This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It's so simple and so delicious that it's hard to imagine the pastrami burger could have taken so long to invent. Hasn't the first rule of sandwiches always been "put some pastrami on it"? Even if you're vegan like I am, it seems like a sensible guideline. I remember what pastrami tastes like how could you forget?Nevertheless, it does, in fact, appear to be the case that genius Nick Katsanevas, who started the famed Crown Burger hybrid Greek-American restaurant, was the among the first to take ground beef and some fatty, crimson pastrami and wed them together in what is perhaps our greatest contribution to the world of burgers nay, the whole of sandwichdom.In honor of National Sandwich Day, news website Business Insider put together a map of the best sandwiches in every state, from the humble but effective PB&J in Montana to the surprising pheasant sandwhich out of South Dakota. Utah's contribution to the list was, of course, the pastrami burger, pioneered by Crown Burger but adopted by all joints in the state who actually care about your taste buds.Business Insider's not the first to think the genius of two kinds of beef on a single burger is worth talking about. In 2011, the magazine Travel + Leisure named Salt Lake City the second-best city in the nation for burgers, behind Houston and ahead of Providence, R.I.The New York Times chronicled the complicated origins of singular sammie back in 2009 as well, praising the culinary achievement."Here, Crown Burgers and various imitators have, over the last three decades, convinced the citizens of Utah that it is perfectly normal to wedge a quarter pound of thin-sliced pastrami between a cheese-draped charbroiled beef patty and a sesame seed bun, slathered with a Thousand-Island-like sauce and dressed with sliced tomatoes, shaved lettuce and onions," author John Edge wrote.That seems to imply that the rest of the country doesn't think it's normal. Which is crazy, because it's perfect, and how dare the rest of the country not also understand the obvious. Sure, the pastrami burger might have been invented in Southern California in the '50s, at least according to Edge, but here, we perfected it. And now the permanent record of Internet infographics reflects that fact. So thanks to the Katsanevas, and all others who, seeing brilliance, sought to bring it to the masses by offering their spicy, smoked vittles on sesame-seed buns all across the state.