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Pasadena Cheeseburger Week: Check out all the joints in town

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Not joints, really; some of the competitors in Cheeseburger Week in Pasadena, Jan. 12-17, 2014, are upscale eateries that do more than flip patties to impress their patrons.

The annual event honors Pasadenan honors Lionel Sternberger, who was the first to put cheese on a hamburger at the Rite Spot in Pasadena in 1924.

Diners can vote for their favorites in the Cheeseburger Challenge in various categories through Jan. 19. Some folks put together “cheeseburger crawls” with their friends and sample several concoctions throughout the week.

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the event under the auspices of Pasadena Restaurant Week, tells us,

Legend has it that the teenaged Sternberger burned a patty and, rather than throw it away and risk the ire of his boss (and Dad), he put a piece of cheese on the burned side to cover his mistake and served it to a customer who was delighted. The Aristocratic Burger (Sternberger’s hamburger with cheese) sold for 15 cents and drew customers from throughout the area.

The invention of the cheeseburger at the Rite Spot has been documented by the Los Angeles Times,, Hamburger Heaven: the Illustrated History of the Hamburger and The San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Even CNN is on the story.

Several restaurants have been added to the 2014 roster, which at publication includes the list below. Some spots will have special menu items or deals for customers.

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