Dayton recipes: Remembering a hamburger sauce that was ‘goody goody’

Credit: Eddie Roberts/Daily News

Credit: Eddie Roberts/Daily News

It started with an email request for Elder-Beerman’s chili recipe followed by another for Rinaldo’s Bake Shoppe’s peanut butter Danishes/rolls recipe. In my weekly Dayton Food & Dining newsletter, I asked readers if they had the recipes for those two favorites and if they didn’t, what other recipes would they like to have.

An email that caught my eye was from Barb Felton. “I have been thinking about the hamburgers at the Goody Goody on Salem Ave. (located near the former Good Samaritan Hospital),” she wrote. “Their hamburgers had a wonderful sauce on them. Does anyone remember that? I’d love to find that recipe.”

After a little research, one of my coworkers found a story about this special sauce written by the late Dayton Daily News columnist Dale Huffman in the Sunday, Jan. 19, 2003 issue of the newspaper.

“Well, I have documented one thing about the folks who make Dayton and the Miami Valley their home. They don’t forget good things,” Huffman wrote. “To be more exact, they remember “goody goody” things.”

The Dayton Daily News had previously printed a request from Debbie Marcum of Huber Heights, who asked if they could find the ingredients to the hamburger sauce used for many years at the Goody Goody restaurant that used to be on Salem Avenue near Benton Avenue in Dayton View.

At that time, reporters were able to get in touch with Robert “Bob” Reid, who had owned and operated the Goody Goody restaurant for many years.

“The restaurant was originally on West Third Street, in the 3500 block,” Reid said. “Then sometime in the early 1940s, we moved to Salem Avenue. My parents actually started it in Florida, and when they moved to the Dayton area, opened the first restaurant here in the 1930s.”

Reid had said he retired and sold the restaurant in the early 1970s and later the restaurant was closed.

After the request from Marcum was printed, the recipe readers offered most often was:


  • 1 No. 15 can tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions: Cook slowly and stir often.

Reid had said that the recipe sounded accurate, as he remembered it.

“I didn’t do the cooking,” he said. “But that sounds pretty good.”

When I asked readers for the recipe, I received the following:


  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes (another recipe said 15 ounce can of tomatoes, whole or cut instead)
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

Instructions: Combine all in a small, but heavy saucepan. Cook low for four hours, stirring occasionally. The tomatoes will break up as they cook and will form a thick sauce. Makes enough for six to eight hamburgers.

I also received a second variation of the recipe that had a 15 ounce can of tomatoes, whole or cut and 1/4 tsp. salt instead.

Lisa Beavin, who sent me the first variation of the recipe, wrote that her friend said it was spot on.

Jennifer Rang, who sent the second variation, wrote, “We have made this sauce. I have been told it tastes just like the restaurant sauce.”

The Goody Goody Restaurant, known in the late 1970s as Dayton’s oldest family restaurant, was heavily damaged by a fire and was not rebuilt, according to a Thursday, March 2, 1978 issue of the Dayton Daily News. The owner at that time, Ralph Koch, also operated Goody’s at Sugar Isle in New Carlisle.

Are there other recipes you wish you had from former restaurants in the Dayton area? Email me here or fill out the form below:

About the Author