Yesterday my colleague Mike DeBonis broke the news that Washingtonian magazine had broken the news that the legendary Hot Shoppes restaurant is returning to the city where it was born — as part of Marriott’s new flagship hotel in the District.

This development has prompted much excitement, particularly because it means the return of the legendary Mighty Mo hamburger — a dish with perhaps more nostalgic love in the D.C. region than other food item ever produced here.

The secret to the Mighty Mo sauce is in this book, which I own.

Well, you don’t have to wait until 2014 — when the new hotel opens — to taste that sauce again. You can have it tonight on your burger at home!

I have in my pretty little hands the “Hot Shoppes Cookbook: Sixty years of American Cookery,” which I picked up on eBay back when I covered the Bethesda company. On page 79 is the recipe for Mighty Mo sauce. Similar recipes are floating around the Internet, but here is the official one below, quoted entirely from the book.


Catsup, 1/2 cup.

Chili Sauce, 1/4 cup.

A-1 Sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons.

Worcestershire Sauce, 1/2 teaspoon.

Tabasco Sauce, 2 drops.

Sweet pickle, finely chopped, 1/2 cup

Mayonnaise, 1 1/4 cups

YIELD: 2 1/2 cups


1.Combine catsup, chili sauce, A-1 sauce, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco Sauce.

2. Finely chop sweet pickles and add to the sauce mixture.

3. Combine the sauce/pickle mixture with mayonnaise, stirring until well-blended.

Enjoy! And add your memories of Mighty Mo burgers in the comments section.