Crown Burgers, Salt Lake City, Utah

Crown Burgers does not serve barbecue.  The gem of its largely Greek menu is the eponymous Crown Burger.  While the Crown Burger starts off as a basic fast-food cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and their own sauce (similar to thousand islands without pickles), the addition of a quarter pound of pastrami puts the Crown Burger in a league of its own.

crown burger

The combination of the grilled burger with the spicy, smoky flavor of the pastrami is, well, remarkable.  It tastes good, really good.  Let’s look at it again, in progress.

crown burger 2

I think that the key to the crown burger is that there is just as much pastrami as there is beef.  That balance sets it apart from the legion of burgers topped with, well, you name it.  The pastrami  is not just a topping.  It retains its separate identity.  The closest I can think of is the magnificent pimiento cheese burger at Southern Craft Stove + Tap in Oxford, Mississippi.

A burger-pastrami combination is sold at numerous locations in Salt Lake City.  I had my first at a Yanni’s location, where they call it a pastrami burger — but everyone calls them Crown Burgers wherever they are sold.

The Crown was the first to sell Crown Burgers in Salt Lake City.  In addition to a distinctive sandwich, the Crown is also distinctive for its decor.  Here, a picture taken inside the Hillside location is worth well over 1,000 words.

crown decor

And here’s the exterior:

crown exterior

It’s not your standard fast-food place.

The wonder is that the Crown Burger concept — the cheeseburger-pastrami combination, not the decor — hasn’t taken off nationwide.  I note that my cholesterol is low (the result of genetics rather than diet, obviously), and I don’t recommend a regular diet of Crown Burgers.  But considering the other foods that are popular — the double burgers at Five Guys (that you have to eat on site because if you take them back to the office the bag will be dripping with grease) come to mind.  The Crown Burger is a good combination and definitely one you should make it a point to try.

For those who are alarmed at the sight and concept of the Crown Burger, rest assured that Nancy and friends Roy and Corinne Crandall had Greek Salads, which included generous helpings of feta, pepperoni, and Kalamata olives.  I thank them for humoring me.

For more on the history of the Crown Burger, read this NY Times article.

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