Here's a note from a reader regarding patty melts, the star of the show in today's Four Stars column:
Patty melts are my favorite item to try everywhere in the country. There are some bad ones and a few good ones. It seems that in the midwest, tastes are a bit blah. We don't often see real rye bread. It's the rye/white swirl, which has no taste or texture. Real rye should be the first requirement. Next, the patty should be shaped to fit the bread. Usually the meat is a round patty on oval bread, so two inches of bread hang off of each end. Some good Swiss and American cheese, quality thousand island island dressing, on the side, and well cooked onions are essential criteria. If you find three or four of this quality, I'll be there to try them. The worst one I ever had was at a truck stop in WI and they had barbeque sauce on it. Thanks for holding our interest in strange and unusual things.