burger is ground protein: beef, turkey, tofu, salmon. I'd consider all of those burgers just so long as the stuff is ground up and formed into a patty. But if you mix some tuna and mayo and chopped green peppers and put it on a bun, is that a tuna salad burger or a tuna sandwich? If you fry a fish and put that on a bun, is it a fried fish burger or a fish sandwich? If you put a one-inch pile of bologna on a bun, what would you call that apart from disgusting? Why do restaurants insist on calling anything they slap on a bun a "burger?" The sandwich is a noble institution. It deserves better than this sort of treatment.

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  1. <Why do restaurants insist on calling anything they slap on a bun a "burger?" >

    In my experience, they don't. Every time I've seen "burger" on a menu, it's been the kind of ground protein you describe. Can you provide an example of a menu that calls a tuna salad sandwich a tuna burger? Or a sliced turkey sandwich a turkey burger?

    1 Reply
    1. re: small h

      Right. Most of the time you see something along the lines of "tuna melt" or even the burger like "patty melt" is given its own nomenclature. And much of the time places we go out here in LA have given various sandwiches their own "in-house" names. Certainly Junior's Deli has many that fit that description and the SF Saloon has the chicken salad sandwich my wife loves - the "Nob Hill" named after a famous area of SF.

    2. This is something that bugs me. Almost every time I see a Chicken Burger on a menu, it is a chicken breast on a bun. And yes, I would not call that a burger; I would call that a sandwich. I don't really like chicken breast on a bun, but I do like chicken burgers, so my attention is often caught, but usually I am disappointed when I read the description.

      1. You're right - a burger is a subset of the sandwich category, not vice versa. If you look at old menus you'll see that before a certain point (the '50s?) it was typically listed as a "hamburger sandwich." Which makes perfect sense.

        21 Replies
        1. re: BobB

          That's correct. I've seen some old Connecticut diner menus from the 1920s call it a "Hamburg Sandwich." But at some point, people started grinding other types of meat and calling it a burger, which is fine, but then it became, "Let's just put something--anything--on a bun and call it a burger."

          I think you could get away with putting a crabcake on a bun and calling it a "crab burger." But how about a deepfried softshelled crab? Or some crab salad? It's like when I see something unusual on the menu described as a something "burger," I have to ask how is it prepared. "Well, the chef puts a dead unjugged rabbit fish on a brioche roll. It's our signature burger."

          1. re: monkeyrotica

            I think round and ground/cut. A slice of meatloaf on a bun is not a burger. A bean burger is a burger, as is a veggie burger. Chicken breast cut in a round is not but ground chicken in a round is.

            1. re: monkeyrotica

              Are you sure they didn't just mis-spell bugger? If you make the replacement (apart from the first reference) in your post you will see it makes a lot more sense.

              1. re: monkeyrotica

                I would hesitate to call one made with tofu a "burger" because to me that implies animal protein, ground and formed into a patty. Nobody I knows will grind tofu for a burger.
                I'd call it a soybean sandwich.

                My grandfather, long passed away, was surprised when I once served him tofu, and he said "Heck, that's just beans for people what got no teeth." His Okie accent made it all the more convincing.

              2. re: BobB

                I don't agree that a burger is a 'subset' of the sandwich category. There is no requirement that a burger be served on a bun or bread.

                How many times have you seen that terrible 'Diet Plate' on a menu? Hamburger with cottage cheese, iceberg lettuce and jello? Not a slice of bread to be seen.

                1. re: bagelman01

                  I usually seen the Atkins option, where you use the lettuce to hold the burger. Maybe being able to hold the thing in your hand is one factor in a meal's "sandwich-ness?"

                  But, yeah, if it's on the plate and you can't pick it up, it's more like a salisbury steak than a burger or a sandwich.

                  1. re: bagelman01

                    A burger comes on a bun. The bunless burger is just a hamburger patty. That's all. You can call anything you want, anything. It doesn't make it so.


                    1. re: Davwud

                      Which is exactly my point: just because you put a slab of meat on a bun, that doesn't make it a "burger."

                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                        You haven't named a single restaurant that labels a sandwich a burger. Are you sure this phenomenon actually exists? I was the first person to respond to your post, and I asked for examples then. Can you link to a menu to illustrate this?

                        1. re: small h

                          I just made up that "tuna salad burger" as a joke. But boneless chicken breast and seared ahi tuna "burgers" are pretty common. And here's a link to the Kung Pao Shrimp "Burger."


                          To me, those are sandwiches, not burgers.

                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                            Yeah, you're right, that Kung Pao Shrimp thing is not a burger. Although I have had shrimp burgers - made out of chopped shrimp - in Georgia and South Carolina. They are awesome!

                          2. re: small h

                            Susan's Fish 'N' Chips in Portland , Maine calls their fish sanwhich a fish-burger.

                            1. re: small h

                              Byron's drive-in here in Honolulu has a butterflied breaded deep fried prawn on a bun that is called a shrimp burger. I don't think its really a burger either, but it is on the menu that way. Those chopped shrimp burgers that you (small h) mentioned sound really good. And I agree, if it is chopped and made into a patty then cooked, it pretty much qualifies as a burger (per Davwud below.) That is why I don't include a "spamburger" (have you seen the commercials?) as a real burger. It is not formed into a patty then cooked. I guess if you ground up the spam then fried/grilled/broiled it, perhaps.

                              The next question would be how many additives to the protein can you have before you no longer have a burger. I would not include a crabcake sandwich because there is too much other stuff in there. If you made mini-meatloafs in patty form, again... its a meatloaf sandwich, not a meatloaf burger.

                          3. re: Davwud

                            Not at my house. I eat my burgers on toasted bread. I really don't like the doughy texture of burger buns.

                            1. re: KristieB

                              I'm not sure where you get your burger buns but what you make at your house is a hamburger sandwich.


                            2. re: Davwud

                              Burger without bun or bread?

                              We used to call it a "Salisbury Steak" which, now, come to think of it, really sounds like a euphemism.

                              1. re: Tripeler

                                I think of salisbury steak as mealoaf in a patty, or individual size serving that's flat. But, I've only had it when I was a child in Banquet frozen meals, or in school cafeterias.

