A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 23, 2007
Fry Sauce (French Fry Sauce; French Fries Sauce)

Fry sauce (sauce for french fries) is a popular state dish or Utah, but is now served in Oregon and other Western states. A simple recipe is one part ketchup and two parts mayonnaise.

The Arctic Circle fast food restaurant chain is said to have invented fry sauce in 1948 (according to Wikipedia). In the 1940s, the first “Arctic Circle” restaurant in Salt Lake City was called the “Don Carlos Bar-Be-Q,” after founder Don Carlos Edwards. The Arctic Circle restaurant trademarked fry sauce ("a dipping sauce for french fries") from April 1956.

A September 4, 2007 post (below) claims that Stan’s Diner in Provo, UT first invented fry sauce, and that the Arctic Circle borrowed the recipe.


Wikipedia: Fry Sauce
Fry sauce is a regional condiment served with french fries. It is usually a simple combination of one part ketchup and two parts mayonnaise. When spices and other flavorings are added, it is similar to—but thicker and smoother than—traditional Russian dressing and Thousand Island dressing. Fry sauce is commonly found in restaurants in Utah, much of Idaho, eastern Washington and rural Oregon, but is also commonly found in supermarkets across the country, as well as available by mail-order. Occasionally other ingredients such as barbecue sauce are substituted for ketchup.

The Utah-based Arctic Circle restaurant chain claims to have invented fry sauce around 1948. Arctic Circle serves it in its restaurants in the western United States. Many other fast-food restaurants and family restaurants in the region, such as Carl’s Jr, Crown Burgers, Apollo Burger and Hires Big H, offer their own versions of the sauce.

Until 1999, Utah franchise locations of McDonald’s also carried fry sauce. The chain stopped stocking the condiment because of the high waste it produced: because of its mayonnaise content, the sauce spoils after a single day if left unrefrigerated. Nevertheless, many other national fast food restaurants in Utah and nearby states serve fry sauce.

Among the most popular souvenir pins during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City were ones that depicted fry sauce. Originally sold for US$7.50, these pins became valued at over $60 before the Olympic games started.

Arctic Circle
History
Back in 1924, an inventive and entrepreneurial young man named Don Carlos Edwards put up a tiny refreshment stand during a Pioneer Day celebration in a small Northern Utah town. Although he didn’t know it then, that stand was the beginning of a fast food icon that now spans the Western United States.

By 1941, Edwards’ little stand in a small rural town had evolved into Don Carlos Bar-B-Q in Salt Lake City. Nine years later, he opened his second restaurant in Salt Lake, which he called Arctic Circle.

This new restaurant featured numerous original family recipes that were as tasty as they were unique. Soon after the opening in 1950, long lines of people were waiting for their chance to taste standout menu items like “Brown Toppers” and “Ranch Burgers.”

In those early years, Edwards continued to invent new foods and options. Fry sauce and kid’s meals, for example, are Arctic Circle originals. 

Arctic Circle
Original Fry Sauce
Arctic Circle has long been an innovator in fast foods, but our Original Fry Sauce—a tasty, tangy mixture of tomato concentrate, lemon juice, eggs, and a whole bunch of other ingredients—stands out as the most imitated, and also the least duplicated.  Ever since we invented fry sauce more than 50 years ago, we’ve carefully guarded the original secret recipe. There is only one original fry sauce and Arctic Circle has it.

But nowadays, many people are dipping their fries (and lots of other foods, for that matter) into Arctic Circle Original Fry Sauce outside our restaurants. Not because one of our competitors has cracked our secret recipe, but because we now have 12-ounce bottles available for purchase in our stores. And that means you can take the Original home with you!

So if you’re hankering for some doggoned delicious dipping, visit your nearest Arctic Circle and take home the only fry sauce that’s been featured on national television, Olympic pins, and more. Original Fry Sauce, exclusive to Arctic Circle—where the good stuff is!

