What the fastnacht! Pa. Dutch doughnut doubles as burger bun

'I never had a burger with syrup on'

BERN TWP., Pa. - Talk to a dozen different people and you may get a dozen different answers to the often-asked question, "What's your favorite way to eat a fastnacht?"

"With molasses or turkey syrup," said Stu Degler of Muhlenberg Township. "Not plain."

Chances are, you won't get an answer that includes cutting a fastnacht in half, slapping it on a grill, and then putting it back together with a hamburger in the middle.

But, in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, it seems anything goes when it comes to fastnachts, so that's how Klinger's Pubs is serving up the doughy treats at two of its locations this week.

The "fastnacht burger" features a fresh ground-beef burger topped with strips of bacon, an egg, and American cheese, all served on a grilled fastnacht with a side of syrup.

And for Degler, who has been enjoying fastnachts for more than 70 years, it was certainly a first.

"It was good, very good... a little messy with the syrup. I never had a burger with syrup on," Degler said, recalling his mother making fastnachts "a long, long time ago."

The fastnacht burger, available in 4-ounce and 8-ounce sizes, is on the menu through the week at Klinger's at the Airport in Bern Township and at Klinger's on Carsonia in Lower Alsace Township.

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