                                1. re: Tripeler

                                  Dr Salisbury was a Civil War era doctor who tried to popularize a high protein diet, including some sort of minced meat patty ("Eat the muscle pulp of lean beef made into cakes and broiled") But it took the WW1 anti-German sentiments to turn the lunch counter Hamburger Steak into Salisbury Steak.

                              2. re: bagelman01

                                Why is that terrible? Depending on the quality, of course. Never had Jello with it, either, but I didn't grow up in the midwest US, where I think it may have been ubiquitous to the '50s 'diet plates' . As long as the cottage cheese was tasty, I'd eat and enjoy it.

                                1. re: EWSflash

                                  I didn't grow up in the midwest either, but in CT, worked and lived there and in NY and So FL and this is still a staple on menus, especially diners.

                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                    That's funny to me as a born/bred Wisconsinite (Midwesterner), where I rarely saw a "diet plate" item that was as you described. However, when I lived in Philadelphia or visited East Coast relatives, I often saw a diner or deli diet plate on menus that was some combo of bunless burger, a scoop of low-fat cottage cheese, slice of canned peach or fruit cup (rarely fresh) and/or Jell-o.

                              3. To me, it's about the protien and how it's handled. It's also about the bun. You're right that simply putting a chicken breast on a bun does not a burger make. To me, what makes a burger is a formed, cooked patty. If you take a crab cake, which is a formed, cooked patty and put it on a bun, I'd agree with it being called a burger. So long as the bun is round. If the patty is cut in half and put on an oblong bun it's a sandwich.
                                Salmon from a can mixed with mayo and spread on bun is a sandwich but if formed into a patty and cooked, it's a burger.


                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Davwud

                                  Formed and Cooked would seem to eliminate Maid-Rites and Nu-Ways from the burger kingdom by your definition. Maybe they are the duck billed platypus of the
                                  burger world.

                                  1. re: bbqboy

                                    Loose-meat sandwich

                                    It's self-explanatory.

                                    1. re: SnackHappy

                                      except that NuWay and Maid Rite both call their sandwiches burgers.
                                      Guess they didn't get the memo.:)

                                    2. re: bbqboy

                                      Even Maid-Rite doesn't call it a burger.

                                      "Since 1926 Our Maid Rite restaurants have been serving our delicious loose meat fresh ground beef sandwiches"

                                      It's not a burger. Not a formed patty.


                                      1. re: Davwud

                                        Yeah. Loose meat sandwich = minimalist sloppy joe.

                                        Maybe we should call them "neat joes?"

                                  2. To me a Burger has always been simply ground/minced beef.
                                    Check out this site:

                                    A sandwich is anything between two slices of bread..... yeasted or unyeasted rolls included.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: Gio

                                      I would be more liberal with both those definitions, I would accept other kinds of ground meat and even vegetarian patties in burgers. And I would include wraps, and tacos in the sandwich category. Anything served in bread that you can eat with your hands is a sandwich AFAIC.

                                      A McChicken is a sandwich, but it's not a burger. A Quarter Pounder is a burger, but it's also a sandwich.

                                      1. re: SnackHappy

                                        <"Anything served in bread that you can eat with your hands is a sandwich AFAIC. ">

                                        I completely agree with your statement! But, only a Burger is a burger. LOL

                                        1. re: SnackHappy

                                          The Brits seem to call chicken sandwiches served on buns/rolls "chicken burgers." Not sure if McDonald's refers to them that way though.

                                          1. re: deibu

                                            To be fair, the Brits also call trucks "lorries" so I don't know how much stock I'd put in them. But they do get the honor of naming the sandwich after the Earl of Sandwich, so maybe there's some merit.

                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                              They call fries, chips and chips, crisps. It's just a mess over there



                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                LOL, and you'd never call a chip butte a french fry burger!

                                      2. Its because Burgers and sliders are cool right now.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: worldwarz

                                          I think you've hit a major point there. Some of the higher-end chefs are trying to out-do eachother in the slider department, with mixed results. I've had some excellent 3-4-$9 sliders, done medium rare, brioche, pickle, perfectly seasoned. I tried some lamb sliders once, with feta and jalapeno, which were also tasty. I've also had some pulled pork sliders that were just meh, and some salmon sliders that tasted like dried bait. All of which made me want the REAL deal (Krystals/White Castles) that much more. Washington DC seems to be a slider dead zone: too far north for Krystals, too far south for White Castles, and the Little Taverns died off years ago. High-end sliders are nice once in a while, but I find myself craving the original: thin square perforated patties on a bed of sauteed onions with American cheese on a steamy doughy little bun.

                                          1. re: worldwarz

                                            Which brings up the question, what is a slider? I've had crab patty sliders, tenderloin sliders, basically somthing served on a small bun. A slider as a mini-burger would also need to be defined.

                                            1. re: chowser

                                              I'm a lot more open about what constitutes a slider than I am a burger. Probably because I've seen more oddball stuff served on a small bun than a large one. I think, at least in my case, there's an expectation that a slider is NOT going to be like White Castle/Krystal, but something unusual: lamb, barbecue, seafood. Put a large prawn on a small roll and I'll let you get away with calling it a "shrimp slider." Put three shrimps on a hamburger bun and call it a "shrimp burger?" Not so much.

                                              1. re: bbqboy

                                                That's a burger. It's made out of ground salmon. This is a salmon sandwich:


                                                1. re: small h

                                                  but wouldn't the egg and panko put it into the loaf category? :)

                                                  1. re: bbqboy

                                                    Hmmm. You raise an interesting point. I'll say that a burger is formed into a patty, whereas a loaf is not (intended to be) a single serving.

                                                    1. re: small h

                                                      It's sort of straddling the burger/meatball sandwich line.

                                                      1. re: SnackHappy

                                                        It is, but if you stress "patty" rather than "ball" or "loaf," the distinction is easier to see.

                                                      2. re: small h

                                                        If a patty melt is a burger, then what about a tuna melt? Only if it maintains a patty form?

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          I've never seen a tuna melt made with a tuna burger, only tuna salad, which is not to say a tuna burger melt doesn't exist somewhere. But the "melt" part refers to the cheese, as you probably already know. So your question is the equivalent of asking whether there's a difference between a hamburger and a ham sandwich (hint: yes!).

