Tired of traditional Thanksgiving? Consider the turkey burger.

Thanksgiving week is turkey burgers’ equivalent of birthdays: It’s when they get to be the center of attention and appreciated for a few days before they go back to being ignored. Read on for four turkey burgers worth checking out at restaurants around the country. 

Matthew Mead/AP/File
Barbecue spiced turkey in Concord, N.H. If you're tired of teh traditional Thanksgiving fare, several nationwide restaurant chains have turkey burger specials during the Thanksgiving holiday week. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead, File)

Thanksgiving week is turkey burgers’ equivalent of birthdays: It’s when they get to be the center of attention and appreciated for a few days before they go back to being ignored.

Like a lot of burger concepts, the Zinburger chain nine East Coast locations offers a special Thanksgiving Burger this week, and it looks to be a fine one: A freshly ground turkey patty with hearts of palm stuffing, cranberry sauce, mayo and shredded lettuce.

But at Zinburger, the turkey burger doesn’t hide unnoticed and unloved at the bottom of the menu during the rest of the year. Year-round the chin menus a deceptively simple turkey burger that for the past two year has been one of its top sellers, more popular than any of the three chicken burgers, the veggie burger or the ahi sandwich.

“As with any good burger, the key is the quality of the meat and letting that shine through,” says Zinburger Executive Chef David Maini. “We use fresh breast meat that we grind in-house. We sear it quickly to lock in juices, cook it through and then keep it simple.”

The build includes Swiss cheese, lettuce, mayo and sprouts. It’s a juicy, appealing burger that sells on its own, Maini says, not as an alternative to beef or anything else. Its popularity is “across the board” and defined by gender or age group, he says.

Earlier this month, BurgerBusiness.com compiled “21 Thanksgiving Burger Specials,” but in addition to Zinburger’s entry there are a few others that merit attention for audacity if not always culinary acumen.

The Burger 21 chain is tackling a legend. The Decadent Turducken Burger features a hand-formed turkey burger stuffed with a blend of rosemary chicken inside of duck. It tops this with melted Brie and house-made cherry, cranberry and red apple chutney.

Zombie Burger + Drink Lab in Des Moines, Iowa, can be counted on to offer something special and it doesn’t disappoint. The Thankskilling tops a beef patty with smoked pulled turkey, mashed potato croquette, turkey gravy, fried onion strings and sage stuffing. Still hungry? Try the special Sweet Potato Shake.

Finally, Hopdoddy Burger Bar in Texas, Arizona and now Colorado is taking the prize for verticality with the Thanksgiving on a Bun. Neatly stacked are an all-natural turkey patty, sage pesto, jalapeňo cornbread stuffing, house-made ginger-cranberry chutney, Gouda cheese and, why not, bacon Brussels sprouts salad.

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