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Yet Another Doyle Scrambled Hamburg

There is a Diner in the Parking Lot – The Doyle Drive-In

Saginaw City Councilmen Monday approved City Manager Miller’s recommendation that a curb cut in the 200 block South Baum be closed and that two cuts be made in the 400 block Federal. The change was requested by John R. Doyle, of Doyle Sales, 80 West Genesee, who plans to open a drive-in restaurant at the southeast corner of South Baum - Federal intersection within two weeks, Miller said. - The Saginaw News, March 28, 19500

Although last week you may have thought we were preparing to conclude our exploration of the Doyle Hamburg this week, you were wrong.

In 1950, three years after the Saginaw News announced Dale Doyle and his son, John R. Doyle, had relocated to Bayview, Michigan, they had returned to Saginaw. They acquired the lease to a parking lot on the southeast corner of Federal and South Baum. Saginaw was thriving and parking was greatly in demand The site was owned by the Butterfield Theaters and was perfectly positioned for daytime parking. In the evening it served the nearby Franklin Theater and other entertainment venues.

Numerous advertisements for Dale Doyle’s Kewpee Hotel Hamburgs and his 80 W. Genesee Avenue restaurant stressed convenient parking. And it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Doyle saw the potential for combing food and parking in the center of the business district. And, on April 29, 1950, a sleek diner constructed by the Valentine Manufacturing Company of Kansas City was delivered to the site.

You may have noted that it took slightly longer for the diner to be delivered than was anticipated when the Doyles applied for their permit for curb cut.

According to Dale Doyle, the new eatery was scheduled to open three weeks ago. The diner was shipped by truck from Kansas City but three blocks from the factory it tangled with a fast train. Seems that the driver waited for a freight to pass. It did, He started across the tracks and he got clipped by a second train.

- The Saginaw News, April 29, 1950

NOTE: The Doyle Drive-In was directly across Federal Avenues from location of Dale Doyle's original Kewpee Hotel Hamburgs.

From all accounts the diner had a good but brief run. However, it paved the way to Doyle Hamburgs’ next chapter.

A subtle hint to the conclusion of this story –

“The change in building plans was made possible when Jacobson Realty Co., purchased two lots at Federal and Baum from Butterfield Theater Inc.” The Saginaw News, October 8, 1954

Yes, Yet Another Attempt to Recreate the Doyle Scrambled Hamburger

This version was located online by a member of our research team.


1 1/2 lbs Jack's Ground Round, 3 tablespoons Colvita Extra Virgin Olive Oil 10 Shakes Worcestershire or to taste. 1/4 stick of real butter. Seasoned salt and pepper to taste

Brown to medium to medium well. Drain serve on large higher quality hamburger bun.

"This after many trial and error attempts seemed to most emulate the taste of Doyle’s Scrambled Burgers. I assume Doyle's used their own usual brand of grease or lard but this seemed to duplicate the exact taste to my memory of their delicious, scrambled hamburgers after many times combinations of other ingredients failing to meet the mark. I guess try it yourself and see."

Castle Test Kitchen Notes:

Initially we were skeptical of the combination of olive oil and butter. There is sound reasoning behind this combination. Although we won’t go into the science and philosophy behind this mixture, we will note it is a combination utilized in some of Julia Child’s recipes. Honestly, it seemed a little grand – even pretentious – for frying ground beef. It is not. The results are magical. The test kitchen made a partial batch and deeply regretted not cooking more. With that endorsement, we do have some observations:

  • Use a large skillet. While frying the meat, room is required to move around the meat frequently. A 1966 advertisement notes: “Dale spurned the less troublesome method of cooking his Hamburgers in patties for a unique sort of ‘scrambling’ -rolling each granule on the grill to cook out the grease and suet, leaving only flavor and protein.”

  • While cooking, use your spatula to cut the meat into smaller pieces. Those who remember eating a Doyle Scrambled hamburg, note that the meat was fine ground.

  • Serve it immediately after cooking. Freshness is imperative. Few things are sadder than a reheated scrambled hamburg.

And, next week we will attempt to conclude our exploration of the Doyle Scrambled Hamburg – unless we are tempted to continue our journey.


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