This photograph ran in the York Sunday News right after New Year’s Day in 2000, and its caption noted that the last of the Bury’s 11 York-area restaurants closed in 1986. In a sense, Joe Bury’s popular hamburger stands out-McDonalded McDonald’s for years. Background post: New McStore going up in highly trafficked spot and York countians are proud of the York Fair, and there’s a lot to be proud about and York-area full of memory-spawning landmarks.
Let’s just say the contest between York Fair’s two known Bury hamburger vendors was settled by the strength of an onion slice.
It’s the annual York Fair faceoff pitting the Bury’s burger from Johnny Eagle’s stand versus the offering from the Bury’s Famous Hamburger booth.
Many people have York Fair traditions, and mine has become sampling the burgers from the two stands and deciding which is better that particular day … .
It’s a chance for me to hook into the topic that will cause more conversation than practically any other subject among those who have lived in York County “a while”: What was in Joe Bury’s secret tomato sauce recipe that made his burgers so good?
It has always surprised me that restaurants or market stands don’t serve burgers using Bury’s secret recipe year round. It’s a missed fund-raising opportunity.
And don’t fret about the secret recipe. Look at the links below, and you’ll discover several that are very similar. Indeed, I’ve sampled some home cooked burgers using the recipes, and they’re as good as those served at the fair – and that’s saying a lot. (For example, click here to see one secret recipe published in the York Sunday News.)
But back to this year’s York Fair burger bout.
It’s a tough choice between the two.
Workers at both stands say Joe Bury’s secret recipe rests with them.
Both stands are easy to find. Johnny Eagle’s is across from the fire station on a main east/west concourse. The BFH stand rests along a main north/south concourse with the thousands of other food vendors. It’s about even with the grandstand.
Burgers from both stands drip equally with Bury’s trademark red tomato sauce.
Burgers at both stands are even priced the same – $3.
But here’s the difference this year.
Johnny Eagle’s came with the customary onion (you can’t go without that), which amounted to its outer ring.
BFH generously provided a whole onion slice, albeit a bit disheveled. That mild onion mixed in with the dripping red sauce and pepped up the taste.
This year’s winner: Bury’s Famous Hamburger stand.
- Before there was McDonald’s, there was Bury’s Famous Hamburgers in York, Pa.
- Before Geno’s made news in Philly, Gino’s headlined in York.
- About Avalong Dairy and Melvin’s Drive-In: ‘I am some what familiar with the history of the area’.
- Mack’s is short for McDaniel’s, but in York County it means ice cream.
- The 1950s, ’60s: ‘The greatest time to grow up in York, Pa.’.
- 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.
York Town Square 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.