My last post jogged the memory of my sister-in-law to come up with a wish for the Brown Derby Burger recipe....she may not know it, but my husband worked there and made a ton of them, and still remembers! Pretty good for a guy who can't tell right from left or remember to lift up the seat, eh?
Now for a history lesson that illustrates the "7 degrees of Kevin Bacon". That is the concept that you can name any actor, and connect him/her to Kevin Bacon through no more than 7 different movies, and which I refuse to clarify because of the margaritas. The Brown Derby was a restaurant in the tiny hamlet of Banks Oregon that served the people of that community for many years. I say many because I really don't know how long - it was there when my family moved there in 1973, was there when my husband was a kid, and with different ownership and a few slack periods, lasted until the late 90's or early 2000's until the last owner gave up the ghost and sold it to a contractor company that now shares it's space with a church.
When I moved to Banks in '73, it was still owned by an older couple and it still had a shuffleboard and was probably pretty close to it's original design. My sister worked as a waitress for a short time, then my mom got a job there as a bartender. A new owner had taken over, and Ed decided to make it a bit more upscale....for the 70's and Banks that meant putting in a nicer dining room and separating it completely from the bar area. It was classy....they used big wooden spools for the tables and made the menus out of pieces of wood shaped like a derby hat with a menu shellacked to both sides. And they had stuff like Creme's Supreme (chicken in parchment w/cream sauce?) and Banana's Foster and some kind of steak bits with mushrooms....all delicious, but I think the bigger draw was the signature Brown Derby Burger. It was a Big Mac with class....the home made fries with the skin still on the potatoes was the icing on the cake - I never heard of ANYONE who didn't like the Derby Burger.
I did not meet my husband at the Derby, but he worked there when my mom did....he was a dishwasher, and had some cook duties, mostly when the cook (not our family friend Father Jim, he came later) was on break or possibly hanging out in the bar with a cold one or 5. I think Walt was only 15 or 16 at the time, and I am a year younger...heck, he could have been working the night I went there on my first date with one of his best friends - I recall only that my date thought I was adorable because I ate like a bird while he wolfed down an entire Derby burger and fries by himself...boys are so gullible. I only went out with him once, and had to dump him when I realized he was a bit too experienced for me...I was a good girl back then.
So here you go Pam - you will probably faint dead away when you realize how many calories are in this monstrosity, but I suppose if you had JUST these for Thanksgiving you'd come out ahead...but only by a few. And light a candle in a cheesy glass restaurant candle holder for the good ol' Brown Derby....she is missed!
Brown Derby Burgers
1 hamburger bun with sesame seeds, toasted
1 piece of white sandwich bread, corners cut off to make it an octagon and toasted
1000 Island dressing
Hamburger patty, cooked to order
1 slice American cheese
1 slice ham, warmed in a skillet
1 slice processed Swiss cheese
Wilted onion (slice onion VERY thin and put them aside until they get limp)
Thinly sliced tomato
Assemble as follows:
Walt recalls they cut it in half and put a giant frilly toothpick through each half...that's what I remember, but my rememberer isn't what it used to be. And he says a pickle was served on the side and I KNOW that's right...gotta love the pickle.
So there you go - my sister, my mom, my husband, Father Jim and the owners son (no, not Kevin Bacon...you're missing the point) who I slapped so hard in high school because he grabbed my boob in the hallway that his glasses flew off and broke against a locker all worked there and helped create wonderful and weird memories - fix yourself a Derby burger and think about the good old days!