Every year, after hosting the Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade, the city of Pasadena holds another pretty remarkable event: Cheeseburger Week.
Over this five-day, 40-burger celebration, the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce honors Lionel Sternberger, who is believed to be the first person to put cheese on a hamburger. Sternberger burnt a patty while working at his father's Pasadena roadside stand, the Rite Spot, in 1924. Rather than throw the patty out, he covered it with a piece of cheese.
This year's Cheeseburger Week will take place Jan. 10-15, with 40 participating restaurants. If you manage to eat a cheeseburger from all 40 restaurants, congratulations — you'll have completed the cheeseburger challenge. Your reward? You can vote on your favorite online. You may also have heartburn. This year's participating restaurants include the city's most famous burger joint, Pie 'n Burger, as well as Twohey's Restaurant (home of the Stinko burger, made with just pickles and onions), Umami Burger and all three Lucky Baldwins locations.
Some restaurants will be making special burgers for the event, including the Dog Haus Biergarten. The restaurant will have to Cheeseburger Week burgers, including the This or That Burger made with an "onion smashburger," mayonnaise and American cheese; and a That Burger made with an "onion smashburger" topped with 1000 island sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickles and American cheese.
The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce also has put together a couple of cheeseburger crawls and cheeseburger and beer crawls, featured on the Pasadena Restaurant Week website. There's a crawl in Old Pasadena, a Lake Avenue crawl and a crawl for vegetarians. You can grab a couple of friends, order one burger at each stop, then share — or not.
Original article by Jenn Harris appears in LA Times.