Perhaps cocky after the city's recent historic Rose Bowl game, Pasadena has issued a challenge for its upcoming Cheeseburger Week (January 15-20): Try them all. Then vote for your favorites in each category (lunch counter, traditional, gourmet, sliders, Kobe, etc.) online.
As we posted back in November, Pasadena claims the title of inventor of the cheeseburger. According to local lore, 17-year-old Lionel Sternberger had a "grilling error" at his father's diner, the Rite Spot, in the mid-1920s that led to the inadvertent creation of the American classic.
During Cheeseburger Week, Pasadena's finest restaurants plus its burger joints will offer their interpretations of the meat-cheese-bun concoction, including a sushi restaurant version and a Middle Eastern take. Participating eateries include Noir Food and Wine, Vertical Wine Bistro, a/k/a An American Bistro, Dog Haus, Lovebirds Café, Toro Sushi, King Row Gastropub, Magnolia Lounge, Burger Continental, and, of course, Pie 'n Burger and the Counter. Even POP Champagne and Dessert Bar is getting in on the action.
As Cheeseburger Week actually runs six days, that's a mere 3.33 cheeseburgers a day. Please. Give us a real challenge next time.
Follow Samantha Bonar @samanthabonar.