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Bidwell's Patty Melt
Bidwell's Patty Melt
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Where to Find the Patty Melt, Underdog to the Burger, in D.C.

It's harder than one might think.

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Bidwell's Patty Melt
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A patty melt may have two of the same defining characteristics of a cheeseburger (the
beef patty and the accompanying cheese), but chefs and patty melt enthusiasts will tell you vehemently ­­they are not the same thing.

A standard patty melt comes served on rye bread (or sourdough if your chef comes from the west coast) and are topped with sauteed or grilled onions. They're also more likely to come with swiss cheese than a standard cheeseburger. A few burger flipping locations even put patty melts on the "sandwich" portion of the menu so as to avoid any confusion.

Patty melts can be hard to find in D.C. — even some restaurants formerly loyal to the sandwich, like Founding Farmers and Stoney's, no longer feature them on the menu. Here are some places to find this underdog burger variation around town.

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Bidwell

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This Union Market newcomer has a patty melt topped with cheddar and featuring a grassfed beef patty. A homegrown pickle (from the restaurant's rooftop garden) completes the picture.

Center Cafe

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Union Station has no shortage of fast food options, but there's a good patty melt if you have the time to sit down. Also, Center Cafe includes Thousand Island dressing which some patty melt consumers consider as essential as the rye bread.

Jimmy T's Place

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It's listed on their menu as "Hamburger Melt on Texas Toast" but all that really matters is that the Capitol Hill greasy spoon has all the correct ingredients in place. [Photo: a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/jimmy-ts-place-washington-2?select=cmUHdU7kA1T06urN319hUA>" Pam Z./Yelp]

Satellite Room

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The bar adjoining the 9:30 Club known for its smokers' patio and boozy milkshakes serves nine different varieties of hamburger. However, they also have a patty melt with swiss cheese available on their sandwich menu.

Ted's Bulletin

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If Jimmy T's was going off the script by adding tomatoes, it's arguable that "The Ted's Burgh" barely counts as a patty melt for including a fried egg on this patty. But it's on white toast so it's getting the pass. Multiple locations.

The Diner

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It's no surprise that Adams Morgan's most reliable greasy spoon has a patty melt on the menu. Like every other burger on their menu, this one comes with an 8 oz angus burger.

Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar

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Local food writers have long been singing the praises of this Capitol Hill staple. They opt for American cheese instead of swiss and they make their own sauce but really, it's Tune Inn, so you know what sorts of delicious grease you're in for. [Photo: Yelp]

Water & Wall

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Water & Wall's Silk Road-themed lunch also serves up a patty melt variation topped with pimento cheese.

Bidwell

This Union Market newcomer has a patty melt topped with cheddar and featuring a grassfed beef patty. A homegrown pickle (from the restaurant's rooftop garden) completes the picture.

Center Cafe

Union Station has no shortage of fast food options, but there's a good patty melt if you have the time to sit down. Also, Center Cafe includes Thousand Island dressing which some patty melt consumers consider as essential as the rye bread.

Jimmy T's Place

It's listed on their menu as "Hamburger Melt on Texas Toast" but all that really matters is that the Capitol Hill greasy spoon has all the correct ingredients in place. [Photo: a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/jimmy-ts-place-washington-2?select=cmUHdU7kA1T06urN319hUA>" Pam Z./Yelp]

Satellite Room

The bar adjoining the 9:30 Club known for its smokers' patio and boozy milkshakes serves nine different varieties of hamburger. However, they also have a patty melt with swiss cheese available on their sandwich menu.

Ted's Bulletin

If Jimmy T's was going off the script by adding tomatoes, it's arguable that "The Ted's Burgh" barely counts as a patty melt for including a fried egg on this patty. But it's on white toast so it's getting the pass. Multiple locations.

The Diner

It's no surprise that Adams Morgan's most reliable greasy spoon has a patty melt on the menu. Like every other burger on their menu, this one comes with an 8 oz angus burger.

Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar

Local food writers have long been singing the praises of this Capitol Hill staple. They opt for American cheese instead of swiss and they make their own sauce but really, it's Tune Inn, so you know what sorts of delicious grease you're in for. [Photo: Yelp]

Water & Wall

Water & Wall's Silk Road-themed lunch also serves up a patty melt variation topped with pimento cheese.

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