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Bury’s burgers: Nostalgia on a bun

Johnny Eagles’ stand at the York Fair was right where someone said it would be.
Kind of across from the Toyota Arena.
And signage ensured there was no mistaking its proud main fare.
Bury’s burgers.
So I approached the stand and asked for a burger.
This would be my first Bury’s special.
The only option. Onion or no?
Onion, I said. …

$2.50 it was.
A woman at the stand opened one of those porcelain warmers with the clear glass lid to find a burger swimming in sauce. The warmer looked like one of those appliances from the 1970s, fitting for the iconic hamburger sold all over York at Joe Bury restaurants at that time.
She fished around a bit, stirring up the red tomato sauce that coated the burger. She snagged a patty and put it on a bun and topped it with a raw onion ring.
Do you give out your recipe? I asked.
She shook her head no.
It’s a family secret, I guess?
She shook her head yes.
I walked behind the stand to some tables.
Some condiments were nearby, but somehow they didn’t seem needed – or appropriate for the occasion.
Without ceremony, I bit into the burger, slathered with that famous sauce.
It was good. Very good. Interesting, indeed. Nostalgia on a bun.
The tomato sauce tasted like it was made for a hamburger.
And its recipe was, decades ago.
I found myself wondering why something this good was available to the public only about once a year – at the fair.
The recipe is a secret but it could be duplicated, I thought. Could be a business opportunity for someone.
But then I thought, it wouldn’t work.
Because what makes Bury’s burger special is more than the sauce.
It’s the name.
And the onion, not too strong now.
And the nostalgia, pointing to those days when life seemed sweeter or simpler, even though it wasn’t always.
You just can’t copy all that.
Posts on Bury’s Famous Hamburgers:
Yet another Bury’s hamburger drops into the cooker
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
To read stroll back memory lane, see posts in Nostalgia and Memories category.