A Better Burger

Burgers may be the quintessential American food—collectively we consume 50 billion of them annually. Purists prefer a basic burger, maybe with some bacon or cheese on top. But experimental restaurants around the country are pushing the envelope, adding everything from mac and cheese to fried green tomatoes and beef tongue. Shunning buns, they are serving burgers between doughnuts, wrapped in lettuce leaves, or on top of waffles with maple syrup and butter. Instead of a boring burger, spice up the summer with these interesting variations.

The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Miami Beach

The casual and lively BH Burger Bar in this Forbes Five Star property offers a high-end twist on burgers. Guests can opt for the Artisanal Craft Burger (pictured), which changes daily, or the Signature Burger—a decadent combination of black truffle, grilled foie gras, Gouda cheese, aioli, tomato jam and organic butter lettuce, piled on top of a 7-ounce, single-grind beef patty.

Slater’s 50/50 Huntington Beach, California

Visitors are encouraged to dream up creations at this Southern California chain, but it happily provides ideas. The sweet yet salty Peanut Butter and Jellousy Burger has ground beef, thick-cut bacon, creamy peanut butter and strawberry jelly, and is served on a honey wheat bun. The Hawaiian combines a patty with Spam, American cheese, a sunny-side up egg, pineapple, Baconnaise and teriyaki sauce.

Crave Real Burgers, Denver

luther-burgerPhoto from craverealburgers.com

Adding unusual ingredients such as green chili, tempura and coleslaw, this Colorado-based chain can transform an ordinary burger into something whimsical. An extraordinary offering is the Luther Burger, a breakfast burger that adds a fried egg, candied bacon, cheddar and onion—served between two glazed doughnuts. It is reportedly named after R&B singer Luther Vandross, who was said to be a huge fan of the sandwich.

The Blind Burro, San Diego

The Chorizo Burger puts a Mexican stamp on an American classic. The flavorful invention combines ground brisket with smoky house-made chorizo, spicy grilled poblano peppers, creamy Oaxaca cheese and cilantro pesto mayo. It comes with the choice of a side. Try the corn off the cob, prepared with crema, lime, queso cotija (hard cow’s-milk cheese) and hot sauce.

Burger Brasserie, Las Vegas

Burger lovers who hit the jackpot can splurge on the 777 Burger at Paris Las Vegas. The $777 layered creation features Kobe beef, a grilled Maine lobster tail, pancetta, goat cheese, seared foie gras, arugula and 100-year aged balsamic vinegar, served with a BLT salad, poached egg and bottle of Dom Perignon Rose Champagne. Sans bubbly, the burger is $77.

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