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Bury’s Burgers secret sauce: ‘You won’t get that recipe’

Betty Bury Harmon, right, continues to sell her family’s namesake burger at the York Fair, one of two stands to do so. York County food-related posts: Before Geno’s made news in Philly, Gino’s headlined in York, From top dog and hot dogs to dogfight and dog days in York County, Pa. and Interstate lined out Melvin’s swan song.

“Does the recipe come with the price?” I asked the woman behind the counter at Johnnie Eagle’s stand at the York Fair.
I was continuing my probe for the secret recipe behind that red sauce covering the Bury’s burger in my hand.
She declined with a smile.
“You won’t get that recipe,” a customer behind me in line said.
I might already have it… .

The sauce slathered burger was as good as the first one I had tried last year. Bury’s Famous Hamburger, that is. At one time, it was sold at 11 Bury’s restaurants around here.
Now, it is available once a year at the York Fair. The fairly obscure Johnnie Eagle’s stand near the fire station serves it. And another stand – Bury’s Famous Hamburgers – southeast of the grandstand does, too. (Someone told me that a stand at Morningstar Market near Thomasville regularly uses the Bury’s recipe. I checked that out, and it proved not to be true.)
I later tried the burger from that second stand, and it was also sumptious, although sporting a different taste. I wondered which of the two stands’ offering was closest to Joe Bury’s. One could be on target, but not both. Or perhaps both miss.
But back to Eagle’s.
As I was heading to that stand’s eating area, someone commented: “They put it in the paper but it wasn’t right.”
Well, it might not be right, but that recipe is good and comes from an informed source.
Someone I know tried it out.
I tasted it.
Could even be better than those served at the fair.
But this whole wonderful recipe discussion might hinge on what might appear to be peripherals.
The quality of the onion slice atop the burger, for example.
Or, as one Bury’s aficonado told me the other day, Bury’s in its heyday used to leave the burgers in a pan, simmering in that sauce.
Could be there for hours.
Or until someone bought one.
Bury’s recipes
– Bury’s recipe as published in the York Sunday News, 2000, click here.
– That York Sunday News recipe with additional ingredient reportedly from Joe Bury himself, click here.
– A quick alternative: This Bury’s burger sauce comes from a can, click here.
Posts on Bury’s Famous Hamburgers:
Bury’s burgers: ‘You won’t get that recipe’
The quest for Bury’s secret hamburger recipe continues.
This Bury’s recipe comes from a can,
Reader reveals Bury’s secret recipe.
Is Bury’s secret sauce really secret?
Bury’s burgers: Nostalgia on a bun
Fair, Bury’s go together like tomato sauce, burgers
Bury’s burgers: ”That was it – no slaw, no relish, no pickles’
Playland plays nostalgic note for York countians
Bury’s burger memories far from buried