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Many different types of unconventional American sandwiches and hamburgers have surfaced over the years. The Luther Burger, also known as the Luther Vandross Burger, is a hamburger with a glazed donut in place of a bun. Though the fried donut can be of any variety, it is traditionally a Krispy Kreme donut.
Named after rhythm and blues singer-songwriter, and record producer, Luther Vandross, who is said to have enjoyed the sandwich, the hamburger can be served with or without cheese. It is also known as the Donut Burger. Depending on the location, the hamburger can either be served between two whole donuts or a single donut sliced in half, with the glazed side touching the meat.
Typical Luther Burgers do not contain condiments or vegetables, though the meat is typically seasoned with black pepper and salt. The sandwich can be grilled as a whole or separately. Sometimes the meat and the donuts are cooked separately, then flattened and cooked together on a grill to merge them more fully together. A popular way to serve the Luther Burger is with a quarter pound (113 grams) of beef, a slice of American cheese, four slices of bacon, and the two glazed donuts.
Historical accounts of the hamburger's conception vary. Most people believe it was created at the suburban bar, Mulligan's, of Decatur, Georgia. The legend of the burger states that a cook ran out of hamburger buns one day and decided to experiment with donuts. The restaurant is also home to the hamdog, which is a deep-fried hotdog wrapped in a hamburger.
The independent baseball league of St. Louis, the Gateway Grizzlies, also serve the Luther Burger, though their version includes melted cheese and bacon. The sandwich has reportedly brought the team an increase in business. The company markets the hamburger as Baseball's Best Burger, with a tagline that claims the meal is dinner and dessert combined.
Famous culinary expert Paula Dean has featured the Luther Burger on one of her cooking segments. The cook adds several extra elements to her version of the sandwich, including fresh parsley, butter, eggs, and grated onion. Her recipe calls for topping the hamburgers with fried eggs, making them a breakfast or brunch dish.
Several medical experts have expressed concerns about the implications the sandwich can have on one's health. Depending upon the specific recipe, The Luther Burger can contain well over 1,000 calories. It also may have over 45 grams of fat per serving.