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Sonic Drive-In Sonic Burger

By Todd Wilbur


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Driving through Louisiana in 1953, Troy Smith discovered a hamburger stand that had installed an intercom system to speed up ordering. Troy thought the idea of ordering food from parked cars would be perfect for his Top Hat Restaurant in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He borrowed a bunch of cars from a friend who owned a used car lot and parked the cars in a row as a guide to form stalls around his restaurant. He wired an intercom system to the stalls and renamed his drive-in "Sonic" with the slogan "Service with the Speed of Sound." The new concept was a smash, and revenues for the redesigned hotdog and hamburger stand doubled during the first week. There are no secret ingredients in this clone of Sonic's signature hamburger, just common hamburger components. The secret is how you stack the ingredients that makes this burger taste like a sonic burger.

Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 large plain white hamburger bun
  • butter-flavored spray or melted butter
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 3 dill pickle slices (hamburger slices)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped white onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 2 tomato slices
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    • Instructions

      1. Shape the ground beef into a patty with approximately the same diameter as the bun. Cover the patty with wax paper and freeze it.

      2. When you're ready to prepare the burger, preheat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. 

      3. Spray some butter spray or spread a thin layer of melted butter on the top and bottom bun halves. Lightly brown the bun in the skillet or on the griddle, then set it aside.

      4. Cook the beef patty in the hot pan, and lightly season it with salt and pepper. Cook the beef for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until done.

      5. As the patty cooks, build the burger by first spreading the mayonnaise over the browned face of the bottom bun.

      6. Arrange the pickle slices on the mayonnaise.

      7. Sprinkle the chopped onion over the pickles.

      8. Arrange the lettuce on the onion.

      9. Stack the tomato slices on the lettuce.

      10. When the beef is ready, stack it on the lettuce, and top off the sandwich with the top bun. If you'd like the bun warmer, microwave the burger on high for 10 to 15 seconds.

      Makes 1 burger.

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