                                                2. There seems to be a tremendous amount of focus being placed on the fillings here. The bread/bun is where the difference lies. Take a piece of steak. Cook it and put it between two slices of bread with some salad...you've just made a steak sandwich.

                                                  Do the exact same thing, but use a burger bun and you've got yourself a steak burger.

                                                  A quarter pounder is a burger. A McChicken is also a burger. Neither are sandwiches.

                                                  If the filling is hot/grilled and it's inside a burger bun, it's a burger.

                                                  26 Replies
                                                  1. re: Orson

                                                    I don't know who made you the authority, BUT I disagree completely.

                                                    I am a native of New Haven, Home of Louis' Lunch, accepted by many as the originator of the hamburger sandwich.
                                                    Since 1900 it has been served between two slices of toast, never on a bun.

                                                    Louis Lassen also is claimed to have invented the hamburger. Lassen operated Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut since 1895, but it wasn't until one day in 1900 that a customer ordered a quick meal and Louis was out of steaks. Taking ground beef trimmings, Louis made a patty and grilled it, putting it between two slices of toast
                                                    The Library of Congress credits Louis Lassen of Louis' Lunch, a small lunch wagon in New Haven, Connecticut, for selling the first hamburger in the U.S.

                                                    A McChicken is in no way a burger, but a fried chicken sandwich that is served on a bun. The use of a bun does not IMHO turn a filling into a burger. While a patty made of ground turkey may be called a turkey burger and be served on a bun, a sandwhich made from a grilled piece of turkey placed on a bun is not a burger.

                                                    According to your logic, if one grills (cooks on the flat-top, as McD does) an egg with bacon and places it in a soft 'hamburder style' bun then it's an 'egg-burger.' That's just plain nonsense.

                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                      In some cases, that could be referred to as a "bacon and egg burger" and I'd see no problem with that, although I'd prefer to see a hamburger patty in there for good measure....
                                                      What I'd most likely refer to your creation there as, would be a "bacon and egg roll".

                                                      I'm not saying I'm some sort of authority, this is just my opinion. In this part of the world, nothing in a roll or a bun is ever called a sandwich. Grilled chicken breast with salad and cheese for example, would be a chicken burger. Take some cold shaved chicken meat and put it in a bun, with some salad, that'd be a "chicken and salad roll".....either way, neither are referred to as a sandwich.....you'd have to be using sliced bread to call it a sandwich.

                                                      To me that is pretty logical.

                                                      1. re: Orson

                                                        Try this. Go to the Google homepage and select "images". Type in chicken sandwich and tell me what you see. Try it again with barbeque sandwich.

                                                        1. re: kengk

                                                          Well given that I end up with predominantly US results, it's not surprising that I get a page full of chicken burgers. Funnily enough, the results change if I refine my search result by location....and all you've done is proven something that we already knew.

                                                          There's a difference from one region to another as to what is called a "burger" or a "sandwich". Nevertheless, I'm still going to attempt to impart the logic I have applied to this argument. The word sandwich is overused in the USA in that it can refer to an actual sandwich (sliced bread with fillings) or it can also refer to something that completely resembles a burger, but because the protein is not prepared in a specific way (minced and formed into a patty, despite the overall format and construction being identical, it cannot be called a burger.

                                                          Gee, you lot really are precious about your burgers...and I thought Kosher was strict....

                                                          1. re: Orson

                                                            Don't Americans get to define hamburgers?

                                                            Nobody would have argued with you (and it would have been vaguely interesting) if you had prefaced your comments with "in Australia we".

                                                            1. re: kengk

                                                              I'm not talking about "Hamburgers" specifically. The term "burger" on it's own has developed it's own place in the modern English language. Apologies for not prefacing, but I wanted to remove that as a factor and see if I could go about just getting my point across using logic.

                                                              LOL...the free dictionary even used the word sandwich when defining what is a burger. FFS.. I give up

                                                              burg·er (bûrgr)
                                                              1. A sandwich consisting of a bun, a cooked beef patty, and often other ingredients such as cheese, onion slices, lettuce, or condiments. Often used in combination: a cheeseburger.
                                                              2. A similar sandwich with a non-beef filling. Often used in combination: a crab burger; a tofu burger.

                                                              1. re: Orson

                                                                What free dictionary is giving is a prototypical burger (hamburger), and degree of deviation from that. How far can you get from the prototype and still call it a burger?

                                                                Changing the ground beef to ground turkey or lamb doesn't seem to be much of a problem. Just keep the bun? There are lots of examples of sandwiches with buns that usually aren't called burgers - McDonalds' chicken sandwiches, pull pork sandwiches, loose meat sandwiches. But some places do call those burgers.

                                                                Keep just the ground meat patty? Maybe. The patty itself might be called a burger. A historic place in Connecticut (?) claims to have sold the patty on sliced bread from day one.

                                                                Why aren't people squawking about shortening hamburger to burger? Use 'sammy' in place of 'sandwich' and you get shouts of righteous indignation. How about a 'hammy'?

                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                  So when you order a hamburger anything can show up and you just accept it? Pulled pork between two lettuce leaves is fine?

                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                    That example stretches the links with the prototype to the point of breaking.

                                                                    Pulled pork on bun conceivably could be called a 'pulled pork burger', but 'pulled pork sandwich' is more common (at least in my neck of the woods). That's a matter of common usage, not definition.

                                                                    One can talk about sandwiching something between lettuce leaves, but 'burgering' hasn't come into common usage. So even putting a ground beef patty between leaves does not evoke 'burger'.

                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                      People have said a burger doesn't need a bun, so why is making a lettuce burger wrong? As you said some places call pulled pork sandwiches burgers. Where is the line that "stretches the links with the prototype to the point of breaking?" We all clearly draw it at different places.

                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                        The bun and the ground beef patty are the key parts of the prototype. Change one and leave the other and you still have a connection. Change both and the connection is gone.

