With countless people wanting to take credit for inventing the first American hamburger a plethora of legends have resulted. One legend explains that Frank and Charles Menches, brothers from Ohio, invented the hamburger during the 1885 Erie County Fair after they ran out of sausage to sell sausage sandwiches from their vendor booth. With quick thinking, one brother suggested using ground beef instead and the hamburger was born. Using the name of the town, Hamburg, New York (which was named after Hamburg, Germany) their new sandwich creation was born. Another legend claims that at age 15 Charlie Nagreen AKA “Hamburger Charlie” created the first hamburger in order to serve fair-goers at the 1885 Seymour Fair a meatball sandwich that could be enjoyed while walking the fairgrounds.
Besides who gets to take credit of its invention, many restaurants debate who was the first to add the hamburger sandwich to their menus. Delmonico’s in Manhattan has been said to have a hamburger on their 1826 menu even though the printing company who allegedly printed the menu was not in operation until the following decade. According to the Library of Congress, Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut has served the original American-styled hamburger since 1895. No matter who seeks the recognition for introducing the hamburger to an American audience the dish is undoubtedly German in origin. As far back as the eighteenth century varieties of the hamburger ca be found in English cookbooks written by German immigrants living in England who eventually in some way or another brought their dishes to the New World.
However the hamburger was invented and by whom has not changed America’s love for a beef patty on a toasted bun. Below you will find a few that have stuck out in our collective hamburger minds that made us giggle, our mouths water, and say “would you really eat that?!”
Mallie’s Sports Bar & Grill in the small town of Southgate, Michigan holds the Guinness Book of World Record’s for serving diners the biggest burger in the entire world. In 2009 Mallie’s broke the record for biggest burger with their 189 pounder and again with a 319 pounder in January 2011. For 2,000 dollars you can get Mallie’s most recent “Absolutely Ridiculous Burger” weighing in at 338 pounds. The burger, which takes 22 hours to cook and is made with 15 pounds of lettuce, 30 pounds of bacon, and 36 pounds of cheese, comes with French fries and a drink.
Recently, Joonbug reported on Pizza Hut Middle East’s newest menu item, the Crown Crust Pizza. This isn’t just a pizza with fancy crust, it’s a pizza with twelve mini cheeseburgers making up the crust. Pizza Hut Middle East even goes as far as the call the mini cheeseburgers gems. The pizza itself is made with fresh vegetables, beef, and Pizza Hut’s special sauce like a Big Mac. At the moment, this isn’t on Pizza Hut menus in America but when enough people realize what they’re missing out on Pizza Hut will be sure to make an American version available to the masses.
Earlier in the year, French fast-food chain, Quick, offered a Darth Vader burger complete with a dark-side approved black bun. Part of a burger promotion for “Star Wars: Phantom menace 3D” the burger reportedly did not taste very well but is sure to have made plenty of people smile at the marketing ploy. The burger chain also had a Darth Maul burger equipped with a bright red bun dyed with paprika and beet juice, as well as Jedi burger with a regular bun. All three of Quick’s Star Wars burgers are basically Big Macs in form only with quirkier buns.