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A burger sandwich. Not a hamburger.

I really don't know the difference.My sandwich came to order with lightly toatsed and buttered white bread.My jaw dropped. It was a Reuben without rye. Then I thought,Holy crap. Thumbs up ! Not because of the rye bread,but where I live on the west coast it would be on some stupid hippy shit bread.I had the hamburger on my first visit. Basic,tasty, on a small bun.Tomato, lettuce,with a little mayo. The toasted sliced white bread is there. Is this a east coast thing ? I would like the white bread instead of the bun.I could easily rid the tomato and lettuce.They have just recently opened. And busy. What would you call it on the menu ?

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  1. Just ask for the white bread...

    1. or Order a hamburger club...

      1. A hamburger club will get you 3 pieces of toasted bread with bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo.

        Another hamburger sandwich is a patty melt - beef patty, caramelized onions, cheese grilled on rye bread.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nlgardener

          Patty melt isn't always on rye. Depends on where you get it.

          1. re: PotatoHouse

            love a good patty melt.
            am clearly disappointed when it arrives at my table other than on rye

        2. Technically a hamburger IS a sandwich; it's between two or more pieces of bread....

          Agree with JayL; ask for the kind of bread you want...I'm sure they don't care.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cherylptw

            We only serve burgers now on toasted English muffins. Pork, lamb and beef burgers btw.

          2. I live on the west coast too. I make this all the time.....when I run out of hamburger buns !!!

            Just ask for your burger on white bread or sourdough toast is nice too.

            A patty melt is on bread too but they are grilled. They are a classic diner staple in all states.

            3 Replies
              1. re: Gastronomos

                NY patty melts aren't on bread?????

                1. re: c oliver

                  No patty melts ! How's that ?!
                  Life ain't as good without a patty melt. .. I promise !

            1. Louis' Lunch in New Haven has served its burgers only on white bread toast since 1895.

              1. What do you consider a patty melt, one of the iconic American burgers? Burger is served on rye bread, grilled on both sides of course.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Karl S

                  First, my condolences on your having to eat hippy shit bread. I live in the East Bay area, and always have to be careful to ask exactly what is going to cloak my sandwiches, emglow. Unless I'm somewhere a little more upscale than the places I frequent (not dives or hippy shit places, but owner-owned cafes and suchlike...GREAT food, fuggedabout the bread, "butter," etc.)
                  W ONE exception. Here, BBQ is served with the cheapest, nastiest, softest air-filled Wonder-type breads. It's only a vehicle for the bbq and the sauce; as a plate mop, a napkin, and then to get at all the rest of the sauce.
                  It's supercruddy bread, and I wouldn't want BBQ served up any other way.

                2. stupid hippy shit bread LOL I haven't laughed so hard from something I read on chow hound in awhile

                  1. As a child, I was once served a hamburger on white bread. I burst into tears.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: mwhitmore

                      I'm just the opposite. I love the way spongy white bread forms a protective cocoon around a good greasy homemade burger.
                      Never been a fan of crust or toast and a bun is all crust. :)

                      1. re: bbqboy

                        Soul food joints commonly serve fried fish with a couple slices of Wonder Bread. It's there as a neutral carrier vector to get the hot fish from the styrofoam/foil to your mouth. Also to soak up the hot sauce. Sometimes you want bread that has its own flavor that complements what's between the slices. Sometimes you want bread that doesn't get in the way. You want a white canvas on which the food itself paints the flavor.

                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                          That's exactly how brisket is served at the soul food barbecue joints in Elgin, TX, outside Austin, and it is good!

                      2. re: mwhitmore

                        I'm with you. My mother served me burgers on white bread from time to time out of a false sense of economy. One bite and the bread gets soaked in juices and begins to fall apart. At best it's a gloppy mess. At worst you've got to eat it with a fork.

                        There's a good reason that burgers are served on buns 98% of the time.

