Pastrami burgers – a Utah classic

Utah pastrami burger with Caputos pastrami

I’m often asked, “what’s the signature food or dish of Utah?” It’s a question asked by visitors and TV-producers alike; seriously, I’ve answered the question over and over to a variety of TV-execs hoping to discover we dine on rattlesnake and tumbleweed here in Utah.

The truth this there’s no gumbo, no lobster roll, no deep dish pizza. While Utah is by no means a food desert (no pun intended) there’s not really a de factor dish or food that sums up the people and place.

Mind you…all that said…one dish that capture the attention and bellies like no other – the pastrami burger. I think you’d be hard pressed to genuinely call this an Utah original, hey, anyone can put anything on a burger after all; but this particular creation is available all over town. The most popular version is of course the Crown Burger, a flame grilled patty topped with rich pastrami, lettuce, tomato, cheese and another Utah staple – fry sauce.

Here’s my own spin on this popular classic, using a few local products to fancy things up!

NY style pastrami from Caputo's in SLC
NY style pastrami from Caputo’s in SLC
Utah pastrami burger with Caputos pastrami ingredients
Utah pastrami burger with Caputos pastrami ingredients

The star of the show here is the New York style pastrami available locally from Caputo’s. It’s a relatively fatty cut, so much so my preference is to gently render it down in a pan with a little oil. It makes for a greasy mess for sure, but this creation isn;t for the calorie-conscious.

My own creation veers away from the veggie nonsense of the Crown, and instead I load up sweet grilled onions and an air fried egg. Why air fried? Well, cooked in a ramekin for about five minutes gives the perfect shape for a burger patty – and the yolk is runny every single time.

Lastly I make my own fry sauce: equal parts Duke’s mayo and ketchup with a flourish of dill pickle relish, salt and pepper. And there you have it, enough calories to last you three days. This is a *messy* burger, if you have some grease proof paper wrap to hand you can tackle this monster with ease!

Utah pastrami burger with Caputos pastrami side view
Utah pastrami burger with Caputos pastrami side view

Hi, I'm Stuart, nice to meet you. I'm a food obsessive Utahn. Here on Utah's Best I focus on the food makers of Utah; what's new, what's hot and crucially, what's the best. I also run a variety of other food focused sites such as Gastronomic SLC, SLC menu, Menu And Price and Shop Smart.