Patty Melts and Plaid Shirts

“Luke: What can I get you Kirk?
Kirk: Patty melt and a coke.
Luke: You want the melt cut into squares or stars today?
Kirk: Half and half.”

Luke’s Diner. A Stars Hollow staple. Where else could you go to get bottomless mugs of coffee, hot fries and enough cynicism to last all day? (Great, now I want fries).

I got the chance to experiment with Luke’s famous Patty Melt. Just in time for the release of world-class chef, Kristi Carlson’s new cookbook, Eat Like a Gilmorethis sandwich is just one of many mouthwatering recipes…

(Photo Credit: Bonnie Matthews)

If you want the complete recipe, you’ll need to buy the cookbook.

(DO IT, you know you want to)!

Photo credit: Bonnie Miller and Jay Andrino
Photo credit: Bonnie Matthews and Jay Andrino

Like the Pineapple Cranberry Chutney recipe I tried, I tested this burger twice. I am glad I did because the first time I tried, it was just short of a total disaster.

I wanted to follow the recipe exactly, ingredients and all, but I am also conscious of where my food comes from and how it is prepared. So I bought grass fed beef and locally made Rye bread. Also, the Gouda cheese I used was smoked. (Maybe not the best choice).


The bread was too thick and the cheese just sat there like a lump. It didn’t melt at all. I also didn’t make the burgers thin enough.

To add insult to injury, I can’t chop onions. My eyes water so badly that they actually start to swell. My dad had to do that part. So basically, when I make this recipe again, it will have to be at my parent’s house because I am confident that my roommate would laugh me out of the house if I asked him to chop for me.

The first batch was tasty, but super messy because there was really nothing holding the sandwich together. So I tried again with a few adjustments.


I had a lot more luck on the second attempt. I’d learned from my mistakes during the first round. One thing to mention is that the recipe calls for grilled onions. Be sure to factor this step into the time it takes you to make the Patty Melt. Most people don’t have grilled onions just laying around in the fridge.

The next step was grilling the beef. My mistake originally was that I made the patties too thick. They took longer to grill and were too round for the cheese or onions to sit on top.

This second time, I made them thinner and also put a small dimple in the center of the meat to keep the patty flat and reduce shrinking.


When it came time to brown the bread and melt the cheese, I tried something new. I oiled the bread with a brush instead of putting the oil in the pan. The first bread was too dense and the oil in the pan dried too quickly to give the slices a golden brown hue. By coating the slices rather than the pan, I used less oil and the bread actually grilled properly.

I also went with a creamier Gouda, which was a huge success. It melted perfectly, allowing everything to stick and stay in the sandwich when I flipped it.


The final result was a real crowd pleaser, especially with my dad, who happens to remind me a little of Kirk…(love you dad)! I paired the Patty Melt with chips and a dill pickle. The pickle is a must have. Just make sure not to spill them because Taylor will not help with the clean-up.

Thank you Kristie Carlson for gifting me this opportunity! I had so much fun. Let me know when you come out with Volume 2!


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