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

Let’s decide once and for all.

Patty meltBeef patty, grilled onions, melted cheese, toasted ryePROS� 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 DECIDEDBun fascists be damned�this is a burger.
Veggie burgerVegetable 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 DECIDEDThis isn�t a burger. It�s a portable salad.
Loose-meat sandwichCrumbled 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 DECIDEDLoose meat does not a burger make.
By David Tamarkin |

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

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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).