                                                                        Hubert Keller's Las Vegas Burger Bar lists, under Chef's burgers
                                                                        "VEGAS VEGAN
                                                                        Slow roasted eggplant, marinated and grilled roma
                                                                        tomato, grilled zucchinis and sauteed peppers.
                                                                        All sandwiched between two portobello
                                                                        mushroom caps."

                                                                        obviously the strongest connection with a hamburger is the context, a restaurant specializing in burgers. The mushrooms are bun-like (more so than pieces of lettuce). And the idea of a 'vegetarian burger', using a grain and vegetable mix the imitates a ground beef patty, has been around for some time. Though in this case it sounds as thought the vegetables are loose, not a formed patty.

                                                            2. re: Orson

                                                              What would you call grilled barramundi on a bun?

                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                I would call that a Barramundi burger :)

                                                                1. re: Orson

                                                                  And a grilled frankfurter on a (burger) bun...?

                                                                  1. re: wasny

                                                                    Now I'm curious to know what you call a "sandwich" on a roll that is not a hamburger bun? Does it change the taxonomy if said roll is oblong instead of round?

                                                                    1. re: kengk

                                                                      You're asking Orson, correct?

                                                                      1. re: wasny

                                                                        Yes, I forget how this sub threaded format works.

                                                                      2. re: kengk

                                                                        "Now I'm curious to know what you call a "sandwich" on a roll that is not a hamburger bun? Does it change the taxonomy if said roll is oblong instead of round?"

                                                                        Depends on the filling to a degree. lets say you still had Burger-style ingredients, then I guess you'd still get away with calling it a burger....but if you're talking about cold cuts or pulled/roast/carved meat etc then it's just a "___roll"

                                                                        Beef and gravy roll. Pork and Coleslaw roll. Egg and cheese roll. If it's on a roll we call it a roll.

                                                                        1. re: Orson

                                                                          I'm not trying to argue, honest question.

                                                                          "Beef and gravy roll. Pork and Coleslaw roll. Egg and cheese roll. If it's on a roll we call it a roll."

                                                                          I'm guessing that some if not all of the are served on what we call a sandwich roll, which is the normal platform for a sub, grinder, whatever your local vernacular, not a round roll such as an onion roll, or am I wrong? If I am wrong, would you call a sub (or grinder or whatever) still be called a roll, or would it be called a sandwich (as it is in my neck of the woods)?

                                                                      3. re: wasny

                                                                        I've never seen it done. Obviously a frankfurter in a long roll is a hotdog....put the same frankfurter on a burger bun and I'd probably just call it a frankfurter roll. Some restaurants might decide to call it a "hotdog burger" I guess.

                                                                        Bearing in mind that the term "burger" has now earned it's own place in the modern vernacular as a term that refers to the overall construction/item and is no longer merely viewed as an abbreviation of "hamburger" describing the patty itself.

                                                                        At no point, do I ever refer to anything that comes in a bun or long roll, a sandwich. Whilst technically they all are sandwiches of some form. In Australia, the word is only ever really used where sliced bread is involved.

                                                                        Subsequently, the term "burger" is used a little more freely and covers most grilled/fried proteins (and some veggie) in a burger bun.

                                                                        Check out this link the KFC Australia's online menu. We don't call it an "Original Recipe Sandwich" or a "Zinger Sandwich"....it's a "Zinger Burger"


                                                                        1. re: Orson

                                                                          I'm with you, Orson. Must be an Australian thing, but a burger is defined over here by what kind of bread it's served on. If it's a bun: burger, bread: sandwich. Keeps it nice and simple :)

                                                                          1. re: Orson

                                                                            Many years ago in Japan, McDonalds was selling hot dogs for a short time, and they were called Frank Burgers. Wow, that description just really fell flat.

                                                            3. re: Orson

                                                              I make these rolls every weekend for our lunches. I make mine with ham or turkey and my wife prefers PB&J. Peanut Butter and Jelly Burger? I don't think so.

                                                              1. re: kengk

                                                                As per my reply above, I'd call that a PB & Jelly roll. (I won't get into the difference between Jelly and what we call "Jam").

                                                                Anyway, cold fillings in a bun are definitely not a burger. Your right on that. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough on that point....having said that, I don't think they qualify as a sandwich either.

                                                                1. re: Orson

                                                                  What prompted you to revive a 3-yr old thread for your first Chowhound post?

                                                                  I agree that a burger involves ground protein, sometimes with binders, served hot, but whether it's between two slices of bread or on a roll/bun is immaterial.

                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                    Because it came up on google after I searched for it....and no, the protein does not have to be ground. Sure that's what constitutes a "burger patty", but the overall construction can still be called a burger even if the protein is not ground. Grilled chicken breast served on a burger bun is a chicken burger.

                                                                    IMO It could only be called a sandwich if sliced bread is used....otherwise how do you determine the difference? If I look at a cafe menu and order a sandwich, I expect sliced bread that has a crust, not a roll or a bun. if I want a cold chicken roll, I ask for exactly that and if I want hot chicken (patty, breast or otherwise) in a burger, I ask for a chicken burger.

                                                            4. The lines touch, but I doubt that Perry Mason's prosecutorial nemesis would have appreciated being addressed as "Hamilton Sandwich".

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                I'd say the single serving part is improtant. I would agree that if someone decied to put a slice of meatloaf on a bun, I would not call that a burger. But if some greek resturaunt put a bifteki on a bun, I wou;d have no problem calling that a "greek burger" (and a vast improvement on the way most places make a greek burger).

                                                                1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                  A favorite of my restaurants in Mexico, La Tarraya in Playa del Carmen, offers a "hamburguesa de pescado", breaded fried fish on a bun. Any type of fish, often bull shark. Pretty good, and less than $2.50. But always fresh fish.

                                                              2. The English language is flexible. That's a good thing.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: plasticanimal

                                                                  Right! In the American usage, a 'burger' IS a sandwich. If you look at the etymology of the word "Hamburger" (originally refered to s "Hamburg" or "Hamburger " steak, it really probably means something like 'as in Hamburg', or 'from Hamburg', or something similar (maybe the language scholars among us can weigh in).
                                                                  Over the years, Americans started abbreviating the word to 'burger', referring to the ubiquitous beef patty sandwich. Eventually, it seems to have come to mean just about any sandwich on the familiar round bun, whether whitebread, kaiser, brioche, etc. nd that's not even the real definer, since some of the best "burgers" I've had weren't even on a bun...they were on toasted bread.

