Pasadena Cheeseburger Week is kicking off January 10, soon after the City of Roses played host to the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl. The annual tradition honors one of Pasadena’s most important citizens: Lionel Sternberger, credited with the invention of the cheeseburger.
For the uninitiated, the legend is that back in 1924, Sternberger was working at his father’s burger joint, The Rite Spot, when he burnt a patty. Rather than tossing it out, he covered his mistake with a slice of cheese. Ever since then, places all over the country (and probably beyond) have been covering ground beef with cheese to delicious results.
This year, 40 burgers are participating in Cheeseburger Week. From gourmet chains like Umami to some of Pasadena’s oldest and favorite burger joints, like Pie ‘n Burger, you can try cheeseburgers and then vote for your favorite version online. If you manage to eat all 40, over the course of January 10-15, then you’ll have finished the cheeseburger challenge. You can also vote for your favorite version.
The city goes all out for Cheeseburger Week, so if eating 40 burgers in less than a full week sounds like a bit much, then consider participating in one of the Cheeseburger Week crawls that the city has outlined for you. One crawl will take you through Old Pasadena and another on Lake Avenue. And vegetarians can skip the meat but get into the spirit of things with a crawl designed just for the veggie versions. If you want your burger paired with a brew, then the Beer and Burger crawl is just for you. The outer reaches of Pasadena have also been included in the festivities, with the East Pasadena crawl. You can create your own crawl or check out the official website for more burger tasting ideas.
Many restaurants are even creating special cheeseburgers just for the week, including Green Street Restaurant, El Portal, the restaurant in the dusitD2 constance hotel Pasadena and Alondra Hot Wings.
With 40 versions of cheeseburgers, you can opt to put your New Year’s Resolutions on hold for a bit to get in on the fun.