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Today's Case:

Woolworth's Lunch Counter Patty Melt

Re: Woolworths Patty Melt
From: Lil
Date: 12/15/2023, 4:05 PM
To: Phaedrus 

On 12/15/2023 7:35 AM, Lil wrote:

Would you have the recipe for the Woolworths 
Patty Melt.

Thank you,

Hi Lil,

I am sorry to say that I do not have and could not find an authentic Woolworth's lunch counter recipe for their patty melt.

I have a collection of scanned Woolworth's recipes taken from their actual recipe book, but the patty melt recipe is not among them.

I did as thorough a search as I have ever done for any dish, using all of my resources - including the web, but I had no success locating the Woolworth's actual recipe. However, I did find dozens of nostalgic raves about how wonderful Woolworth's patty melt was, and among those raves were several descriptions of the Woolworth's patty melt in varying detail, including these:

divine patty melt variation -- ground beef, American cheese and caramelized onions between slices of toasted Caraway rye.

Served in a brown skillet plate, atop a pile of crisp, salty fries, the Woolworth’s patty melt boasted melted American cheese, a tangle of sweet, golden onion, and, most importantly, buttery griddled rye.

What you’re looking for, see, is a grilled cheese on rye, essentially, but with a burger and some caramelized onions in between. What I got [at this other place he had a patty melt] was rye bread, too dry to be fresh, not dry enough to have been toasted. And no butter.

So, no recipe, but perhaps, if you feel like experimenting, something close could be cobbled from the descriptions? It's not a complicated sandwich if you use the right components.

The bread - We have no idea where Woolworth's got their bread for patty melts, but we do know that it must be "caraway rye bread." This kind of bread has a unique flavor, so no substitutions!

The onions - yellow onions, caramelized.

Ground beef patties.

American cheese.

Butter, salt & pepper.

Good luck if you try it!

I'll post this for reader input.


THANK you!