                                                                  Really...whats the big deal? Everyone knows what the word 'burger' suggests. :-/
                                                                  To me, the best "hamburgers" are not even 'all beef'
                                                                  The definition of the word is wide open.

                                                                2. Okay, here is an excerpt from my blog. I did a piece on the history of the hamburger.

                                                                  "It is hard to pinpoint the time and place the hamburger was invented.
                                                                  It’s a given fact that it’s origins are in the Russian dish, Steak Tartare. It’s also a well recognized opinion that the city of Hamburg, Germany is the etymology of the name.
                                                                  Hamburg, a shipping town had Steak Tartare brought back from Russia in the 1600’s and renamed it Tartare Steak. As Years went by European and North American sailors would return home from Hamburg and with them came the “Hamburg” Steak. By the early 1800’s, New York City street vendors would offer German sailors “Steak cooked in the Hamburg style.” In 1900, Louie’s Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut lays claim to the first modern “Hamburger” when Louie Lassen sold a customer in a hurry one of his Hamburg Steaks between two slices of bread. This chain of events constitutes the general belief of the origin and birth of the hamburger as noted by the Library of Congress. Although the sandwich wasn’t named until years later.
                                                                  However. The Town of Hamburg, New York claims the birthplace when in 1885 two Erie County Fair vendors ran out of sausage meat for sandwiches and used ground beef instead. A New York Times obituary of Frank Menches (one of the men) contradicts this claim though. Athens, Texas cafe owner Fletcher Davis is credited with selling hamburgers in the late 1880’s. A claim substantiated by the McDonald’s Corporation who claim the invention was made by an unknown 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair vendor. Later confirmed as Davis. At the same time, 15 year old “Hamburger Charlie” Nagreen of Seymour, Wisconsin is said to have been selling smashed meatball sandwiches at the Seymour Fair in 1885. So named “Hamburgers” after the Hamburg steak the local German population was familiar. If all that wasn’t enough a more recent claim is that Oscar Weber Bilby of Weber’s Root Beer Stand in Tulsa, Oklahoma first served ground beef on his wife’s home made buns on July 4th 1891. The distinction being that all other claims are void as the bread of choice was sandwich bread. Not a bun."

                                                                  I tend to like the Oscar Bilby story the best because of the bun aspect. I've never been able to "Accept" Louis Lunch as the inventor.


                                                                  40 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                                    A hamburger is a ground beef patty between two pieces of bread. Anything different requires a modifier. Turkey burger, veggie burger, hamburger steak, etc.

                                                                    A ground beef patty between two slices of wonder bread is still a hamburger.

                                                                    1. re: kengk

                                                                      I totally agree, and those modifiers you speak of is where I come in. "Burger" (without the "ham" prefix) can encompass a wide variety of fillings. As you said, you can have a turkey burger, you can have a fish burger and you can have a chicken burger.

                                                                      It's like the old "all squares are technically rectangles but not all rectangles are squares. I acknowledge that technically, they can all be called sandwiches, what i don't understand is the insistence upon the use of the word. Surely it causes some confusion having one word that covers so many possibilities/formulae?

                                                                      Over here, if I use the word sandwich, I know I'm getting sliced bread and unless I specifically request it to be toasted, the filling is likely to be cold. "Burger" as a word, is available. Aside from being hung up on a technicality about the way the meat is prepared Why not used it?

                                                                      A taco is a taco is a taco....changing the filling from beef to fish doesn't stop them being tacos...we just use a modifier. they are "fish tacos" right?

                                                                      Apply the same logic to a burger and you'll see why I cannot understand why there is a refusal to call a chicken burger a chicken burger but rather a chicken sandwich. Yes, technically it's a sandwich in the same way that mushrooms are technically a fungus...but that doesn't mean we all go around insisting on calling them that.

                                                                      1. re: Orson

                                                                        If you grind the chicken and make a patty out of it then it's a chicken burger. A whole piece of chicken on a bun is a chicken sandwich.

                                                                      2. re: kengk

                                                                        Is a patty melt a hamburger, burger, or sandwich?


                                                                        You may insist that it is burger, but I would expect to find it under sandwiches in a dinner menu, along with the Ruben, club, and grilled cheese.

                                                                        But that has been mentioned twice earlier in this thread.

                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                          I would say that a patty melt is a subset of the hamburger. I would also say that when a name is more descriptive, as in this case, that is preferred.

                                                                          1. re: kengk

                                                                            Here is my line of thinking.

                                                                            A sandwich is any sort of bread stuffed with something else. From there we have various subsections which include, shawarma, bao, hoagie, po' boy and yes, burgers.

                                                                            Burgers aren't considered burgers unless they are on a bun. Not bread. A burger, named as such suggests a hamburger but anything other than ground beef between a bun needs a qualifier.

                                                                            I'd appreciate if all y'all would adjust your vernacular to reflect my belief.


                                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                                              I like the term "sandwich" as the overall, classification leader and then all of the various permutations grouped under their own particular place in the pantheon of, what I like to think of as the golfer "John Daly" rule for what constitutes a sandwich: "Grip it and rip it." That includes, but is not limited to sloppy joe's, burgers, patty melts, ham on rye, wraps, bao, burritos, empanadas, tacos and falafel...

                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                There was a lawsuit a few years back in a Boston suburb, relating to two chains.
                                                                                The plaintiff was a strip mall Panera. When the operators leased the space from the owner of the strip mall, part of the agreement was that the owner would not lease to any other sandwich shops. Panera sued when a Qdoba opened in the same mall, claiming that a burrito is a sandwich. The judge disagreed, based partially on the testimony of expert witness chef Chris Schlesinger (East Coast Grill, All Star Sandwich Bar), who challenged Panera's stance. chowhound.chow.com/topics/341727 Personally, I am on Panera's side, but my opinion doesn't count.

                                                                                If I were Potter Stewart, a patty melt would be a burger but a tuna melt would be a sandwich.

