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Does the bun make the burger?

We were just talking about patty melts in the Serious Eats offices yesterday, but what do you think: Is a patty melt a burger? Serious Eats overlord Ed Levine weighed in on the "no" side. He likes them, he said, but they're not burgers.

I'm on the fence. I know purists howl at the replacement of bun with toast, but how far from an actual bun do you have to get before the patty plus bread product is no longer a burger?

Is an English muffin an OK vehicle? What about pita bread? What about buns that are buns in look and shape but are made from brioche? What about ciabatta buns?

As the years wear on, I find myself more open to variance in patty-delivery methods (and toppings). But where do you draw the line?

The question is prompted by a new commercial I just saw. Looks like Carl's Jr., pioneer of raunchy and freakily annoying burger commercials, has a new one, this time for its new patty melt, in which it riffs on the old Sir Mix-a-Lot tune "Baby Got Back." [via adblog.msnbc.com]

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