                        1. re: mwhitmore

                          Sounds incredibly traumatic. In some places, kids burst into tears because they don't get anything to eat.

                        2. A Reuben without rye would be corned beef and swiss, not a hamburger. Regardless of the kind of bread. A Reuben is not a burger.

                          You had a hamburger on white bread? But then you say you had it on a small bun. Which one was it?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Just Visiting

                            I had the hamburger on a small bun. I see they make other sandwiches on toasted white bread. Next time I get the hamburger I am giong to ask for the toasted white bread,not the bun.

                            1. re: emglow101

                              OK, got it. You ordered a Reuben and it arrived on toasted white. Personally, I would never have gone back. Not only a travesty but hard to imagine that white bread - and from your description it sounds like packaged sandwich bread - could hold up to the corned beef, swiss, and kraut.

                              The mere thought of it makes me shake my head. It is like someone walking into a NY Jewish deli and ordering turkey on white bread with mayo. Just wrong.

                              Then you saw on the menu that this is also on option for a burger. Again, hard to imagine that sandwich bread would hold up to a burger.

                              To answer - no it is not an East Coast thing. I've lived in the Bos-Wash (northeast) all my life and I've never seen this.

                              Can we ask where this place is? What is the name? Maybe they make their own bread and it is a thick or dense bread, not sandwich bread?

                              1. re: Just Visiting

                                "It is like someone walking into a NY Jewish deli and ordering turkey on white bread with mayo. Just wrong."

                                Not as wrong as corned beef or pastrami, with mayo, on white bread. Just sayin'. Our daughter used to prefer it that way and we gave her kindof a hard time about it. Sorry now. Whatever works!

                          2. You're aware, arent you, that in its original US heyday 100 years ago and for a few decades after that, what's now shortened to "hamburger" was often "hamburger sandwich" or "Hamburg sandwich?" (Even Wikipedia got that part right, though it doesn't reveal how commonplace those phrases were in popular writing and cookbooks.)

                            Also, when the great US compendium on sandwiches, the standard work on the subject, appeared in 1939 (which seems to've been around the high point of sandwich art in the US and incidentally unlike Wikipedia, not hampered by the weird recent notion that a sandwich implies "two or more" pieces of bread), its hundreds of recipes (which included some 60 pages on double-deck "club" sandwiches alone, several recipes per page) include many sandwiches with hamburger patties inside. Random examples from index:

                            Hamburger-Horseradish AND American Cheese on toast

                            Hamburger-Bermuda Onion AND Ham-Dill-Lettuce on rye

                            Also, one of its recipes called a "Hamburger Sandwich" places one or two patties on open bread or toast; cover with brown gravy. (So much for "two or more slices.") Garnish with a few French fries and "1 scoop of buttered peas."

                            I.e., your sandwich has venerable pedigree.

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: eatzalot

                              Anything in the book about a hot dog sandwich?

                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                No, it didn't cover sausages (presumably a different professional specialty).

                                Hot dog was a popular US name from long ago for what was more formally a Frankfurter. Quick glossary:

                                Frankfurter [Ger.] = of or from Frankfurt [English]

                                Hamburger [Ger.] = of or from Hamburg [English]

                                Wiener [Ger.] = of or from Vienna [English]

                                (Frankfurters I've actually sampled in or from Frankfurt seem to be usually narrower than the US adaptation, with tougher casings.)

                                1. re: eatzalot

                                  Well, skinless Frankfurters would probably be considered an abomination by Germans. And the classic way Frankfurters are served in Germany is a tied pair would be poached for a few minutes in scalding (but not boiling) water, then plated with (but not in) a roll and some mustard on the side.

                                  1. re: Karl S

                                    I've bought lots of sausages from German street vendors in Frankfurt, Munich, and Hamburg. They've always need served on a roll. (Something a lot more robust than a Wonderbread hot dog roll.)

                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                      Well, street vendors will do that because there's no plating, but ideally there are different methods for different kinds of wursts (some wursts are meant to be sucked, some opened and spread on the brotchen - and German brotchen are more substantial than standard US hot dog rolls....)