About.com: Salt Lake City, UT
Fry Sauce
From Theresa Husarik
One of Utah’s Unique Culinary Treasures
(...)
The basic recipe
1 part ketchup
2 parts mayonnaise
Mix together until thoroughly blended.

Other options:
Substitute barbecue sauce for ketchup.
Use buttermilk or half & half to thin the sauce.
Pickle juice (either dill or sweet) for a little zing (rumor has it the official recipe includes pickle juice)
Chopped pickles minced very tiny, so the sauce is a little chunky (this makes the sauce look suspiciously like thousand island dressing)
Seasoning salt
Horseradish
Garlic
Whatever exotic spices you have on your shelf—go ahead, experiment

15 November 1957, Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), pg. B11, col. 1 ad:
15th Birthday Anniversary Special
at
DON CARLOS BAR-BE-Q
(...)
Hamburgers
With Fry’s and
Special Sauce

20 August 1959, Denton (TX) Record-Chronicle, section 2, pg. 7, cols. 1-2:
A Twin Delight For Teens:
French Fries ‘N Pizza Sauce

16 March 1961, Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, pg. 14C, col. 1 ad:
FRENCH FRIES
With Special Arctic Circle Sauce
10c

10 September 1961, Idaho Falls (ID) Post-Register, pg. 51 ad:
Start with a flavorful Russian Dressing—made with equal parts creamy Best Foods Real Mayonnaise and zesty Heinz Ketchup.

16 May 1962, Fort Pierce (FL) News Tribune, “Shrimp Appetizers With Pink Sauce, pg. 9, col. 1:
PINK SAUCE
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup catsup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
snipped fresh or frozen chive or fresh dill

Combine ingredients and mix well, adding chives or fresh dill to taste. If desired, omit chives or dill and stir in 1/2 teaspoon curry powder. Chill thoroughly before serving. Makes 1 3/4 cups sauce.

7 September 1962, Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, pg. 9A, col. 7 ad:
FRIES With Arctic Circle Sauce...10c

15 February 1963, Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, pg. 7A, col. 3:
ARCTIC CIRCLE
FRENCH FRIES With Sauce...10c

8 August 1964, Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), pg. 10, col. 5 ad:
French Fry Sauce
(Don Carlos Bar-Be-Q—ed.)

Steve and Laurel Piccolo’s Blog
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
The Origins of Fry Sauce

My friend Barry (originally from Detroit) asked me what is unique about Utah and what he should do to experience the state to its fullest. The first thought that came to mind was that he should try fry sauce, a combination of ketchup, mayonaisse and sometimes additional ingredients used as a dipping sauce for french fries.

See if you can follow this. Last week I met Laurel’s maternal grandmother’s former husband’s oldest son, Ron Taylor. (Laurel’s grandmother passed away a few years ago.) He claims (and I believe him) to have invented fry sauce. How cool is that!? His father is Stan, who used to own Stan’s Diner on 900 East in Provo, Utah. He said it came about as a natural evolution of combining ketchup and mayonaisse as a burger condiment, and it just grew in popularity. He said someone from Arctic Circle (a Utah-based burger chain) later asked his permission to use the recipe. Arctic Circle and other chains have popularized it across the intermountain west.

Apparently controversy surrounds this topic. Arctic Circle (the former management long gone) now claims to have invented fry sauce on their Web site. It’s hard to know who is the true originator. Maybe they both can claim it. I believe Ron first introduced the basic combination of ketchup and mayo and that Arctic Circle later perfected it by adding additional ingredients (which they say are part of a secret recipe).

The articles listed at the bottom of this post mention some interesting tidbits. For example, the Deseret News article claims more fry sauce is now consumed in Oregon than in Utah. (So maybe Barry, who now lives near Portland, won’t have to travel so far to get his fill.)