                                                                                As for the OP's preference for the term "roll" meaning the sandwich rather than just the bread, in these parts (other than in the case of a clam or lobster roll, which is seafood on a hot dog bun/roll), "roll" means either a bun of any of a variety of shapes, or a wrap (by which I mean tortilla, lavash, or other flatbread rolled around a filling. A turkey roll would be cold sliced turkey, probably with lettuce, tomato, and mayo, rolled up in a circular or rectangular flatbread.

                                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                                  That seems to be a letter of the law/spirit of the law thing.

                                                                                  But yes, IMHO a burrito is a sandwich.


                                                                              2. re: Davwud

                                                                                "I'd appreciate if all y'all would adjust your vernacular to reflect my belief."

                                                                                I will concede that in almost all cases a hamburger *should* be served on a bun. However; if you are at your weird aunt in-laws house and she puts the patties on wonder bread, well that is still a hamburger. Even if she does call them hamburglers.

                                                                                I was just checking out your very nice blog, you should venture further South. : )

                                                                                1. re: kengk

                                                                                  Thanks Keng

                                                                                  My FIL is very old and frail and won't be with us much longer. Once the day comes and goes we'll have a little more freedom to venture further south, east and west. For now though, all vacation time is dedicated to Mrs. Sippi going home to see her dad. And give her sister a break.


                                                                                  1. re: kengk

                                                                                    Sorry, Keng
                                                                                    Hamburgers should NOT only be served on buns.
                                                                                    I am a New Haven Native and posted earlier about Louis Lunch and serving on sliced bread.
                                                                                    For years the Friendly's Ice Cream Chain was owned and operated from here in New England and their hamburgers were also served on white Sliced Bread (usually toasted).
                                                                                    A good sized hamburger (more than 6oz) is often served on a nice Kaiser Roll (slightly grilled) as a soft hamburger bun woudn't hold up to it.

                                                                                    As for me, I prefer my burgers on a plate eaten with a knife and fork, with lettice, pickle, onion and cole slaw on the side.

                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                      Bagel, you disappoint me - no cottage cheese for your diet plate? As you know, I have a long history with Louis lunch, and the Friendly's big beef cheeseburger special, all on toast.

                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                        sorry Veg,
                                                                                        I don't eat cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese or Yoghurt................

                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                          I punt on 3 of the 4, but I do like me some cream cheese with smoked salmon or whitefish or finnan haddie or sturgeon. I had smoked mullet with cream cheese while I watched the Ryder Cup meltdown today.

                                                                                      2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                        bagelman, I would love for you to try one of my homemade, all purpose burger/sandwich rolls to see how they compare to a good northern bakery.

                                                                                        I actually suspect they are closer to what you call a Kaiser roll than a commercial hamburger bun.

                                                                                        Have been reading up on the patty melt. Although I was aware of the concept they are not that common in my normal environs. On the list of things to make.

                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                          Sorry BM. A burger patty served between slices of bread is a sandwich. It has to be on a bun. I know that thinking doesn't fly well in New Haven but that doesn't mean it aint so.


                                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                                            as I posted previously, I prefer mine on a plate sans bread of any kind.......

                                                                                            BUT...one doesn't order a hamburger sandwich, or say 'give me a hamburger on a soft roll. One merely orders a hamburger and the establishment usually is the one to decide on what breadstuff it is served.

                                                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                                                              Growing up, my Japanese mother almost always served burgers on Wonder Bread. Only later, after sampling burgers elsewhere, did I discover that most burgers weren't a blend of meats, didn't contain breadcrumbs, and weren't served with tonkatsu sauce. Yet that's a traditional Japanese "hambaagu" for you, albeit served on Wonder Bread. When I picked up a copy of the Luchow's cookbook from the 1950s, there was a recipe similar to my mom's, albeit even more meatloaf-ey; in addition to breadcrumbs and egg, they added beef kidney fat and served it sans bread like a salisbury steak.



                                                                                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                I still maintain that if it's not on a burger bun, it's not a burger. It's some sort of sandwich.

                                                                                                Much like if you served ground meat seasoned with cumin and lime juice garnished with pico de gallo, cabbage, green onion and cilantro on Wonder bread, it's not a taco. It's a sandwich.


                                                                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                  What if it's served without a bun or bread? Is it a salisbury steak? What if it's served with just the bottom bun, open faced? Is it an open-faced burger sandwich? What if it's served Atkins style with a leaf of lettuce? Did it just stop being a burger?

                                                                                                  I appreciate your definition of a burger needing a bun. I maintain a burger needs to be a ground protein patty, but to me, what it's served ON is a legitimate variable that doesn't affect its "burgerness."

                                                                                                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                    If it's served no bread product it's a hamburger steak. Quite common in the south.

                                                                                                    If it come without bread but with gravy it's Salisbury Steak.

                                                                                                    If it comes wrapped in lettuce instead of bread it's an Atkins Burger.

                                                                                                    If it comes with no top to a bun it's an Open Face Burger.

                                                                                                    If it comes on bread it's really a Patty Melt. Even if there is no cheese. It too can come open faced. If it's got gravy it's a Hot Hamburger Sandwich.

                                                                                                    A Bun is what makes something a Burger. Otherwise it's just a sandwich. As I said above, Burger can mean anything sandwich served on a bun but needs a qualifier, eg. Turkey Burger, Veggie Burger but used solely on it's own it's a ground beef patty on a bun, no cheese or bacon.

                                                                                                    Hope that clears things up for you.

                                                                                                    Hamburgers DO NOT come on sliced bread. Even if you're from New Haven.


                                                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                      Ah, but when is a bun a roll or a roll a bun? Let's just consider a "burger" in L.A. that regularly contends for the best in all of our fair city, the Father's Office burger as seen here: https://www.google.com/search?num=10&...

                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                        Buns and rolls are basically the same thing. If they're circular.


                                                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                          Now, just for the sake of argument (g) you make a burger out of the two end pieces of "bread" that both have "crust" on top, just like a roll. Maybe even bread that isn't square but rather oval shaped. What then do you have? More like a roll because of the crust, than bread. But those two pieces (in Japanese they call those pieces "mimi" or ears) are right out of the bread package.

