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There used to be a restaurant in Eureka, California, called Ramone’s Opera Alley Cafe.  I never got a chance to eat there – well, I guess I had chances, but I didn’t take them. There’s now a place called Cafe Nooner where it was; Ramone’s lives on as a bakery.

Anyway, a few years ago I found an interview online with a guy who cooked at Ramone’s and he gave a recipe for a Spanakopita burger they apparently used to make. I looked at the recipe the other day and it included ground pork along with turkey, which I am sure is delicious but not really on our recommended diet these days. I made some adjustments and made these for dinner last night along with sauteed corn & red onions and a heirloom tomato salad. It was divine.


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and shape into patties.


Refrigerate until well-chilled (turkey burgers tend to fall apart easily; the chilling helps them stick together).

I cooked these on a Lodge cast-iron grill.



Cook until well-done (I used an instant-read meat thermometer).

Serve on toasted buns with the usual burger toppings – though we tried some homemade peach chutney in place of ketchup and it was fabulous.



  • Use half ground pork and half ground turkey.
  • Substitute ground lamb for the turkey; omit the panko. Cook until rare or medium-rare.
  • Substitute blue cheese or gorgonzola for the feta.
  • Substitute basil or rosemary for the oregano.
  • Add chopped Kalamata olives.
  • Serve on focaccia bread.

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