Sandwich or nah?

Lately it’s been eclipsed by the fiercely partisan hot dog debate, but it remains one of life’s great unanswered questions:

Is a burger…a sandwich?

We figured there was no better spot to begin to answer this than at June’s Philly Burger Brawl, and so Billy Penn asked experts there to weigh in.

We heard from chefs like Marcie Turney, who serves a double-patty, Wisconsin-style butter burger (yes, butter burger) at Midtown Village throwback Bud & Marilyn’s, and got the opinion of aficionados like George Reilly — his Headhouse Square juke joint Twisted Tail does a house burger with bacon, blue cheese and bourbon BBQ sauce.

We also talked to burger radical Chris Barnes, who loads up the menu at Lucky’s Last Chance in Manayunk with creations like the mac ‘n’ cheese-topped Mak Attack and the PB & Bacon, which comes with a side of grape jelly. (Don’t hate, it’s won Burger Brawl People’s Choice award several years in a row.)

A major point made by the YES contingent is that, like a sandwich, a burger comes between two pieces of bread. To which some NO folks retort, “But it’s a roll, not bread…” and go on from there.

And not everyone is set in their ways. Some of the food pros we asked could have a bright future in politics, judging by the way they waffled on the issue and were able to argued the merits of both sides at once. One even suggested that his burger wasn’t a sandwich, but instead “a work of art.”

Watch the video below and then add your own voice by casting a vote in our highly-scientific poll.

YouTube video

Danya Henninger was first editor and then editor/director of Billy Penn at WHYY from 2019 to 2023.