A Sarnia man believes he has solved the decades-old mystery of Tab’s secret sauce.
The tradesman, who goes by the nickname of Michman, but wishes to remain anonymous, has developed a detailed concoction he believes replicates exactly the condiment made famous in Sarnia by the legendary Tab’s drive-in.
It actually involves two separate recipes and 20 ingredients, and took five years to perfect, he said.
“It hit me like a Canadaburger deluxe. Open the bun in your mind and think like you’re right there. That’s the secret.”
Michman makes dozens of jars at a time and has to hide them from his grown children or they disappear, he said.
“My granddaughter even likes it on eggs.”
Tab’s drive-In was opened around 1960 by Jack Fogel, Joe Golab and Fred Garrison, and the two locations on Colborne Road and the Golden Mile were a main attraction to teenagers in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
“We would drive into Sarnia, go drag-racing down the side streets, and hang out at Tab’s later,” recalled Doug Christopher, a former Port Lambton resident now living in Camlachie.
Given a sample of the sauce, Christopher said the smell alone was a flashback to the 1960s. “As soon as I opened the jar, I knew.”
Tab’s was later owned by Sarnian Jim Stoukas. When presented with Michman’s recipe, he rejected its authenticity.
Stoukas said he is willing to share his Tab’s sauce with the public – but for a price.
“I would want a good offer to give up the recipe,” he said.