                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                            I would say that sandwich bread is sandwich bread, heel or not.

                                                                                                            As for oblong, I guess it just depends on how round-ish or long-ish it is. There are such things as hamburger subs out there.


                                                                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                              Here is a very interesting site: http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main... and if you scroll down to the end of this page I note that their definition of "bun" includes "...a specialty bread for hamburgers and hot dogs."

                                                                                                      2. re: Davwud

                                                                                                        Oh how wrong you are!!! Do not pontificate, as you are not pope and I do not belong to the church of Davwud <VBG>

                                                                                                        See the picture of the broilers and toasters (with sliced bread) at Louis Lunch in New Haven.

                                                                                                        Hamburgers (and damn good ones!!!) do come on sliced bread!!!!

                                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                          Actually, they do not.

                                                                                                          By your account, if I put peanut butter between two slices of bread I have a peanut butter burger.
                                                                                                          If I put salmon on between two slices of bread I've made a salmon burger.


                                                                                                          Louis Lessen is a legend in NH, I get that. The simple fact is, he should not have been credited with inventing the hamburger. Plain and simple, he created a patty melt.

                                                                                                          Oscar Bilby invented the hamburger. Assuming the anecdote is correct.


                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                            Nonsense. The 'burger' is the patty.
                                                                                                            The bread it's served on is a matter of personal taste, and outside of that personal choice, it's irrelevant. :-)
                                                                                                            Toast works just fine, a good kaiser is great, a brioche roll is idea...and any one of them are _still_ a hamburger.

                                                                                                            bagelman01 is right.

                                                                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                              Sorry, if you read my old posts, this thread started in 2009, I believe that a hamburger is ground beef. Other ground meats can be used for things such as turkey burgers, etc. I do not call or refer to any filling not made of ground meat as a burger, unless it has the label 'veggie burger'

                                                                                                              and Louis Lassen never served a patty melt in his life. A patty melt requires that the bread be cooked with fat (butter, margarine, oil) on the flattop, and should have cheese melted on it, maybe onions as well.

                                                                                                              I don't eat cheeseburgers, so I don't eat patty melts.

                                                                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                He may have never served a Patty Melt but he never served a Hamburger either.


                                                                                                2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                  I agree.
                                                                                                  Personally, I like hamburgers served on any type of roll or bread _other than_ the usual soft 'white bread' type of roll... a nice brioche roll, or a good kaiser roll (so hard to find decent kaisers these days, sadly).
                                                                                                  Other than those, two slices of toasted bread also works great. Actually, anything but the ubiquitous "hambuger roll".

                                                                                              2. re: Davwud

                                                                                                And i'd say even a bao is sort of a fence sitted, one of those hong kong kinds, where they slit a bun down the side and stuff it with pork and peanuts and cilantro and stuff probably is a sandwitch, but something like a cha siu bao, where the filling is completely surrounded by dough and then cooked that way, would not, at least in my book be definable as a sandwitch; it would be a stuffed bun or roll (and sometihng like cha siu so would probably count as a turnover).

                                                                                              3. re: kengk

                                                                                                Intention of the cook is also a factor. If I fry up some ground beef patties, and serve them on slices of toast because I don't have buns in the house, I have not problem calling of them as burgers. But when I see a patty melt on the menu next to a tuna melt and grilled cheese, I think of them all as sandwiches, not a burger consorting with a bunch of 'melts'. And the various vegetarian burgers, even ones using large mushrooms as the 'bun', are all trying to fit into the burger family.

                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                  Ravenous carnivor as I am, Paul, I concede that a grilled portobello with provolone and green chilies, on a round bun, counts as a burger.

                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                      What if the portobello were the bun, as paulj posted above?


                                                                                              4. re: kengk

                                                                                                "A ground beef patty between two slices of wonder bread is still a hamburger"

                                                                                                And is just as good as McDonalds, according to Eddie Murphy's momma!

                                                                                            2. Ha. A slightly different viewpoint: My mom has periodically said that, while traveling, she and my dad "stopped for a sandwich". Curious, I have said, "oh, what kind of sandwich?". The answer is "hamburger."

                                                                                              This is odd to me because the phrase "hamburger sandwich" seems so....strange!

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                According to Google ngram, 'hamburger sandwich' phase peaked in use around 1940. Same for 'hamburger steak'. In current usage, plain 'hamburger' far outstrips both. 'burger' started grow in usage around 1960, and now is about half as common as 'hamburger'.

                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                  My grandfather-in-law always used to call them "hamburger sandwiches" or "hamburgs" and he spent a lot of time growing up around Connecticut diners in the 1920s where they were a staple on the menu.

                                                                                                  I'm more interested in this grammatical debate from the context of why restauranteurs use the word "burger" when "sandwich" would be more grammatically correct. I have no problem with a "kung pao shrimp sandwich" but calling it a "kung pao shrimp burger" just rubs me the wrong way. I mean, yeah, it's served on a bun with toppings, but it isn't beef and it isn't ground.


                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                    Hamburger Steak is still in common usage on Northeastern US Diner menus. It refers to a cooked on the flat-top double portion buger, former in the shape of a steak and served on a plate with potato, veg and often brown gravy.
                                                                                                    If one is sitting at the counter and can see the short order cook one can observe that when an order for a hamburger steak is placed, the cook takes two hamburger patties combines them and shapes into an oblong and cooks it on the griddle. I've never seen hamburger steak refer to a ground beef portion served between bread or roll.

                                                                                                    In the last 40 years, it is also common to see 'chopped steak' on menus. This allows the restaurant to use filler such as soy protein. I find it odd, because as a child, my mother and grandmother always referred to hamburger as 'chopped meat'. Grandma would make it in a wooden bowl with a hochmesser (mezzaluna), never putting it through the meat grinder.

                                                                                                    I grind all my own hamburger, but do use an electric meast grinder.

                                                                                                  2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                    While I have heard of "Hamburger Sandwiches" in my travels, it mostly brings to mind a hot open faced sandwich covered in brown gravy and served with a side of fries or mashed potatoes, both also covered in brown gravy.

