Some food enthusiasts argue that a patty melt is a type of hamburger, while others argue that it's not. Either way, there's a legitimate case for placing this classic example of American cuisine on the menu of your burger restaurant. You'll quickly be able to assess the patty melt's popularity among your patrons, and after your initial introduction of this fare, you might even wish to expand its presence on the menu by offering different variations. For your patrons to receive the patty melt well, you should take a careful approach to its different elements.

Buy Bakery-Style Rye

Instead of using a bun like a standard hamburger, the bread component in a patty melt is usually rye bread. While it's easy to focus on the burger patty and whatever toppings you're offering, don't overlook the importance of the rye. It's a good idea to choose a bakery-style rye bread that has a chewy crust and a soft interior. If you're able to find a local bakery that can supply loaves for your restaurant, it's a win-win — you'll be able to advertise that you support this local business, and it will often publicize the presence of its bread at your restaurant.

Slow-Cooked Caramelized Onions

Another central element of a traditional patty melt is caramelized onions. Don't make the mistake of attempting to cut corners here by simply frying onions and referring to them as caramelized. Instead, take the time to cook them slowly to bring out their caramel hue and sweet taste. You can then advertise that you take this methodical approach to the onions, which will give them an ideal taste to properly complement the other ingredients in the patty melt. If you find that you typically cook them for a specific duration to achieve the desired doneness — 40 minutes, for example — you can mention this statistic on your menu.

Real Butter

A lot of restaurants cut corners by using inexpensive cooking oils in the kitchen, but you can pay homage to the authentic way to cook a patty melt — while also ensuring that it boasts the best flavor possible — by using butter. Frying the patty in butter gives it a rich flavor, and grilling the sandwich one you've assembled it in butter instead of a butter alternative is the right way to prepare this dish. Patrons who appreciate that you aren't looking for a cheaper alternative to butter will appreciate if you highlight this particular approach on your menu.