burgerMay is National Burger Month, a relatively recent designation aimed at helping eateries promote signature burgers in the lead-up to Memorial Day and the start of the summer cookout season. Nationwide, burger joints are celebrating with promotions and specialty burgers.

We might never know the reason May was chosen to celebrate the meaty sandwich, but RestaurantNews.com has published a fun history of the burger, from its origins in the 1600s as steak tartare in Hamburg, Germany, to cooked beef patties on a bun that grew popular among U.S. workers at the beginning of the 20th century because they were easy to eat on the go, to today’s proliferation of chains and independent burger joints with offerings including fast food and gourmet burgers.

Meanwhile, at BurgerBusiness, it’s always about burgers, but editors have shared specials for National Burger Month, including regional, 10-unit chain Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant’s plan to introduce a different burger each day and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville’s competition to have chefs’ creations featured for one of the five weeks in May.

Hard Rock Cafe has shared stats in honor of the month, starting with that 73% of burger fans worldwide eat at least one burger a month. Meanwhile, 22% top their burgers with cheese, and 60% choose french fries as the perfect accompaniment. The chain also is holding a monthlong photo contest, with a four-day, three-night stay at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic as the grand prize.

More National Burger Month bites

  • WUSA-TV has created a slide show of specials in the Washington, D.C., area, starting with a giant bacon cheeseburger at Bobby’s Burger Palace.
  • Philadelphia City Paper calls it a made-up holiday but nevertheless will celebrate with spotlights on the city’s burger joints all month.
  • Also in Philly, Zagat shares five ways to celebrate National Burger Month, including the city’s Food Truck Mecca and a special burger menu at Paramour that includes a mac-and-cheese burger.
  • The Broward-Palm Beach New Times has tallied up the 10 best burgers in Florida’s Broward and Palm Beach counties.
  • Pounds & Ounces in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood will offer a different burger every day this month, the Daily News reports.

How are you celebrating National Burger Month? Tell us in the comments.

Image credit: ValentynVolkov, via iStockphoto

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