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The Guber Burger, Sedalia, Missouri (pics)

The Guber Burger, Sedalia, Missouri (pics)
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  • The Guber Burger, Sedalia, Missouri (pics)

    Post #1 - August 24th, 2011, 8:57 am
    Post #1 - August 24th, 2011, 8:57 am Post #1 - August 24th, 2011, 8:57 am
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    A recent opportunity to serve as a judge for the Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance Heirloom Recipe Contest at the Missouri State Fair took me to Sedalia, Missouri. (Thank you Cathy2!) It has proven a good policy, chow-wise, to pay particular attention to the downtowns of county seats, however far-flung. (Attorneys and bail bondsmen appear to demand good lunches.) My brief exploration of Sedalia’s center bore out the wisdom of this approach. The Bothwell Hotel hosts not only retro-upscale coffee, but a white-tablecloth option, the Ivory Grille, located adjacent to the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation.
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    I was charmed by the mix of architectural styles, and especially by some outstanding signage from earlier eras.
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    Along a main artery that features the sprawling homes of the prosperous, past and present, and a Masonic Lodge, sits Eddie’s Drive-In (Est. 1937). Eddie’s claims to be Missouri’s oldest drive-in, though car-hop service is available only on evenings devoted to gatherings of antique car enthusiasts. A 1983 clipping posted on the wall indicates that the original name of the place was Garst's, for the establishment's original owner. According to this account from the local paper, it was renamed Eddie’s by Eddie Boysel, a returning WWII vet, the drive-in’s longtime burger chef. Boysel reportedly obtained an early discharge from the service to cook for the state fair crowds of 1945. He owned the drive-in, known for its “steakburgers” aka "Boyselburgers," from 1945 through 1983, when the business was sold to a local banker.
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    Eddie’s doorway proclaims not the steakburger, but another local specialty, the Guber Burger. (Mr. Peanut does get around, doesn’t he?) According to the posted newspaper clipping, "Goober Burgers" and peanut butter milkshakes were being served at The Wheel Inn, another Sedalia burger spot, after WWII. It wasn't clear when Eddie's introduced the Guber Burger, but, for those who are interested, there is a roadfood.com thread on The Wheel Inn that has pictures of the original building and its door, featuring Mr. Peanut and the spelling "Guber." What is clear from the roadfood thread is that the Guber Burger has a substantial nostalgic appeal.

    Certain that I would later equally regret the eating of or the failure to eat this unique burger, I was hovering in indecision at the description of its elements: a burger patty atop a peanut butter-slathered bun, topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. But the exclamation of glee and disgust that came from the teenage chef in the kitchen at the prospect of serving “the Guber” served as a dare. I would have to taste this thing.
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    The burger looked innocent enough, in its wrapping of crisp white paper.
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    Contrary to expectations, it was not that bad. Let me explain:
    It's important to mention that I normally avoid mayonnaise. It may be that, in this case, the forced combination of peanut butter and mayo induced a sort of intense conflict that paralyzed both my instincts and my critical faculties and overrode my anticipatory revulsion. Really, it was not that bad. Pressed, I might even describe the Guber Burger as acceptable. You may be skeptical, but I am pretty sure that this judgment had to do with the specifics of execution: robust browning of the patty, (a Schoop’s style lacy-edged disc), and a judicious amount of peanut butter on the bottom bun. Had the patty been topped with peanut butter (as in some Youtube videos), I think the effect would have been different. As it was, the peanut butter and beef formed one taste impression, the tomato, mayo and lettuce another. I'm not sure if it's absurd or merely odd to describe the Guber burger as "balanced," but that's what it was. While I dreaded the prospect of a lingering peanut flavor, there was no aftertaste. I drove away from Eddie's with the sense of having eaten a mild-ish burger without the benefit of mustard, ketchup, pickle or onion.

    My compliments to the Chef!
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    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #2 - August 24th, 2011, 12:35 pm
    Post #2 - August 24th, 2011, 12:35 pm Post #2 - August 24th, 2011, 12:35 pm
    Jo,
    I did a double take when I saw the photo of Eddie's Drive-In. It is almost identical to the original Winstead's building on Brush Creek in Kansas City, MO. Everything from the color scheme to the streamlined art deco design brought back memories of when my wife (a KC native) and I were conducting our long distance romance in 1978. My nostalgia was bolstered by the image of the actual burger; a dead ringer for a Winstead's steakburger, minus the peanut butter.

    Winstead's was sold to a large corporation some years back. They expanded and remodeled, trying to keep the original design notes intact, but it was never the same; too polished and forced. Fortunately, they didn't mess with the food too much and it still remains a worthwhile stop on our visits back to Kansas City.

