| November 14, 2012

When most of us order a hamburger at a restaurant, we're expecting to get beef, lettuce, tomato and onion on a bun, with maybe some bacon or cheese thrown on for good measure.

Boy, are we wrong.

It turns out that we're just scratching the surface of what a burger could be, at least according to some of the variations they're serving up at American eateries. Whether it's a surprising ingredient or an unorthodox method of preparation, chefs across the country are are taking hamburgers and cheeseburgers to new heights.

Here's five of the most outrageous hamburgers America has to offer:
The Peanut Butter and Jellousy Burger, Slater's 50/50

If a hamburger and a PB&J were to spend a romantic evening together, their union might produce a sandwich similar to the Peanut Butter and Jellousy Burger from Slater's 50/50 in southern California. Sweet, salty and sinful, this unique hamburger consists of Sterling Silver ground beef, creamy peanut butter, strawberry jelly and thick-cut bacon on a honey wheat bun.
The Luther, Crave Real Burgers

Crave Real Burgers has two locations in Colorado (Castle Rock and Colorado Springs) and both of them serve the infamous Luther burger: a culinary mashup of a hamburger and a glazed donut. What distinguishes Crave's version from the others (yes, there are others) is their addition of bacon, cheddar, egg and onion. It's also sandwiched between two donuts, as opposed to a single donut sliced in half. (Legend has it that Luther burgers were named after R&B singer Luther Vandross, who was said to be a huge fan — and in some stories, the inventor — of the sandwich.)
Original db Burger, DB Bistro Moderne

Chef Daniel Boulud owns and operates over a dozen upscale eateries throughout the world, but only at the DB Bistro Moderne locations (in New York City, Miami and Singapore) will you find his Original db Burger. Priced at $32, this hefty sirloin burger is stuffed with foie gras, braised short ribs, preserved black truffle and a mirepoix of root vegetables, then served up on a Parmesan bun alongside an order of pomme frites. Between late December and late March, DB Bistro Moderne also offers a "Royale" version with fresh black truffle and truffle dressing (market price).
Heart Attack on a Plate, Mother's Federal Hill Grille

Americans can (and will) deep-fry anything they get their hands on, and that includes hamburgers. One such burger, fittingly called the Heart Attack on a Plate, can found at Mother's Federal Hill Grille in Baltimore, Maryland. It's first stuffed with cheddar cheese before being dipped in ale batter and dropped in the fryer. The crispy patty is then topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and chipotle mayo.
Raw Steak Tartare, Flip Burger Boutique

The Flip Burger Boutiques in Atlanta and Birmingham serve up hamburgers six ways to Sunday, but most notably, raw. Chef Richard Blais (winner of Bravo's "Top Chef All-Stars") reconstructed a classic steak tartare dish on a burger bun, starting with a hand-chopped tenderloin and topping it with garlic, chili, capers, cornichons, pickled shallots, frisée lettuce, fried egg and smoked mayonnaise.