                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                        Yes, that's true of street vendors (there and in many other places). The Frankfurter is versatile and ubiquitous. (You've scarcely lived until you've tried a full-fledged Frankfurter Schlachtplatte -- the local answer to a Strasbourg choucroute -- with about two pounds of Frankfurters, in pairs as usual; a pound or two of pork loin, a quart of sauerkraut and a handful of whole spices -- that's all per PERSON -- in a good Frankfurt neighborhood café. Full of cigarette smoke, needless to say, unless things have recently changed radically there.)

                                    2. re: eatzalot

                                      Since you're talking hot dogs and sandwiches, I'll chime in. I grew up in a very poor family. How poor were we? This is how I made hot dogs for my brothers and sisters (I was oldest of 7).

                                      Cook two slices of USDA govt surplus sliced bologna in a frying pan till just seared. Place cooked bologna on a slice of USDA surplus white bread. Roll the bread like a jelly roll. Voila, le hot dog. To make a cheese dog slap on a slice of USDA surplus American cheese.

                                      1. re: eatzalot

                                        I once worked with a German guy Ralf as a leader taking groups of children on trips. They kids got into teasing each other with "Do you have a weiner?" questions and they finally got around to asking Ralf if he had a weiner. Ralf sombrely replied "No, I am from Bremen" and the kids were intensely puzzled.

                                      2. re: Bob Martinez

                                        Interesting... last week I was in a Burger King and a big poster on the wall referred to a "Whopper sandwich."
                                        I guess calling it a "Whopper hamburger" would be redundant?

                                        1. re: Tripeler

                                          About as delicious as eating 1 sixteenth of a recycled truck tire.

                                    3. so, you got a Rueben sandwich on toasted white. unless it's Jewish Rye, seedless and without caraway seasoning/smell/aroma/stench I'd ask for any other bread they have. I like rye. without the caraway stench. and "seedless" does not mean they left out the caraway, as it is still added in huge quantities as repulsive dust to the dough.

                                      as for a hamburger on toasted rye, in the Midwest you can get a patty melt. which you can choose to view as a grilled cheese with a burger patty or as a cheeseburger on toasted/griddled white bread.

                                      and as for "some stupid hippy shit bread", I agree, whether hippy or hipster, most of that shit sucks. I occasionally will get a half way decent "sour dough" though.

                                      my main concern with your post is not the type of bread though. it's that you got a SANDWICH between two slices of bread. here, on the east coast, as you ask, a Reuben is often, but not always, served "Open Face(d)", no matter if it's listed on the sandwich menu or not...

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                        A ubiquitous offering at most truck stops in Western Canada: A couple of slices of 'Wonder bread' swimming in brown gray with a Salisbury steak' AKA large flat thin hamburger patty covered in more brown gravy. Served with all the ketchup you want.

                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                          Relax: According to today's new self-appointed online experts, none of these things can be accused of being a "sandwich," because all served open-faced.

                                          (A point somehow missed by generations of past US experts with far more authority, and in important European dining cultures today, where _most_ of what translate as "sandwiches" have always been open-faced.)

                                            1. re: eatzalot

                                              eatzalot, I ordered a reuben sandwich, as described on the menu, in each of two places.

                                              since you are one of "today's new self-appointed online experts", which of the two pics would you expect to be served?

                                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                                Oh man, #2 looks spectacular! But I'd eat either one!

                                                1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                  if you were sitting down in a casual restaurant and saw "Rueben Sandwich" on the menu with no picture, which of the two would you expect to show up in front of you?

                                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                                    I used to expect a "Reuben" to be #1 (actually with more evidence of grilling), but I've been served #2 so often (mostly in the NYC area -- insert own joke here) that I now know to ask.

                                                    1. re: Gastronomos

                                                      The mess on the right doesn't look anything like a Reuben, but I'm guessing it would be plenty tasty. The other is more traditional, but would prefer it grilled.