    Thanks for the pix and the memories.

    Buddy
  • Post #3 - August 25th, 2011, 8:03 am
    Post #3 - August 25th, 2011, 8:03 am Post #3 - August 25th, 2011, 8:03 am
    Thanks for your reply, Jeff. I love it when my posts elicit nostalgia. That's one of my main motivations to explore and write about it. Especially as I grow older, I realize that nostalgia is one of the most interesting emotional states. It can even be experienced vicariously.

    I've noticed on a couple of brief trips to Kansas City that there are some excellent deco buildings of this type still around. I'd love to follow up with a visit there to explore. Maybe you'll give me some tips.

    Of course, I'm now kicking myself for not taking the time to go to the Wheel Inn. At least I know that it's there.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #4 - August 25th, 2011, 8:09 am
    Post #4 - August 25th, 2011, 8:09 am Post #4 - August 25th, 2011, 8:09 am
    Josephine,

    If all goes well, it will be a group visit to Sedalia next year.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - August 25th, 2011, 8:33 am
    Post #5 - August 25th, 2011, 8:33 am Post #5 - August 25th, 2011, 8:33 am
    Josephine wrote:I've noticed on a couple of brief trips to Kansas City that there are some excellent deco buildings of this type still around. I'd love to follow up with a visit there to explore. Maybe you'll give me some tips.


    If you make it to KC and go to the Winstead's mentioned above, don't pass up the chili or the burgers.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - August 29th, 2011, 7:05 pm
    Post #6 - August 29th, 2011, 7:05 pm Post #6 - August 29th, 2011, 7:05 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Josephine,

    If all goes well, it will be a group visit to Sedalia next year

    Excellent news, Cathy! I stand at the ready for a return visit.

    stevez wrote:
    Josephine wrote:I've noticed on a couple of brief trips to Kansas City that there are some excellent deco buildings of this type still around. I'd love to follow up with a visit there to explore. Maybe you'll give me some tips.


    If you make it to KC and go to the Winstead's mentioned above, don't pass up the chili or the burgers.


    Thanks for that tip, Steve. I'll need to plan ahead for that. Chili + Burger= Overload for this gal, all appearances to the contrary. OTOH, I can acquit myself very handily at Stroud's.

    Josephine wrote: You may be skeptical, but I am pretty sure that this judgment had to do with the specifics of execution: robust browning of the patty, (a Schoop’s style lacy-edged disc), and a judicious amount of peanut butter on the bottom bun. Had the patty been topped with peanut butter (as in some Youtube videos), I think the effect would have been different. As it was, the peanut butter and beef formed one taste impression, the tomato, mayo and lettuce another. I'm not sure if it's absurd or merely odd to describe the Guber burger as "balanced," but that's what it was. While I dreaded the prospect of a lingering peanut flavor, there was no aftertaste. I drove away from Eddie's with the sense of having eaten a mild-ish burger without the benefit of mustard, ketchup, pickle or onion.
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    I've done a bit more googling on the Guber Burger. Here is a report from the blog Hamburger America that pictures the Wheel Inn's version of the Guberburger. Two points of difference from the Eddie's Drive Inn version of the Guber emerge. First, that mayo is an optionaltopping for the Wheel Inn's version. With its drooping whorls of peanut butter, the Wheel Inn's Guberburger gives me pause. Conditions for my acceptance of Eddie's Guber Burger include: 1) the inclusion of mayo-(did I just write that?) - as a key (with tomato) to the balancing act with the peanut butter; and 2) the bottom-bun location of a judicious amount of peanut butter.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #7 - August 20th, 2012, 9:25 am
    Post #7 - August 20th, 2012, 9:25 am Post #7 - August 20th, 2012, 9:25 am
    Sad news from Sedalia: Eddie's Drive-In has closed.

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    Dejected, we drove a couple miles to Wheel Inn, Sedalia's other Home of the Guberburger.

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    The thought of mayonnaise and peanut butter on a hamburger is disturbing enough but the combo of Miracle Whip and peanut butter sounds downright disgusting. I asked for the Whip on the side but couldn't bring myself to touch it.

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    I wish I could say peanut butter enhanced the burger but if anything it was the opposite. The burger itself was pretty good and even guberized it was almost enjoyable. Maybe Miracle Whip is the magical ingredient that brings it all together but I'm afraid I'll never know. Josephine, now a guberburger expert, thought Eddie's version was clearly superior.