                                                                                                  3. Lots of discussion of the importance of the type of bread, but I noticed one glaring omission. English muffins. I've seen many burgers served on these. Does a beef patty on an english muffin satisfy or offend your definition of a burger?

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                      Let's push the envelope a bit more, and use an arepa. :)


                                                                                                      1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                        I've been considering playing the biscuit card ever since this started. Anything on a split biscuit is a _________ biscuit. It is a type of sandwich but I would never call it a sausage on biscuit sandwich. It's simply a sausage biscuit.

                                                                                                        So, Hamburger biscuit ------------>Hamburger muffin?

                                                                                                      2. I'd be tempted to pronounce this whole kerfuffle a "tempest in a teapot", but someone would insist it's a kettle, not a pot! ;>b

                                                                                                        1. Shall we complicate things further by mentioning those poor, deluded souls who say "bread roll"? So, is it bread? Or is it a roll?

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                            :raises hand defiantly:
                                                                                                            You have your jelly roll, back roll, bed roll, roll in the hay, bank roll, California roll.....

                                                                                                            1. re: kengk

                                                                                                              Don't exclude Bob Seger. Roll me away. I too am sick of what's wrong and what's right.

                                                                                                          2. If an establishment advertises a "something" burger, I'd expect that "something" to be on a hamburger bun.

                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                              If I saw a muffin burger or krispy kreme burger or focaccia burger on the menu, I'd think I'd be getting ground beef in that. Bacon burger, I'd think I was getting bacon on top of the meat in a regular bun, as with cheeseburger. A vegan burger would have no animal products and not be a vegan on a roll. A Big Mac burger would be just a Big Mac, although the decadence of a Big Mac w/in a burger might be tempting. This is why my son says he prefers math. There's none of this uncertainty, unless you're studying uncertainty and even then it's quantifiable.

                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                ah... but the muffin burger, krispy kreme burger or focaccia burger describes the bread.

                                                                                                                If the menu just stated chicken burger, salmon burger... I would expect a hamburger bun.

                                                                                                                1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                  "I would expect a hamburger bun"

                                                                                                                  Honey, wheat, white, pretzel, or sesame?

                                                                                                                  1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                    Well, yes that's my point. There are various ways xxx burger is used. But you said "...a "something" burger, I'd expect that "something" to be on a hamburger bun." And, that means krispy kreme is "something" or a krispy kreme between the bun.

                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                      Which leads me to ask: what came first: the burger or the bun? I mean, it's not like they were invented at the same time. Hamburgers were first served on sliced bread as a "hamburger sandwich." Only later were buns baked for the sole purpose of being served with burgers, at which point the "sandwich" was dropped.

                                                                                                                      Although the semantics might seem ridiculous, this sort of thing easily leads to misunderstandings. A co-worker from Louisiana went to a local "southern" eatery and ordered "chicken and gravy." What he got was a fried chicken breast with cream gravy. Where he comes from, "chicken and gravy" is stewed bone-in chicken served in its own sauce. Sort of a chicken pot pie minus the pastry, and with the bones in. Needless to say, he was disappointed, even though I've never seen "stewed chicken" served anywhere in my entire life and when I see "chicken and gravy," I think fried chicken with brown/cream gravy. Anyway, to get back to my original point, it seems half the time I see "chicken burger" what you get is a ground chicken patty; the rest of the time, you end up with a whole chicken breast on a bun, which to me is a "chicken breast sandwich."

                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                        "... krispy kreme is "something" or a krispy kreme between the bun."

                                                                                                                        Only if you're Paula Deen. :-)

                                                                                                                        So is a Reuben sandwich a cannibal's delight? Some poor schlep named Reuben being served up? lol

                                                                                                                        1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                          Yeah, based on what you're saying:


                                                                                                                          Yes, Reubens could be in demand, although the only one I can think of is from the Partridge Family. I don't think there is a hard and fast rule on a descriptor that it must be served in in the bun, as the bun or describe the whole thing. A Pink burger would be a 4 year old princess's dream, not the rock group's nightmare.

                                                                                                                  2. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                    You might be disappointed or pleasantly surprised.....................
                                                                                                                    Great Expectations>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
                                                                                                                    Hamburger on a Kaiser Roll
                                                                                                                    Hamburger on Toast

                                                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                      See, you're just opening yourself up for more disappointment. Round patty on square (ish) bread?? tsk, tsk, tsk. Fail.


                                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                        Ask Wendy's if that would be a problem...

                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                          I see DT's point is the round patty is surrounded by extra bread filler, while a Wendy's burger is a square patty that "overflows" the bun.

                                                                                                                          1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                            A square peg in a round hole or round peg in a square hole. A difference without a distinction...

                                                                                                                            1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                              When I was in the wholesale bakery business, a favorite kosher deli owner told me:
                                                                                                                              "a sandwich should only have enough bread to hold the meat in and keep your fingers dry"
                                                                                                                              It's about the filling, not the container.

                                                                                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                Ya, no the bread matters too.

                                                                                                                                As I said, you don't make PB&J burgers. It's a sandwich because it comes on (Anyone?? Bueller?? Bueller??) . You don't have a taco when serving taco meat n fixin's on bread.


                                                                                                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                  taco meat n fixin's on bread is called a torta, which I usually prefer over a hamburguesa.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                            White Castle could serve you square hamburgers, with holes in them. Friendlys always served round patties on square toast.
                                                                                                                            Wendy's serves square patties on round buns..................

                                                                                                                            Who nsays you can't put a round peg in a square hole?????????????,<VBG>

                                                                                                                            and again, I eat my hamburger on a plate with knife and fork. If I ate the standard hamburger bun I'd be sneezing all over the food.

                                                                                                                          3. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                            As commented above to Chowser, if the menu just had a generic description, I would expect a hamburger bun. Of course, restaurants will upsell their burgers by advertising on a Kaiser roll or toast.

                                                                                                                        2. While we're at it, would anyone care to attempt to demystify Bill Cosby's famous "Double Bacon Burger Dogs"?!?!?!

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. Eh, a burger is just a type of sandwich in my book.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                              I nominate a new name for any "food" you pick up and eat like a sandwich. It shall, henceforth from this day forward, be known as a "handwich" (all as I noted in my post up thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6489... )