                                                  2. re: Gastronomos

                                                    Gastronomos, they both look good to me! I'm no expert on Reubens, but have had them both ways in various parts of the US, enjoyed them either way -- it depended more on the ingredients. (And I prefer a more traditional, flavorful "Russian dressing" to its later dilute offshoot "thousand island.")

                                                    There might be some misunderstanding here. I groused about self-appointed "experts," as on Wikipedia (on this, as on so many other food topics), who presume to "define" sandwich as something between two or more pieces of bread, saying nothing about the long tradition of open "sandwiches" in the US, in popular sources long before the internet, or the glorious food cultures in other places, Vienna for instance, where most sandwiches have one piece of bread. (Most people who hang out much in Vienna eat at Trzésniewski's Buffet sooner or later -- Franz Kafka ate there -- or cafés like the Black Camel, established in the 1600s. Classy inexpensive wine bars with spreads of open-faced sandwiches that would make anyone drool.) To say nothing of Scandinavia. Or the US Hot Turkey Sandwich, popular longer than anyone has been alive. (The Reuben is a fairly recent invention, 1950s if I remember, so not in de Gouy's 1939 manual that I mentioned earlier.)

                                                    Another good way to do a hamburger (this has been in one popular cookbook for generations, in millions of US homes) toasts or broils one side of a piece of bread, adds a layer of ground meat to the other side, and finishes it under a broiler. (Add thinly sliced red onions, etc, to taste.)

                                                    If people are going to try to instruct everyone in an "encyclopedia," it is helpful if they know something about their subject, that's all.

                                              2. re: Gastronomos

                                                The Rueben's I used to order had rye bread and sauerkraut and sliced corned beef topped with cheese.
                                                Where is the hamburger?

                                              3. Friendly's was/is east coast (many have closed) and their Big Beef Cheeseburger was served on white toast. It was/is a tasty sandwich. Good ice cream, also.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                  Friendly's is still in the Hampton Roads, VA area..haven't been in there in years, but it's still there

                                                  1. re: Cherylptw

                                                    And I thought it was just a local chain. Interesting!

                                                    Hadn't been there in years but just a week or two ago stopped after a hospital visit, and was pleasantly surprised at how good the pastrami sandwich, and the fish taco platter, were. Hit the spot!

                                                2. I'd call it a hamburger. At home, I make most of my hamburgers on regular bread. Just needs a slice of onion below the patty to keep the juices from soaking through.

                                                  1. Some sub shops serve a hamburger (or cheeseburger) sub. It's usually two patties, served on a sub roll, with whatever toppings you want. Pretty good sandwich, and an alternative to the regular hamburger on a bun.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: 4X4

                                                      You reminded me of a sub shop in Gainesville, Florida, that used to serve a legendary, gut-busting pizza-burger sub: two thick patties cooked on a griddle with lots of melty provolone and mozzarella cheeses, pepperoni, grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms (optional), parmesan, and a thick, spicy, robust marinara sauce (together on the griddle with everything else) -- then scooped into a garlic buttered 12-inch sub roll, also toasted on the griddle.

                                                      Good times.

                                                      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                                        Ah, the hamburger sub. This used to be a staple of carryout pizzerias and sandwich shops. Two handpressed patties topped with sub toppings, and usually lots of cheese. What passes for a hamburge sub now seems to be frozen McDonalds style patties and horrible flavorless sub rolls.

                                                        I stopped at an pizzeria in Connecticut once where their "hamburger sub" wasn't patties but loose, ground burger meat. Sorta like a Maid Rite loose meat sandwich, except in sub form. Seasoned with just salt, pepper, and diced onions. You'd think it would taste bland, but there was nothing to distract from a beefiness of the burger. Messy as all get out.

                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                          Other than possible spice and sauce changes, and size of the meat 'unit', how is a hamburger sub different from a meatball sub?

