A crunchy layer of potato chips—waffle chips are a nice touch—adds texture and flavor to the Bacon Chili Crunch Burger at San Diego-based Slater’s 50/50 (photo © Slater’s 50/50).
 Fried chicken skins on the Blanco Burger at Lucky Rooster in Hilton Head (photo © Lucky Rooster).
 Crunch pork rinds on a burger at Sutter Home (photo © Sutter Home).
 Crunchy shoestring potatoes top this burger from Chef Eric Levine (photo © Chef Eric Levine).
What’s trending among America’s trendy chefs?
Adding crunch to burgers and sandwiches.
Flavor & The Menu, a website and magazine for chefs that reports on culinary trends, attributes the crunchy movement to the boom in fried chicken sandwiches.
Now, chefs are adding crispy ingredients for texture and an added layer of flavor—and fun.
Beyond crisp pickles, fried onions rings, slaws and even the venerable iceberg lettuce and raw onion, the “new crunch” includes ingredients such as:
Cheese crackers (e.g. Cheetos) and cheese disks (e.g. Parm Crisps, Whisps)
Chinese wontons and noodles
Corn chips (e.g. Fritos)
Crunchy snack bits (e.g. corn nuts, wasabi peas)
Fried pork rinds (chicharrones) or cracklings, fried chicken skins
Potato and other vegetable chips, including freeze-dried veggie chips
Pickled crunchy vegetables (bell pepper, carrots, daikon, dilly beans, fennel, radish, e.g.—here’s how to make them)
Tortilla chips, plain and flavored
Potato chips, tortilla chips, even crispy , and
CHECK OUT THESE EXAMPLES
Here are ideas from chefs across the country:
Bacon Chili Crunch Burger: Angus beef topped with melted cheddar cheese, bacon chili and a crunchy layer of potato chips, served on a brioche bun with lettuce, tomato and red onions, at Slater’s 50/50 in San Diego
The Clash: beef patty, American cheese, grilled onion and jalapeño, Nacho Doritos, hoisin mayonnaise, cilantro and lime at Burger Punk in Oklahoma City
The Fried Bologna: fried Bologna with potato chips, Duke’s Mayo, mustard, shredded lettuce and American cheese, at Big Kids in Chicago
Jalapeño Turkey Crunch: smoked turkey, jalapeño spud chips, bacon, pepper jack, avocado and mayo on toasted jalapeño roll, from McAlister’s Deli in Atlanta
The Southpaw: rib-eye steak, grilled onions, Swiss/American blended cheese, topped with cheese sauce and crushed Hot Cheetos, at Lefty’s Cheesesteak in Ann Arbor
El Jefe Burger: ground chorizo/beef blend burger, jack cheese, crunchy corn nuts, smashed avocado, chipotle aïoli, on a toasted egg bun
Gobbler Burger: turkey burger, whipped cream cheese, sweet potato chips and habanero-cranberry relish, on a toasted potato roll
Hot Chicken Crunch Sandwich: fried chicken breast, pickle relish, Texas Pete Dusted (dry seasoning) fried chicken skins and pimento cheese spread, on a toasted brioche bun
3 Pigs Sandwich: slow smoked pulled BBQ pork, candied peppered bacon bits, crispy pork rinds and creamy coleslaw, on a honey buttered kaiser roll
IDEAS FROM FLAVOR & THE MENU
Try one of these recipes, or invent your own.
While the suggestions above are largely burger-oriented, try the crunch on your favorite sandwiches.