Chew on the Cheeseburger Challenge this January

You can end your January with a week of cheeseburger goodness from the 26th to the 31st, as many restaurants in and around Pasadena are celebrating the week with special menu items and/or deals for patrons. For those unfamiliar with Pasadena’s cheeseburger claim to fame, there’s a plaque at the location of where Lionel Sternberger supposedly created the first cheeseburger while working at his father’s stand, “The Rite Spot,” at 1500 West Colorado Boulevard. Records of an old menu for “The Rite Spot” featuring the cheese-topped “Aristocratic Burger” reinforce this theory. The reason for its creation and the verification that Sternberger’s burger was indeed the first cheeseburger created in the United States are still matters of some speculation, which is hardly surprising given how much of a treasured American classic the cheeseburger is.

Whether or not Sternberger’s cheeseburger really was the first, there will be no lack of them this coming week. No matter what your cheeseburger craving may be – classic, plant-based, gluten-free, and more – you are sure to find a restaurant that serves the ideal burger to satisfy your craving. True Food Kitchen is a good bet for the vegan or health-conscious diner; the Counter serves every kind of patty, from the Impossible Burger to more unusual meats like bison and even a fish option: grilled mahi mahi. The steakhouses are the place to head for the most luxurious burger experiences: Ruth’s Chris and Fleming’s are both located on Colorado Boulevard. For a more down-to-earth, diner-style burger, Pie n’ Burger is a longstanding classic on California Boulevard just off Lake Avenue. Even the Langham and the Huntington are joining in on the fun! If you really want to, you can visit all the restaurants participating this year on a Cheeseburger Crawl (should you be so brave…please don’t take this as me endorsing the idea, though):

Happy Cheeseburger Week!

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Brianna Chu is an opinion writer for Beacon Media who was born and raised in Pasadena. She loves to cook and to eat, is a lifelong viewer of Food Network, and enthusiastically introduced the tradition of Thanksgiving dinners to her British and European friends while earning her degree at the University of St Andrews. While they absolutely hated going around the table and saying what they were grateful for every year, they also loved the excuse to get together and feast with friends enough to endure it anyway. She also occasionally writes play reviews, which she is probably more qualified for, oddly enough. She performed in five plays and two musicals in high school. In university, she was an ensemble member in the Laramie Project, directed and acted in Seascape with Sharks and Dancer, and produced and acted in Box Clever. She also produced Les Bonnes, a French play, and was producer, costumer, make-up artist, and sound board technician for Gagarin Way.

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