Patty Melt

By • July 22, 2010 • 55 Comments

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Author Notes: I have to cop to absolutely loving the Friendly's Patty Melt growing up. This is my best shot at recreating that food memory. I cook most of the elements in my biggest frying pan because it’s more like a Friendly’s flat top grill than my gas grill is. - cheese1227cheese1227

Food52 Review: This will take you back to the 1970s, and you'll want to stay there until you've enjoyed every last succulent bite of this patty melt. You season the grass-fed burger meat (that's cheese1227's 21st century move) with mustard and Worcestershire, slap and nudge it into a patty, and fry it up in a pan. Then you layer the burger on rye bread, toasted in a pan with butter and topped with Gruyere, and sauteed onion and mushrooms. Cheese1227 calls for optional mayonnaise. We opted to leave it out. Our only note is that you can cook the burger on a grill, if you prefer. Actually, no, we have a second note: put this on the weekend menu, right now. - A&MThe Editors

Serves two burgers

  • 1 lb 85/15 ground beef (yes, I use grass fed, which I don’t believe Friendly’s does)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3-4 Tablespoons butter, softened and divided
  • 6 button mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ sweet onion, sliced thin, half-moon slices
  • 4 slices of oval-shaped, light rye bread
  • 4 ounces, thinly sliced Gruyere cheese
  • Mayonnaise (optional)
  • Pickles (absolutely crucial garnish)
  1. Mix ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper thoroughly. Divide mixture and form into two, oval patties. I like to make thinner patties, but shape them so that when they are fully cooked, they cover almost the whole bottom piece of rye bread as this is a sandwich in which each bite should have all the elements. Refrigerate the patties for about an hour or so.
  2. In a large frying pan, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium high heat and add the mushrooms. Make sure all the of the mushrooms get coated with butter, but then leave them untouched for 3-4 minutes so that one side gets some nice color before you stir them around so the other side can get some color.
  3. Remove the mushrooms from the pan. Add 2 tablespoons butter and the onion to the pan and cook slowly over medium to low heat for 10-15 minutes until the onions are soft and somewhat caramelized. Remove the onions from the pan and keep them warm with the mushrooms.
  4. Increase the heat to medium high and fry the burgers to desired doneness. I like mine medium rare, which typically takes 3-4 minutes per side to achieve.
  5. While the burgers are cooking, put a second skillet over medium heat and butter one side of each piece of rye bread. Put the bread buttered side down on the hot skillet until you see some nice color. On two of the slices of bread, place two ounces of Gruyere cheese.
  6. When the burgers are done and the bread nicely browned, assemble your burgers: Bottom piece of bread with cheese, beef patty, onions, mushrooms, optional mayonnaise and top piece of bread. I like to give them a firm press and then slice each in half before serving with a pickle.

Tags: Beef, burgers, burgers, burgers

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Comments (55) Questions (0)


4 months ago Dawn B

Made this last week and it was awesome! The whole family loved it! Will be making again and again. Thank you!


8 months ago sevenfaces

This is one of the first things I made from Food52. Still making it, still loving it!


8 months ago cheese1227

An oldie but goodie!!!


almost 2 years ago LeeLeeBee

This recipe was insanely delicious and far exceeded our expectations. SO MUCH BETTER than just another burger!


about 3 years ago inpatskitchen

We made this last night and Really loved it. Would love to link it on my blog with your permission. Thanks for a great burger recipe!


about 3 years ago cheese1227

Hi Pat,

So glad you enjoyed it! Please link away!


about 3 years ago cheese1227

Link away!!!


over 4 years ago iuzzini

Oh my god- I want this RIGHT NOW! :)


over 4 years ago mainecook61

This was delicious. With a freezer full of our own grass fed beef, I am always looking for something different to do with the hamburger (a quite large proportion of a side of beef is hamburger!). The rye bread is essential---mmm, rye from Maine's Borealis Bread. A sliced cucumber and dill salad from long and skinny Suyo cucumbers (seed from Johnny's Selected Seed Co in Albion, ME) rounded things out, along with Latham raspberries for dessert.


over 4 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Stop! you're making me hungry.


over 4 years ago cheese1227

A whole freezerful? Wow, I am jealous!


over 4 years ago Sagegreen

I just heard back from Leah Zomek, a guest service rep: Friendly's did not come up with the names for either sprinkles or jimmies. These names were already established before Friendly's became a company. Mystery not solved.


over 4 years ago cheese1227

You are too funny!


over 4 years ago Waverly

Beef + Worcestershire + Mustard: this is the symphony of my childhood! My mother STILL seasons everything from steak to burgers with mustard and worcestershire. We should own stock in Lea and Perrin! Adding mushroom, sweet onions, and Gruyere....I vote for this burger - hands down. What a perfect combination. Pass the pickles, please!


over 4 years ago cheese1227

Thanks! SO glad you liked it.


over 4 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I agree, Midge. There is hardly such a thing as a BAD home crafted burger. Made with top quality ingredients and love. imho one of the great foods of the world. ;)


over 4 years ago Midge

That looks soo tasty. A very tough choice this week..


over 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

oh Friendly's, so many happy memories from that place! I've even taken my own daughter once or twice, this likes a great recreation of their classic! :)


over 4 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love patty melts! made one the other night with Point Reyes Blue Cheese. ;) Have always preferred my burger on toasted rye to a bun. I grew up on the North Side of Chicago, and went to college at Northwestern, so my earliest patty melt memories are from Hackney's -- which I understand still exists.


over 4 years ago wanderash

It most certainly does! I made a pilgrimage in my brief stint home from Mexico for a Hackney's burger!


over 4 years ago cheese1227

I will have to try Hackney's the next time I am in Chicago.


over 4 years ago ENunn

I'm 12 again, in my purple two piece, eating before I go back into the pool without waiting an hour.


over 4 years ago cheese1227

My mom only required a half hour.


over 4 years ago SallyCan

My senior year in high school, I worked at our local Friendly's, and I must say that yours looks much better than any I ever made! It's the mushrooms, I think...


over 4 years ago cheese1227

My sister worked at Friendly's, but never on the grill.


over 4 years ago slulibby

I think you are dead on with the pickle comment. There is no sandwich without a pickle. Congratulations! This looks soooo delightful.


over 4 years ago cheese1227

I just had some pickles last night made from courgettes. Kind of like bread and butter pickles. They were served with a rillette made from pork belly and neck. They were a perfect compliment.


over 4 years ago lapadia

Yum! I don't know "Friendly's Patty Melt" (must be your neck of the woods), but I do love a good Patty Melt, congratulations on the EP and good luck as a finalist...voted.


over 4 years ago cheese1227

I did not realise the Friendly's was an east coast wonder. Thanks for the best wishes, I will need it given the competition.


over 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

OhMyGosh - This looks so so good. I, too, was a child who adored the Friendly's Patty melt, and you just transported me back in time. Cannot wait to make this. Maybe tomorrow.


over 4 years ago cheese1227

Hope you like it Cathy!


over 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Congrats cheese1227!! My husband LOVES patty melts; this is definitely on our menu for this week! I just taught a cooking class (my second class!) at a farm last weekend which featured grilling grass-fed beef. So glad you're using it too!


over 4 years ago cheese1227

Congrats on the classes. I've got my first one out at the CSA farm I support in early Sept. I"ve got to come up with some recipes for fall pastas. I'd love some suggestions if you have any.


over 4 years ago Lizthechef

Looks delicious!


over 4 years ago cheese1227



over 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hooray for the Cheese! Can't wait to make this.