The problem is that no one can ever reproduce the sauceburger exactly as it was at the Burger House. It’s like trying to make the cornbread like your granny used to make. Even if you use the same brand of buttermilk and the same cast-iron skillet, it never seems to be as good as you remember—there’s always something that is missing.
After all of the interviews and the sackfuls of sauceburger reproductions I’ve eaten over the past couple of weeks, I’m still ultimately dissatisfied and disappointed. Trying to recapture those tastes from the past is like trying to recapture a past love or a past success—futile and frustrating. The memories I have of The Burger House are not just memories of that taste, they are memories of being young and full of wonder, holding my parents’ hands while we ordered—it’s was the joy of doing something that was special to us. Removed from that context it’s just a burger with sloppy joe sauce. But to me and the thousands who grew up making The Burger House a regular part of our lives, it will always be something more. It will always be the sauce, the myth, the legend—the Sauceburger.
Mike McJunkin cooks better than you and eats quite a bit of very strange food. Visit his Facebook page (Sushi and Biscuits) for updates and recipes.