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    Wheel Inn's tenderloin and onion rings (both prepared in house) were top notch. Seems like a good place overall. I'm just not sure about the whole guberburger concept. Wish I'd been able to try Eddie's version.

    Eddie's Drive-In (closed)
    115 W Broadway Blvd
    Sedalia MO

    Wheel Inn
    2103 S Limit Av
    Sedalia MO
    660-826-5177
  • Post #8 - August 20th, 2012, 2:38 pm
    Post #8 - August 20th, 2012, 2:38 pm Post #8 - August 20th, 2012, 2:38 pm
    Guber Burger enthusiasts will have to make do with West Lafayette's XXX Drive In's Duane Purvis burger. Bonus: weird Hoosier chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes shows up as a special.
  • Post #9 - August 26th, 2012, 5:44 pm
    Post #9 - August 26th, 2012, 5:44 pm Post #9 - August 26th, 2012, 5:44 pm
    Rene G wrote:Sad news from Sedalia: Eddie's Drive-In has closed.

    Yes, it is sad. Judging from the looks of the interior (trashed), there is not much to be done with the building. It's a shame, because it really is a nice example of its kind. The original Wheel Inn building was destroyed, though it did not seem to have the cachet of Eddie's. I'm guessing that it was hard for Eddie's to make it in the location they have, near downtown, rather than on the Miracle Mile that leads to the fairgrounds.

    Rene G wrote:I wish I could say peanut butter enhanced the burger but if anything it was the opposite. The burger itself was pretty good and even guberized it was almost enjoyable. Maybe Miracle Whip is the magical ingredient that brings it all together but I'm afraid I'll never know. Josephine, now a guberburger expert, thought Eddie's version was clearly superior.

    I'm really disappointed for you, Rene G. I can assure you that there was something special in that Eddie's Guber Burger. But I look at it this way: the charm was in the specific execution, that is, the deep browning of the patty and the placement of a "judicious" amount of peanut butter on the bottom bun, not the top of the patty. Had Eddie's been open on the recent trip, another cook at Eddie's might have given us inferior examples. But, as you say, we will never know. Another one slips through the fingers, just like the much regretted Dandelion Pizza [sniff!]. . . . we must learn to live with these things. And the Wheel Inn's Guber is the original.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #10 - November 7th, 2013, 6:07 pm
    Post #10 - November 7th, 2013, 6:07 pm Post #10 - November 7th, 2013, 6:07 pm
    Rene G wrote:Sad news from Sedalia: Eddie's Drive-In has closed.

    More sad news from Sedalia: Wheel Inn has closed after 65 years. The Guberburger is becoming an endangered species around Sedalia.

    Wheel Inn (closed)
    2103 S Limit Av
    Sedalia MO
  • Post #11 - November 7th, 2013, 11:40 pm
    Post #11 - November 7th, 2013, 11:40 pm Post #11 - November 7th, 2013, 11:40 pm
    Hi,

    My t-shirt just became an instant collectible.

    I wore that shirt in Kansas where several people recognized Wheel Inn and inquired if it was still open. Too bad for this change in their fortunes.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #12 - November 8th, 2013, 7:21 am
    Post #12 - November 8th, 2013, 7:21 am Post #12 - November 8th, 2013, 7:21 am
    First Eddie's and now The Wheel Inn! I'm gutted.

    Did you read the linked Sedalia Democrat article? The writer mistakenly describes the guber burger as cheeseburger topped with peanut butter. Let me state for the record that there is no cheese on a guber burger. That would be disgusting. The only toppings on a guber are peanut butter, mayo, lettuce and tomato. Simplicity in itself, really.

    It's sad to think that now Sedalia's culinary claim to fame will be as rare as a registered Democrat in Sedalia. Perhaps the Missouri State Legislature will see fit to pass a resolution memorializing the Guber Buger, or a commemorative plaque for the site of the Wheel Inn. That would be as constructive a use of state funds as they are likely to approve anytime soon.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #13 - June 20th, 2016, 11:05 am
    Post #13 - June 20th, 2016, 11:05 am Post #13 - June 20th, 2016, 11:05 am
    Josephine wrote:
    It's sad to think that now Sedalia's culinary claim to fame will be as rare as a registered Democrat in Sedalia. Perhaps the Missouri State Legislature will see fit to pass a resolution memorializing the Guber Buger, or a commemorative plaque for the site of the Wheel Inn. That would be as constructive a use of state funds as they are likely to approve anytime soon.


