The basic cheeseburger--which appears on nearly a quarter (24.4%) of restaurant menus, according to Technomic data--is beloved by consumers. Operators have given this classic handheld all sorts of modern twists in recent years.
Top burger cheeses are cheddar, American, Swiss, mozzarella, blue cheese, pepper jack and Monterey Jack, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor data. Using those cheeses and more, chefs are creating innovative riffs on the cheeseburger.
Innovate with classic toppings
Deliver cheese to your burgers in novel ways. Cheese doesn’t have to just be on the burger patty. At the Sugar Factory in Miami Beach, Fla., the new Big Cheesy features an angus patty loaded with mac and cheese and bacon on a brioche bun. The Thunder Cheese Stuffed Burger at Grand Isle in New Orleans is a beef patty stuffed with Thunder Cheese, a mix of sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, peppery jelly, mayonnaise, pecans and red pepper flakes.
Win with mash-ups
The cheeseburger is a blank canvas for chef creativity. Try it as an on-trend mash-up with other comfort foods. At Mondrian South Beach in Miami Beach, Fla., the Wagyu Grilled Cheesus Burger features a Wagyu patty between two white cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches. Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, known for its over-the-top LTOs, has offered the PB Pimento Crunch Burger with peanut butter, bourbon jelly, pimento cheese and potato chips on a beef patty. And at No Fun, a Mexican restaurant in New York City, there’s the Cemita Burger, which combines the traditional Puebla-style sandwich with a beef patty topped with Oaxacan cheese, charred onions, avocado and chipotle.
Feature alternative proteins
Cheese pairs well with burger patties of all types—from bison to veggie. The Bison Burger at Backyard Kitchen and Tap in San Diego has blue cheese, spicy greens and basil aioli on a brioche bun. Pillbox Tavern in Solana Beach, Calif. menus the Muenster Veggie Burger featuring a housemade black bean patty, muenster, basil-goat cheese hummus, greens, fajita vegetables, grilled portabello mushroom, avocado and sun-dried tomato pesto. Yard House’s Kurobuta Pork Burger has a Japanese pork patty topped with white American cheese, candied bacon, arugula and blueberry ketchup.
This post is sponsored by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board