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  1. Patty melt
    Beef patty, grilled onions, melted cheese, toasted rye

    PROS
    � It has a classic beef patty.
    � Grilled onions and melted cheese aren�t exactly foreign to burgers.

    CONS
    � Since when do burgers come on toast?

    LET IT BE DECIDED
    Bun fascists be damned�this is a burger.

  2. Veggie burger
    Vegetable patty, burger bun, various �healthful� accoutrements (avocado, sprouts)

    PROS
    � Colors notwithstanding, it looks like a burger.
    � It has proper burger bread.

    CONS
    � It�s healthy.
    � Where�s the beef?

    LET IT BE DECIDED
    This isn�t a burger. It�s a portable salad.

  3. Loose-meat sandwich
    Crumbled ground beef, burger bun
    (see: Maid-Rite, 2429 N Lincoln Ave, 773-687-9250)

    PROS
    � It comes with pickles, onions, ketchup and mustard.
    � It�s on a bun.

    CONS
    � There�s no patty.
    � There�s no joy.

    LET IT BE DECIDED
    Loose meat does not a burger make.

Are patty melts, veggie burgers and loose-meat sandwiches burgers?

Let’s decide once and for all.

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Veggie burgers aren’t burgers. They’re veggie burgers. And there’s a difference. Wait—isn’t there? 

RECOMMENDED: Best burgers in Chicago

Humankind will shape almost anything into a patty and shove it into a bun, but with each new entry into the burger—sorry, “burger”—category, a debate must take place. Does anything go? Clearly the answer is no—just look at the abominable turkey “burger.”

Below, we attempt to solve three particularly pesky cases of burger identity theft (or not).

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