The secret of Tab’s sauce revealed?

The first Tabs Drive In, seen here circa 1961, was on Colborne Road and served its secret Tabs sauce on burgers and foot-long hot dogs. Photo courtesy of the Lambton County Archives, Wyoming. Douglas Paisley Collection, 20103644.

Susan Roberts

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.

A city man believes the complicated recipe contained within these jars has replicated Tab's fabled secret sauce.

A city man believes the complicated recipe contained within these jars has replicated Tab’s fabled secret sauce.

“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.

Tabs Sauce

 

Tabs Chili Sauce2