By now Paula Dean's "Lady's Brunch Burger" (aka a beef patty wedged between two glazed doughnuts) is old news. Social media buzz about a ramen burger made with fried ramen noodles instead of a bun, apparently all the rage in Japan and debuting at Williamsburg's Smorgasburg this weekend, got us thinking about all the other wild and wonderful directions that restauranteurs have taken America's greatest contribution to food.
Nombe, to our surprise and delight, is already doing its own version of a ramen burger -- a pork-belly-and-Wagyu patty topped with caramelized onions, tomato, Japanese pickles, mizuna with wasabi aoili, and your choice of three sauces (miso, sweet soy, and tomato) and add-ons including cheese, bacon, avocado, and fried chicken liver, according to Inside Scoop (and holler to SF Weekly contributor The Dapper Diner for the Twitter tip).
In other bun innovations (bunnovations?), Wild Hare in lower Pacific Heights is serving The Deluxe Burger, a riff on what Serious Eats dubbed The Fatty Melt: A burger in which the bun is two grilled cheese sandwiches, in a bout of artery-clogging insanity. Speaking of cholesterol, Epic Roasthouse is still serving its $20 Explosion Burger, which puts the cheese inside the patty (twist!).
Some go beyond beef altogether. Wise Sons Deli has the deli burger made with ground pastrami, beet-horseradish spread, deli mustard, and iceberg lettuce. At Roam, you can order an elk patty or the Tejano burger topped with fried tortilla strips. And of course we're huge fans of the bacon-and-beef burger at Rickybobby.
There have to be more out there. What'd we miss?