Whatley’s Drug Store was downtown on the square when I was growing up. It looked just like a shop from the fifties. Doc Whatley was the owner and sold everything from medicine to dusting powder. But the main reason I went was to enjoy the soda fountain. I remember walking in and waving to Mrs. Grace Price from church who was the bookkeeper at Whatley’s. Then I would go over to the soda fountain and hop up on one of the swiveling bar stools. I sipped on my real cherry coke while they made the sandwich which I ordered – a sloppy joe!
Some people called them spoon burgers – which I never understood – but I called then sloppy joes. They were served with a few dill pickle slices and a handful of plain potato chips. I savored every bite and would use the chips to scoop up any sloppy joe that oozed out. I LOVED them. Years ago, I ran across the recipe and have been making them since. They taste just like Whatley’s and always take me back to my youth. Here is how to make them.
Heat 3 – 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a heavy Dutch oven. Add 2 diced medium onions, one diced green pepper and a sprinkling of salt. Cook 4 – 5 minutes then add 3 pounds of ground beef. Cook until there is no pink left. Then stir in 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 1 ½ cups of chili sauce, 1 ½ cups ketchup and ½ cup of A-1 sauce. Bring to a slight boil then turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Taste for seasonings and add more salt and pepper as appropriate. Serve on a hamburger bun with dill pickles and potato chips. YUM!
My friend LeTrell said Doc Whatley would be proud. I hope you try it and enjoy it too!