The standard cheeses are the perfect cheeses
Cheddar. Swiss. American. They cling to the diner patty like a fitted sheet, complementing but never overwhelming. You can’t say the same for fancy burger cheeses like Roquefort, Gorgonzola, aged Muenster, Comté or Emmi Gruyère. All can be delicious in other contexts, but melted on a burger they taste like a covert comeuppance for the profligate class, an ingredient the chef bought off Tyler Durden.
You can find happiness in the diner burger’s personal philosophy
If I don’t have it, I don’t need it.* That’s how a diner burger looks at life. It doesn’t envy a fancy burger’s Camembert, or even its black caviar, because it knows those things would enhance its already perfect existence no more than a shiny $300 shirt would enhance your already perfect existence. Frankly, it doesn’t even need lettuce, tomato, or onions. Those “deluxe” options are the equivalent of an old, ill-fitting suit obstinate men throw on when they’re told they have to dress up for an event they’d just as soon not attend.
*This mantra definitely wasn’t stolen from the Sinead O’Connor album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. That phrase means something totally different.