Behold, the burger: America’s tastiest triumph of meat, cheese, and everything else under the sun. Patties and fixings have gone through countless iterations, but we seem to have exhausted our imagination, leaving us wondering where else to turn for burger innovation.
Enter the bun, easily the least considered burger accouterment. Thankfully, people have been reinventing the meal with fanciful buns, and here are ten of the weirdest, wildest, tastiest bun variations available. Dig in!
Nicknamed “The Luther” after R&B singer Luther Vandross’ reputed fondness for them, there’s not much that can compare with a glazed donut bun burger for an unexpected (and delicious) food mashup.
While this fad seems to have come and gone, this budget-conscious dormitory staple has been the base for all sorts of fancy reinterpretations. This time, it’s just the courier of delicious beef. Dipped in egg yolks and then pan seared (sometimes with panko breading), it remains a unique crunch you can’t resist.
3. Pretzel Bread
Pretzels, beer, beef — it’s all the flavors of pub life that you’re constantly craving. Instead of relegating these salty snacks to the side, however, this ingenious combination makes it part of the main event. And, of course, it pairs perfectly with a pilsner.
4. Mac & Cheese
Much like the ramen noodles mentioned above, this one wins major originality points for it’s bizarre, non-bun-like qualities. The results are equally amazing with the bonus of cheese melted directly into the bun.
Maybe you’re craving a healthier option since you’re already indulging in all that beef? Well, think about using a giant tomato: you’ll add that juicy flavor that’s a perfect fit on the sandwich while cutting down on unnecessary carbs.
6. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
My number one complaint with cheeseburgers is that they’re not cheesy enough. This bun solves that problem handily, using two buttery, melty grilled cheese sandwiches and putting standard buns to shame.
7. Cinnamon Rolls
A cinnamony twist on “The Luther,” some people are throwing breakfast rolls on top of their burgers. While it doesn’t seem entirely appropriate for the early morning, I can’t blame you if you can’t resist.
8. Portabello Mushrooms
Healthy options aren’t that plentiful on this list, but this one fits the bill. Sometimes an actual beef-substitute used by vegans and vegetarians, these over-sized fungi make for a perfect patty topper as well.
One question though – if one were to add a portobello mushroom patty to a portobello mushroom bun, is it still a burger or just a short stack of mushrooms?
9. Funnel Cake
There seems no end in sight for sweet, fried dough combining with a savory patty. So, it’s not a shock that people have thought to combine these two fried fetishes.
10. Calzone Burger
While many tend to minimize even the fanciest of buns, this takes the opposite approach. All your burger fixings are baked into the center of a calzone, making for the perfect Italian-American cross-pollinated goodness with the bonus of being spillage free.