Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Extinct burger has its copycats

The Saucy Cook

By Mary Jo Spiegel
Enquirer contributor

"In the 1950s and 1960s," Linda Braunwart of North College Hill writes, "Shillito's had the best hamburger on their menu - the Seven Hills burger." She wants that burger recipe for her brother-in-law, Rick Zoz.

"Those sandwiches were good," agrees Judy Brinkman of Bellevue, who ate at Shillito's a few times a week. The Seven Hills was more of a loose meat sandwich, she recalls, and you could buy spice packets to make your own.

The recipe is not in Shillito's cookbook, says Dawn Trammell in Fairfield, who remembers Shillito's coffee shop and Tea Room.

Shillito's became Lazarus which moved and became Lazarus-Macy's. Gone are the restaurants and the companies that made the spice packets, says cooking teacher Rita Heikenfeld of Batavia. So, unless someone hasn't cleared their spice cabinet in decades, it seems the true Seven Hills sandwich, like Shillito's, is extinct. Here is a similar recipe for Braunwart to try. (For a second option, try the Lum's Ollieburger recipe at Lum39s_Ollieburger.html. Use loose ground beef instead of a patty and add cream for best results.)

Send food questions, tips, recipe requests and recipes to Saucy Cook, the Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202. E-mail: maryjo Include name, neighborhood, e-mail and phone number.

• The sandwich has been a topic on fellow columnist Marilyn Harris's radio show and one of her listeners posts this version on Web site.

Seven Hills Bar-B-Q Sandwich

11/4 pounds ground beef

1/4 cup diced onion

1/8 cup diced green pepper

1/2 tablespoon dry mustard

1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar

3/4 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon sugar

Salt and pepper, to taste

Brown ground beef over medium heat, stirring to break into small pieces, with onion and green pepper. Stir in mustard, vinegar, ketchup and sugar. Cook over low heat 30 minutes or until liquid reduced as desired. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve on cheddar cheese buns (or top with grated cheddar cheese on an onion bun.) Makes 4 servings.

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