Mark's Venetian Burgers
If you live in Ohio, then you know what Mr. Hero is. If you don't, I can tell you that it is a sub and burger place that, among other subs, fries, desserts, etc., serves the famous Romanburger®, which is described as "Two juicy grilled burgers topped with melted Swiss American cheese, grilled Genoa Salami and Italian Luncheon loaf served on a bed of shredded lettuce with tomatoes, onions, a sprinkle of Mr. Hero’s original Italian oil’n spice and topped with our own special recipe mayonnaise – served on a hearth baked Italian roll." YUM!!!! It is officially my most favorite fast-food sandwich and something I crave here and there. Unfortunately, it's pretty high in calories and fat, and not very conducive to losing weight, so I try to stay away from them these days. But since I love them so, Mark decided to make his version of the Romanburger® and called it "Mark's Venetian Burgers" because his family roots are in the Veneto region of Italy. It turned out to be a lighter version and one I could feel good about eating. To put it into perspective, the original 7" Romanburger® is about 937 calories. Mark's version, which is 6" but has thicker burger patties, is barely 600 calories.
He cuts the calories by using ground turkey for the burger patties, light Hellman's mayo, and he skips the sub sandwich oil that Mr. Hero seems to use on their burger. What he doesn't skimp on is the Tuscan salami and the white American cheese. This burger turned out to be every bit as delicious as the original Romanburger®, but without the grease and heavy feeling after you're finished eating it. So until Mr. Hero decides to come out with a light version of their famous sandwich, or if you're nowhere near Ohio but think a cheeseburger topped with salami, lettuce, tomato, and onions on a toasted hoagie bun sounds DELICIOUS, then make these up for yourself one of these weeknights. You'll love them!
Here's how you make them:
Start by doing a little prep-work. Thinly slice some tomato, slice up some white onion, and shred some romaine lettuce.
Next, fry up some salami (we used Tuscan salami), then set it aside to top the burgers with later. Form the burgers, about 1/4 lb each, using ground turkey. Season the turkey burger patties with sea salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning. Form the burger patties into oval shapes so they'll fit on a foot long hoagie bun; two burgers per bun.
Fry up the turkey burgers in some olive oil until fully cooked and nice and browned on the outside.
While the burgers are frying, take 2 foot-long hoagie buns, open them up, and toast them in the oven so the outsides are toasty, but the insides are still soft. We got our hoagie buns from Costanzo's Bakery in Cheektowaga, NY. Mark used to travel to the Buffalo area for work and he sometimes brings this bread home. It is AMAZING. I wish there was a Costanzo's here in Cleveland!
Time to prep the buns. Top one half with some light Hellman's mayo and the other half with shredded lettuce, tomato slices, salt, and pepper.
When the burgers are done, top each one with two slices of fried salami and some white American cheese.
You can see here how you line up the two burgers, top them with the salami and cheese. We halved the cheese slices and ended up only using 1 1/2 slices per foot-long sandwich. Lay the finished burgers onto the lettuce/tomato half of the bun, then top the mayo side with lots of sliced white onion. The strong onion flavor is a must to bring all the flavors of this sandwich together, so don't be afraid to pile them on.
That's it - slice them in half and serve! Each foot-long sandwich makes two 6" burgers, 600 calories each. Bon Appetito!