If you have any additional insight, please post a comment here and let us know. I think we should spread the word and honor Ron for this invention that changed the world for the better. smile

(Trademark)
Word Mark ARCTIC CIRCLE
Goods and Services IC 042. US 100. G & S: FAST FOOD RESTAURANT SERVICES. FIRST USE: 19520600. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19520600
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73734717
Filing Date June 16, 1988
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition November 15, 1988
Registration Number 1524008
Registration Date February 7, 1989
Owner (REGISTRANT) QUAKER STATE MINIT-LUBE, INC. CORPORATION DELAWARE 1385 WEST 2200 SOUTH SALT LAKE CITY UTAH 84119
(LAST LISTED OWNER) Arctic Circle Restaurants, Inc. CORPORATION Assignee of DELAWARE 411 West 7200 South, Ste. 200 PO Box 339 Midvale UTAH 84047
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record FREDERICK B. ZIESENHEIM
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 8 (6-YR).
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

(Trademark)
Word Mark ARCTIC CIRCLE ORIGINAL FRY SAUCE
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 030. US 046. G & S: A dipping sauce for french fries. FIRST USE: 19560401. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19560401
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number 78489185
Filing Date September 24, 2004
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Owner (APPLICANT) Arctic Circle Restaurants, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 411 West 7200 South #200 Midvale UTAH 84047
Prior Registrations 1524008;1529011
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “original fry sauce” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date May 4, 2006

(Trademark)
Word Mark ORIGINAL FRY SAUCE
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 030. US 046. G & S: DIPPING SAUCE FOR FRENCH FRIES. FIRST USE: 19560401. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19560401
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75492665
Filing Date May 28, 1998
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Owner (APPLICANT) ARCTIC CIRCLE RESTAURANTS, INC CORPORATION DELAWARE 411 WEST 7200 SOUTH, SUITE 200 PO BOX 339 MIDVALE UTAH 84047
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date March 19, 1999

(Trademark)
Word Mark THE ORIGINAL FRY SUPER SAUCE
Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: Condiments, namely sauces. FIRST USE: 20021023. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20021023
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 76375891
Filing Date February 27, 2002
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Supplemental Register Date November 4, 2002
Registration Number 2696858
Registration Date March 11, 2003
Owner (REGISTRANT) Hires Enterprises, Inc. CORPORATION UTAH 8170 South Highland Drive Sandy UTAH 84093
Attorney of Record JOHN C. STRINGHAM
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “SAUCE” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register SUPPLEMENTAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

(Trademark)
Word Mark HIRES BIG H FAMOUS HAMBURGER & FRY SAUCE
Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: Condiments, namely sauces. FIRST USE: 20051201. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20051201
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Trademark Search Facility Classification Code LETS-1 H A single letter, multiples of a single letter or in combination with a design
NOTATION-SYMBOLS Notation Symbols such as Non-Latin characters,punctuation and mathematical signs,zodiac signs,prescription marks
Serial Number 78932156
Filing Date July 18, 2006
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition June 12, 2007
Registration Number 3286306
Registration Date August 28, 2007
Owner (REGISTRANT) Hires Enterprises, Inc. CORPORATION UTAH Suite 210 8160 Highland Drive Sandy UTAH 84093
Attorney of Record John C. Stringham
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “HAMBURGER & FRY SAUCE” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (2) Comments • Tuesday, October 23, 2007 • Permalink


How is it that no one can read the top of the lid that you get your fry sauce in at Arctic Circle...IT PLAINLY STATES SOUR CREAM, using mayo or miracle whip is just being ghetto about it.  Its called literact and if you can be insulted here maybe you will read the lid, eh?

Posted by Jay Jay  on  03/20  at  10:16 PM

Hi Barry,

I saw that you had referenced my earlier post about fry sauce. Apparently, Stan’s Diner was an Arctic Circle before it was Stan’s Diner. So if my facts are straight, it was Ron Taylor working for an Arctic Circle that invented it.

-Steve

Posted by Steve Piccolo  on  11/17  at  01:36 PM

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