    June 18, 2016

    Will wonders never cease? This year's Missouri Democratic Convention was held at the State Fairgrounds in Sedalia. (I attended on behalf of the progressive wing and we outnumbered the incrementalists by a mile! Next up: the Missouri Legislature.) Although I had no opportunity during the 12-hour event to try one, I felt it my duty to report that Goody's, a 50's style diner outfitted in Pepto-Bismol pink, appears to have taken up the banner of the Guber burger. I caught a glimpse of their sign advertising the Guber as I drove past. Perhaps Cathy2 and Rene G will report on it in August.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #14 - June 22nd, 2016, 8:37 am
    Post #14 - June 22nd, 2016, 8:37 am Post #14 - June 22nd, 2016, 8:37 am
    I had no idea someone else took up the banner. Thanks! A side trip to Sedalia might be in order when I get back there. 8)
  • Post #15 - July 18th, 2016, 9:12 am
    Post #15 - July 18th, 2016, 9:12 am Post #15 - July 18th, 2016, 9:12 am
    In a recent conversation with a friend, I learned of another peanut-butter burger. It is not known as a "Guber" or a "Goober," however. In Denver, Amato's Ale House serves a peanut butter and jelly topped burger. No tomato, no mayo. Their Facebook page menu lists a "50-50 Peanut Butter and Jelly Burger." The patty is "half-beef, half-bacon." Call me a nit-picker, but do I really care that the berry jam is "house made" and (now I am nit-picking): not jelly? According to my friend, the jam is one of the brewery-restaurant's draws - excellent, and yes, a reason to seek out this unusual burger. Served with "jalapeño crisps."
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #16 - September 5th, 2016, 10:07 am
    Post #16 - September 5th, 2016, 10:07 am Post #16 - September 5th, 2016, 10:07 am
    Josephine wrote:Although I had no opportunity during the 12-hour event to try one, I felt it my duty to report that Goody's, a 50's style diner outfitted in Pepto-Bismol pink, appears to have taken up the banner of the Guber burger. I caught a glimpse of their sign advertising the Guber as I drove past. Perhaps Cathy2 and Rene G will report on it in August.

    A few years ago I stopped at Goody's to see if the Guber Burger was on the menu, but the answer was no. Now with the closing of longtime sources Eddie's and Wheel Inn, it seems they realized it would be worth investing in a few jars of peanut butter to keep the Sedalia tradition alive. Here's Goody's version of the Guber Burger.

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    Goody's Steakburgers
    901 S Limit Av
    Sedalia MO
  • Post #17 - September 5th, 2016, 10:25 am
    Post #17 - September 5th, 2016, 10:25 am Post #17 - September 5th, 2016, 10:25 am
    Interesting that Goody's maintains the label "Steakburger" as well. Perhaps that is how burgers are known in those parts. IIRC, the clipping on the wall of Eddie's states that their founder, a returning WWII veteran (who was not named Eddie IIRC) was the originator of the "steakburger" terminology.

    Also interesting that they borrow the "Big Boy" name. "Big Boy Quad" - is that a Bob's Big Boy thing?
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #18 - September 5th, 2016, 10:29 am
    Post #18 - September 5th, 2016, 10:29 am Post #18 - September 5th, 2016, 10:29 am
    Josephine,

    You will be rather surprised, I ordered and ate the Goody's Goober Burger. I am not the greatest peanut butter lover, though it worked.

    I took one for the team, because everybody else there did not want one.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #19 - August 23rd, 2019, 1:34 pm
    Post #19 - August 23rd, 2019, 1:34 pm Post #19 - August 23rd, 2019, 1:34 pm
    Hi,

    Driving from KC to Sedalia, I took a new route via US Highway 50.

    Stopped at Alewel's Country Meats as a break from driving and to see what they offered. They make a range of jerky, sausages, smoked and fresh meat. They also had bags of Missouri made wood charcoal.

    If you come during a weekday, they offer a hot sandwich offering. Daily and on Saturday, they offer cold meat sandwiches.

    This is located just west of Sedalia.

    Alewel's Country Meats
    911 N Simpson Dr,
    Warrensburg, MO 64093
    alewels.com
    (660) 747-8261
    Closed Sunday
    Mon-Thur, Sat: 9 -5
    Fri: 9-6
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #20 - August 16th, 2021, 3:45 pm
    Post #20 - August 16th, 2021, 3:45 pm Post #20 - August 16th, 2021, 3:45 pm
    Important to me, though probably to nobody else: Russell Stover Candy Shop has closed in Sedalia. It is usually where I stock up on a small quantity of their pecan covered Vermont maple-flavored rolls.

    I have since checked the location in Lincoln, Illinois is still open. Now I need an excuse to get there.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

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