The Pizzaburger at NYC's Soup Burg

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[Photographs: Adam Kuban]

I've blogged about pizza and burgers for years. So of course I've seen a fair share of pizzaburgers on various diner and burger joint menus. I've never eaten one—if I have, it was so long ago I don't remember. Maybe it was the purist in me that held me back from mixing two perfectly excellent dishes that can (and some say should) otherwise stand on their own.

That all changed last night, when I found myself at Soup Burg on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Something told me the time had come — plus, I also relished the thought of writing a blog entry that could post on AHT, Slice, SENY—and, what the heck, the homepage of Serious Eats itself.

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The pizzaburger at Soup Burg is built on the joint's well-regarded patty, a juicy, loosely packed hunk of ground chuck that's admirably seared on a flat-top griddle. Atop the patty is a moderate slab of melted mozzarella covered with tomato sauce and a shaking of oregano.

Thankfully Girl Slice had ordered spaghetti and meatballs and we were thus provided with a shaker of Parmesan cheese. I put it to good and, I thought, logical use (above) on the pizzaburger. Smart move, if I do say so myself.

It's not an altogether bad mashup. It's obviously weighted more toward the burger end of the spectrum with little about the flavor that really screams pizza (which is why its true home is on AHT while only getting cross-posted to Slice). The sauce and cheese completely overwhelm the flavor of the beef, as you'd expect. Which is why it's probably a shame to order this at a burger joint, like Soup Burg, that does things right.

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I'm not sorry I ordered it, I probably just won't do it again for another five to 10 years. I would, however, head back to Soup Burg for a regular burger. While not as flavorful as some of the new-fangled beef blends that have surpassed it in the past decade, the bits of unsauced patty that I plucked away from the whole hinted at a solid burger cooked right.

Just as I was asking myself how often does someone order a pizzaburger here, I heard the owner take a phone call and pass the delivery order on to the grill cook: "Turkey pizzaburger on whole wheat toast."

Now that might be going too far.

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