The patty melt was invented in California in the late 1940s and since its debut, it has experienced a very loyal following across the country. Described by some as the love child between the grilled cheese and hamburger, it is, at its essence a hamburger patty, melted Swiss cheese, grilled onions served between slices of buttered-griddled rye bread.
The Patty Melt at Rothbard Ale + Larder is a traditional interpretation with a few nuances. Two small patties are grilled and then served on butter rye bread with caramelized onions, bacon, and melted Jarlsberg cheese. The bread is cut on the diagonal and nestled inside each half is a mini-patty, smothered in its accompaniments. The two thin patties were cooked to medium, still maintained a pink interior and were rich in flavor. The Jarlsberg cheese was thick, beautifully melted and delivered a wonderful level of creaminess and a deep, rich nuttiness. The caramelized onions were outstanding, sweet and soft from their low and slow preparation and when it intertwined with the mildly salty bacon delivered a wonderful balance. People nervous about the bread versus bun…no need to worry, the buttered and griddled bread added great crunch and a wonderful salty-butter flavor.
Rothbard’s menu is filled with interpretations of traditional, comfort food. Take a simple patty melt, add a little bacon and let the kitchen work its magic. It makes no difference whether you call it a Patty Melt or a Cheeseburger, it is one of the best bacon-cheeseburger-patty-melts in the area.