Back in 1992, Hardee’s stumbled across a major hit when it introduced its now-iconic Frisco Burger. They combined grilled sourdough bread (in a round slice) with a 1/4 lb burger patty, two slices of Swiss cheese, bacon, mayo, and tomatoes and turned them into a culinary masterpiece. After strong sales upon release, they were looking to duplicate that success. Enter the New York Patty Melt.
Introduced roughly 4 months after the launch of the Frisco burger, the New York Patty Melt was the heir apparent to their first hit. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Sales of the Patty Melt didn’t come close to those of the Frisco burger, and it was dropped from the menu about 6 months after its introduction. But man, that was a great six months.
The New York Patty Melt borrowed from its famous Frisco cousin and used a regional favorite bread by using New York Rye. Sliced the same way as the Frisco (round), it too was grilled and paired with a 1/4 lb beef patty. A layer of a melted cheese blend, crispy bacon, and soft grilled onions finished off this burger. Like most kids, I wasn’t a big fan of onions, but on this burger, they fit right in. But for me, the real star of this taste sensation was the rye bread. I had never had it before, but this burger moved the bread up my list of favorites in a hurry.
As is the case when doing a piece like this, I was quite disappointed when I went to order it one time only to be told that it was no longer available. If my father hadn’t been standing there beside me, my fifteen-year-old self may have let out a string of curse words aimed in the cashier’s direction. Luckily, however, the Frisco Burger was still available, and it ranked pretty high on my list back then too. But for me, the Frisco Burger was always the Sundance Kid to the New York Patty Melt’s Butch Cassidy.