Rye Observation

Marilyn HawkesNovember 21, 2019
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Photography by Angelina Aragon
Photography by Angelina Aragon

Hold the tomato – and the lettuce, and even the bun – when you order a throwback patty melt.

The Phoenician Tavern

6000 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale
480-423-2451, thephoeniciantavern.com
If you’re in a cheeseburger mood and see a patty melt on the menu, do you flinch at the diner classic or shiver with delight? For those in the latter camp, there are patty melts aplenty in the Valley, and none finer than at The Phoenician Tavern ($18, pictured). It begins with an 8 oz. beef patty fashioned from prime brisket and chuck ground in-house, says executive sous chef Rebecca Tillman. To keep the grease at bay, Tillman brushes a smidgen of clarified butter on house-made marble rye and lightly toasts the bread on the griddle. She crowns the patty with Swiss cheese and a nest of caramelized Maui sweet onions deglazed with Phoenician Pale Ale and a splash of house-made Thousand Island dressing. Coupled with french fries sprinkled with fresh garlic and grated parmesan, this topnotch melt hits the mark.


5555 N. Seventh St., Phoenix
Looking for a straightforward, no-nonsense patty melt?  Stop by Pomeroy’s, a favorite late-night spot of Valley restaurant industry folks. The patty melt ($8) here is classic – one 7 oz. patty topped with Swiss cheese (processed, probably, but who cares?) and bits of diced grilled onions on butter-swabbed, seeded rye bread smashed down on the flattop griddle to soak up the grease. The result is a crusty, soul-satisfying sandwich that hits the spot. Instead of the requisite Thousand Island dressing, Pomeroy’s dishes up a side of ranch dressing to dip your hot crinkle-cut fries into and dill pickle slices to stuff inside the sandwich. Pomeroy’s patty melt, served in a plastic basket with a paper lining, is about as old school and comforting as it gets.

Rehab Burger Therapy

Two Valley locations
Like most everything on Rehab Burger Therapy’s menu, the patty melt ($13.50) is supersized, but in a good way. Owner and chef Ken Likewise builds his melt with two grilled-to-order 5 oz. patties made from ground brisket and sirloin. Sandwiched between two jumbo pieces of marble rye toast, the patties are joined by sautéed onions, a large dollop of house-made Thousand Island dressing and green chiles smothered in melted cheddar cheese. Chiles on a patty melt? “Everything at Rehab has a little kick to it,” Likewise says. The dressing and cheese ooze out the side when you bite through the layers, so load up on napkins. Served with a pile of crisp skin-on french fries, Rehab’s patty melt is all the therapy you’ll need.


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