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Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Friday, July 31, 2009

NY Times Touts Utah's Pastrami Burgers

The Times has this fun article describing the pastrami burger and the role it plays in Utah's unique fast food culture. Below are excerpts.

The American hamburger is a many splendored and spangled dish. And nowhere, perhaps, is the burger more spangled than in Salt Lake City.

Here, Crown Burgers and various imitators have, over the last three decades, convinced the citizens of Utah that it is perfectly normal to wedge a quarter pound of thin-sliced pastrami between a cheese-draped charbroiled beef patty and a sesame seed bun, slathered with a Thousand-Island-like sauce and dressed with sliced tomatoes, shaved lettuce and onions.

Salt Lake City’s detractors, perhaps making too much of the conservative influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, portray the town as culturally and gastronomically staid. The pastrami burger challenges such notions.

In Salt Lake City, pastrami is not a mere condiment, applied sparingly, in the manner of a couple of bacon slices or a spot of mayonnaise. It’s as integral to the burger as the patty itself. (Greek-owned restaurants here understand how meat complements meat. Several of them top gyros with so-called red sauce, a meat sauce comparable to the filling in a traditional Greek pastitsio.)

Read the full article.

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