Feature Story: Readers talk cheeseburgers on ‘The Murph.’

September 18 is set as National Cheeseburger Day across the nation.

There are several claims out there on how the ‘cheeseburger’ became the ‘cheeseburger.’ Lionel Sternberger is said to have “invented” the cheeseburger in 1926.

Sternberger was just an average joe working in his dad’s sandwich shop, The Rite Spot, in Pasadena, California. Some say he was just testing out some ideas, and decided to drop a slice of cheese on a hamburger he was fixing.

A restaurant in 1928 called O’Dell’s in Los Angeles claims to have listed on their menu a cheeseburger flowing with chili for just 25 cents. A Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver, Colorado, allegedly got a trademark registered for ‘cheeseburger’ in 1935. Other claims are that a restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky invented the cheeseburger in 1934, and allegedly, Gus Belt, founder of the Steak n’ Shake restaurants, also applied for a trademark for the word ‘cheeseburger’ in the 1930s.

With such a torrid and twisted past, it is no wonder that the ‘cheeseburger’ has its own day.

It doesn’t matter how you like to eat your cheeseburger – with cheese, mayo, ketchup and mustard, take away one or two of the condiments, add pickles, onions, bacon, avocado dip or with lettuce and tomato – September 18 is the day to pay tribute to one of America’s favorite foods. Grill ‘em up, fry them up or shoot, order them up – cheeseburgers are here to stay.

There are a variety of options. A question was posed on this writer’s social media pages to find out where and who had the best cheeseburger and why.

This writer calls out the Jalapeno & Cheese Whataburger® at the formerly-Texas owned chain of restaurants – Whataburger® as one of her favorite cheeseburgers. (Before I started looking friendlier toward fish and less friendly at beef. You can get a Bubba’s Veggie Burger and still make the above mentioned burger at home.)

Imagine a five inch beef patty on a large bun or Texas Toast with American Cheese, Jalapenos, Tomato, Lettuce, Pickles, Diced Onion and a seasoned mustard.

Talk about set your mouth on fire – but in a good way.

Readers of The Murphy Gazette, aka ‘The Murph,’ shared their thoughts about the cheeseburger.

Bobbie D., a mom in Texas, near the Huntsville area, said, “I don’t buy cheese because it is pricey.”

Avery Lee H. from Georgia said, “I like pickles, tomatoes, ketchup, mayo and mustard. For me the best cheeseburgers were from a restaurant in my hometown of Cochran, Georgia – Scott’s BBQ. I sure miss them.”

For Catherine G. from Georgia, a cheeseburger isn’t a cheeseburger without … “M, K, M, O, P. (Writer’s Note – Mustard, Ketchup, Mayo, Onions and Pickles) The best one I’ve ever had was on a deep sea fishing boat out of Capt. Anderson’s in Panama City. The flat grill is seasoned and cooks up the best burger.”

Sonya A., also from Georgia, said, “I like mine with mayonnaise and pickles.”

Gina R., from Georgia, stated, “I prefer onion, mustard & lettuce only on a grilled burger (not fried).”

Shannon F. of Texas said, “I like the Cheeseburgers at McKenzie’s BBQ In Madisonville, Texas, with everything on it! They remind of the hamburgers my Mom made!”

April W. of Georgia shared a secret. “The Chicken Place in Allentown, Georgia – (A&A Restaurant) have the best. It is worth the drive.”

Russell D. of Georgia, said, “For me it is almost a toss-up between Scott’s BBQ and DGR’s – both restaurants in Cochran,Georgia. DGR’s seasons their burgers a little, and I like it.”
Ramona G. of Georgia said, “Cheddar cheese, mustard, a little ketchup, pickle if I’m at home. On the road I’ll try different varieties…mushrooms, Swiss … just depends on where I’m visiting.”

Christy S. of Georgia said, “In Macon, the restaurant, The Rookery has an Allman Burger with Swiss, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and mayo. You must have their fried pickle spears with that.”

Rhonda D. of Georgia likes home-cooked cheeseburgers, but she said, “If we are not home, Mike’s Dogs has the best. It is called the ‘gorilla burger.’

What is your favorite cheeseburger and where do you get it at? Comment below.

(c)RLHWRITES/TMG2019