This is from my report on Salt Lake City
a while back:
Crown Burgers was my reward after driving for 12 hours on the eve of Thanksgiving. In college, there was a burger and sandwich shop run by a Pakistani family called Royal Burger. Their fries were perfect. Their grilled cheese was perfect. Their club sandwich was perfect. Their reuben was perfect. Great stuff. Living a quarter of a mile away for a year helped me top 300 lbs in college. The jewel of their sandwich crown was the Royal Burger Special, a quarter-pound flame broiled burger with cheese and a pile of pastrami.
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It's like peanut butter and chocolate. Two great things on their own, even better when combined. When some guy brags, "I just ate a heart-attack in a bun," I can look at him and sigh, "Son, let me tell you about the Royal Burger Special."
Alas, all good things come to an end and the Pakistanis closed up shop after I left college (maybe from the loss of revenue) and I nearly wept the last time I was in town and drove by the store. My hopes of having another pastrami burger had shrivelled like fries left under the heat lamps too long. But then, my college eating buddy, Scott, told me of a city on a hill where all burgers come with pastrami. Where was this Zion? Salt Lake City, of course.
Royal Burger, apparently, was a knock-off of a Salt Lake chain, Crown Burgers. So, they were my first stop for a bite in SLC. Instead of Pakistanis, it was run by Mexicans. Some of the menu items had different names, but most of the things I remembered at Royal Burger were there -- even the gyros. I ordered a Crown Burger and my wife ordered a Junior Crown Burger. We split some fries. It's been too long to truly make a comparison, but the monstrosity was definitely in the ballpark. The meat was nicely grilled with a hearty char flavor and covered in melted cheese. The pastrami was piled thick and spilling out of the sesame seed bun. It's a big, lovely mess that tasted fantastic. The fries were cooked perfectly: crispy, no burnt ends, adequately salted, and no lingering off aftertaste.
(btw, Carl's Jr. has recently announced a pastrami burger and referenced Crown Burgers in their press release as a source of inspiration.)
The Salt Lake Weekly referenced this in a recent article on this phenomenon: