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Cheeseburger Week Returns To Pasadena In All Its Meaty Glory

Mmmmm....cheeseburgers at Meat District Co. (via Facebook)
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Celebrate the illustrious cheeseburger next week in the city where it was believed to have been invented.

Pasadena's fifth annual Cheeseburger Week kicks off next Monday, Jan. 10 with 40 restaurants cooking up their best renditions of the American classic. Head to the area's top burger joints—including old school favorites like Pie 'n Burger or new contenders like Meat District Co.—to sample their wares and vote on your favorite as part of the Cheeseburger Challenge. From upscale gourmet to down-home classics, each spot will be showing off their greatest hits, while some places will be serving up special burgers for the occasion, including Dog Haus Biergarten.

Organized by the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, the five-day event celebrates Lionel Sternberger, who is thought to be the first person, nay genius, to have put cheese on a burger. One version of the legend is that a teenage Sternberger—seriously, that's his name—accidentally burned a burger while working at his dad's Pasadena roadside stand, the Rite Spot, in 1924. Rather than ditch the singed patty, he threw a slice of cheese on it and made history. Sure, we'll bite. Dubbed the "Aristocratic Burger" by young Lionel, the creation was first sold for 15 cents. Learn more about the legend here.

To celebrate Cheeseburger Week, you can create your own itinerary or follow one of the pre-designed Cheeseburger Crawls. The crawls include a "Beer and a Burger" one, one for sliders, another for traditional, and there's even one that features veggie cheeseburgers. They recommend splitting the cheeseburgers at each stop with your group, so you can save room to try several, but we'll leave that up to you.

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Pasadena's Cheeseburger Week takes place from Jan. 10 - 15 at different locations. Learn more and find out which restaurants are participating here.