Hamburg held its first Burger Fest in 1985 to celebrate the 100th
anniversary of the birth of the first hamburger created on the Hamburg
Fairgrounds in 1885 for the Erie County Fair.
Frank and Charles Menches, vendors who traveled the world's fair route
and who have been credited with also creating Cracker Jacks and the ice
cream cone, concocted the hamburger - arguably America's favorite
sandwich. Descendants of the Menches brothers of Ohio, who are in the
restaurant industry three generations later, have traveled to Hamburg to
participate in several Burger Fest celebrations over the years.
Legend has it that the Menches brothers ran out of their usual pork
sausage that hot, fateful day at the fair and turned to a local butcher
to replenish their supplies. When no pork was available, a butcher
suggested they use ground beef. The Menches brothers purchased the beef,
but added secret ingredients, including coffee grounds to create a
unique flavor and the hamburger was born. According to historical
records, the burger got its name when a customer asked what this
wonderful sandwich was called and one of the brothers looked up and,
seeing the Hamburg Fairgrounds sign, said, "why it is The Hamburger."