We patty-melt people will always be outnumbered by the hamburger people, and we know it.
The burger is pillowy, rounded and voluptuous. The patty melt is starchy, angled and flat. The burger is popular the way vanilla ice cream is popular. The patty melt, popular with a small minority, is black raspberry. It is the pumpernickel bagel. The Boston cream doughnut. The Trefoil cookie.
Burgers, which conquered the United States long ago, win over new parts of the world every day. Social media chatters about viral smashburgers and 80/20 chef burgers dry-aged for months.
The patty melt is an also-ran at home. Abroad, it is virtually unknown. You rarely hear about an innovative one. I could order a patty melt at any diner tonight and get something almost indistinguishable from the first patty melts I ate as a boy.
Neither do you often hear about new places to eat them. Those of us who like the sandwich resigned ourselves a long time ago to enjoying it at the same lunch counters and coffee shops where we have always gone to find it.