The 'Scheinburger' makes debut at Augie and Ray's
By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Thu., Dec. 22, 2011
The “Mark Scheinburger" is a 5-ounce burger with cheese, topped with fried onion strings, bacon and a choice of barbecue sauce or horseradish dressing. It's the newest addition to the menu at Augie and Ray's Drive In, an East Hartford institution famous for hot dogs and hamburgers.
The burger is named after Goodwin College President Mark Scheinberg. Augie and Ray's owner Ernie Hutt said he came up with the idea as a way to honor Scheinberg and the contribution of Goodwin College to the community.
“I've lived in East Hartford my whole life, and I look at the people who are making a contribution to the community," Hutt said.”I think what Mark Scheinberg and Goodwin College contributes is great," said Hutt, who noted that the downsizing of the town's other large employer, Pratt & Whitney, made the college that much more important. ”The future of East Hartford is with Goodwin College," he said.
Hutt will donate a portion from each burger – which sells for $4.95 - to a foundation scholarship fund for Goodwin College students. Hutt credited his grandson, Michael Ekstrom, who also works behind the counter, with creating the actual burger. It joins another named burger already on the menu – John Larson: a breakfast sandwich that the U.S. representative orders when he comes to Augie and Ray's.
The Main Street restaurant was founded by Hutt's father, Ray, and partner Augie Bria, in 1946. It has been in its present building since 1958. The restaurant is decorated with East Hartford sports memorabilia from over the years.
Scheinberg came to Augie and Ray's for the Dec. 19 unveiling of the "Scheinburger" accompanied by two school mascots, known as Navigators Ebb and Flo, and more than a dozen staff members and friends from Goodwin College. About two dozen hot-off-the-grill burgers were handed out to the assembled group.
“Having a burger named after you – in East Hartford that is as good an honor as it gets," Schienberg said, as the group waited for the burgers that were sizzling on the grill. “This was Ernie's idea, and he deserves all the credit. He is one of those stalwart people in the community who want to support things that they believe are good for the town, and this is a humorous and different way to do that. We appreciate his support of our students."