                                                          1. re: Midlife

                                                            meatballs have a filler, usually bread, but could be potato or rice or bulgar, etc. and are either fried or baked. meatball subs are most often served with tomato sauce, and if 'parmasan' style, added mozzarella.

                                                            hamburgers are properly 100% beef, grilled or griddled sometimes over diced onions, and if in a sub, served with mayo, lettuce, tomato, etc... and 'American' cheese, on good sub bread.

                                                            this could be a 'regional' thing tho...

                                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                                              I grew up in New York and have lived in SoCal all my adult life and have never seen a "hamburger sub" on a menu. I probably would have ordered one if I had, just because of the bread choice.

                                                              I agree it may be somewhat regional, though. But I've had lots of meatballs that had no or little filler and aren't hamburgers (technically) either fried or baked as well? Actually, thinking about it, that description of a hamburger as "grilled or griddled sometimes over diced onions, and if in a sub, served with mayo, lettuce, tomato, etc." seems way too simplistic but, then, I DO live in SoCal. ;o)

                                                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                This. The only real distinction between a regular hamburger and a hamburger sub is that the latter is served on a sub roll. The range of burger toppings is pretty much the same. It's basically an excuse to eat two burgers on one loaf of bread. A meatball sub is like that thing you get at subway: meatballs, sauce, cheese, on a roll.

                                                                Definitely a regional thing. I've seen hamburger subs as far south as Florida and as far north as Connecticut, but never in the midwest. Doesn't mean they don't exist, though. The migratory pattern of hamburger/cheeseburger subs would be an interesting topic for a budding culinary historian. God knows chicken & waffles and hotdogs have been done to death.

                                                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                  "...chicken & waffles ...have been done to death."

                                                                  this is true. here in New York suburbs it existed back until the late 1970's and into maybe the early '80's in certain diners in neighborhoods, but more often fried chicken and pancakes.

                                                                  now all i see is the hipster places have boneless chicken breast, breaded and fried, basically chicken fingers from the kids menu, over poor quality waffles. death warmed over.

                                                      2. as a child, I longed for a real hamburger bun; my mother was one of the "economical" ones who served them on white wonder bread. atrocious.

                                                        Now, I eat neither bun or bread, request it Protein Style. (wrapped in lettuce leaf)

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: laliz

                                                          Does everyone know about this or only In-n-Out?

                                                          1. re: acgold7

                                                            Bo Deedle [sp] is on TV advertising a 'Ruben' from Arbeys
                                                            sandwich right now!
                                                            That doesn't look like no hamburger.

                                                        2. Ok, let's clarify this thread.
                                                          Picture #1 is a TRADITIONAL Reuben sandwich, corned beef with sauerkraut and 1000 Island dressing grilled on rye bread.
                                                          Picture #2 is a Patty Melt. A hamburger patty with cheese (usually American) grilled on the bread of your choice.
                                                          Never the twain shall meat...er...meet.

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                            Except ...... at The Hamburger Hamlet chain (now almost all gone) where they made their Patty Melt open-faced. ;o))

                                                            1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                              The Reuben would look better if it were grilled as well as the Patty Melt.

                                                                1. re: grampart

                                                                  I've ordered many a 'Rueben' over many decades. Every one of them has been grilled.
                                                                  How else does any one think the cheese was melted????
                                                                  (Shakes head)

                                                                2. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                  "corned beef with sauerkraut and 1000 Island dressing..."

                                                                  Please: Russian dressing. ("Thousand Island" is a diluted, often insipid, derivative of Russian dressing, with more mayonnaise, and in the 1940s, when it appeared, it sometimes also had unsweetened whipped cream added. When I last checked, Wikipedia as often true with food history had a potpourri of assorted sources -- and lacked some good, original ones that aren't online -- clouding this picture.)

                                                                  Anyway as a longtime Reuben fan, I noticed even 25 years ago that delis or restaurants attentive to this sauce difference also generally made the best Reubens.