Eat good food and share!

When I got home from the most awesome Thanksgiving dinner, it came to my attention that one of my readers was searching for the recipe for “hamburgers with cheese sauce poured over like younkers in des moines.” I immediately knew that this was the rarebit burger. The burger we drooled for, but only got if we’d been good enough to warrant a shopping trip “downtown” (Des Moines) at Younkers.
My stepmother was the first person to introduce me to Younkers’ rarebit burger. She had two sons, and loved doing things with me… wanting to get out of that house full of testosterone! I remember her looking at me with eager anticipation. I felt somewhat pressured… what if I didn’t like it? I’d dash all her hopes and dreams of doing “girl things” with me! But one bite and I was hooked. So here it is, reader…. whoever you are. The not-secret-anymore recipe for the Younkers rarebit burger, gleaned directly out of my Younkers cookbook.
To make Younkers popular rarebit burgers, cook 8 hamburger patties to 170 deg. until no pink remains. Place each burger in a toasted hamburger bun.  Spoon about 1/4 cup of rarebit sauce over each bun. Serve immediately.

Tea Room Rarebit Sauce

Younkers Cookbook

1/3 cup cooking oil

1/3 cup flour

1 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. dry mustard

2 cups whole milk

1 tsp. Worcestershire  sauce

1/4 tsp. bottled hot pepper sauce (I used McIlhenny Tabasco)

1 cup shredded process sharp American cheese (4 oz) (I used Kraft “Old English” sharp pasteurized process cheese food. It is found in 5 oz. jars… I only used one jar because each jar is 5 oz and they call for 4 oz. of shredded cheese. I like the flavor this cheese gave the sauce.)

Place oil in a medium saucepan. Stir together flour, paprika, salt and dry

mustard.  Add flour mixture to oil; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in milk all at

once.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook

and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat; stir in Worcestershire sauce and

hot pepper sauce.  Add cheese and stir until melted. Makes 2 cups.

Comments on: "Younkers Famous Rarebit Burger" (14)

  1. Robin Gurwell said:

    I didn’t realize these posts were written by you. How are you and your family? Mine are all grown and having kids of their own. I’ve got three grandchildren now. I remember these sandwiches also!

    • Stephanie said:

      Yes, all written by me. At the first of the year I’m going to start a second blog! I do remember vividly when Bonnie took me to get my first rarebit burger! Will message you on Facebook!

    • Hello Robin!! Saw this blog as I was looking for this recipe! The Carlisle Area Historical Society is having a Luncheon on May 7 at 1:00 and will be serving Rarebit burgers, chicken salad & sticky buns from Younkers Tea Room, Chocolate Pie from Bishops Cafeteria and Cheese Frenchees from King’s Food Host. We also will be doing rootbeer floats & cherry cokes, coffee & tea. All this for $20.00 per person (tables dressed with cloths, cloths napkins, flowers, etc). Call me – Mary Sue at 321-6585 if you are interested!!

  2. Awesome, I’ve not heard of this sauce but it sounds delicious – thanks for sharing.

  3. where do you get sharp american cheese? And what hot sauce works best? Been trying to duplicate this for years and can’t quite get it.

    • Stephanie said:

      Let me do a little searching… another reader has asked about sharp American cheese too. My first instinct would be to ask in the deli section… if they don’t have it, maybe they can order it. I will do some investigating and get back to you!

    • Stephanie said:

      I’ve done a little research and it seems that Land O Lakes makes a deli American cheese (sharp). It was highly rated in a Cook’s Illustrated taste testing. Now… to visit some local stores and find it!!

  4. brenda mcdonald said:

    I too can not find this cheese. I live in the Des Moines area and have searched high and low. Any suggestions? AND what hot sauce do you use?

  5. […] Younkers Famous Rarebit Burger ( […]

  6. Stephanie said:

    I’ve tried an experiment and had what I consider some success with it. Try Kraft “Old English” sharp pasteurized process cheese spread… I found it in 5 oz. jars, so you’ll have to buy two jars unless you can find it in a bigger container. Let me know how you come out!

  7. […] Younkers Famous Rarebit Burger ( […]

  8. Thank you, who ever you are. I remember the Rare Bit Burger so much. My Father worked at Younkers for 36 years and I was treated to the Rare Bit when I was young. I loved the tea room. It was beartiful. Artdeco all the way. I’m in my 70’s now and I have longed for one of those all these years. Thank you so much for the recipe. Have a good day. Jim

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