Louis’ Lunch – New Haven, CT

Devoured By Guest (Eat-it)or Cameron Howitt

Louis Lunch, in New Haven Connecticut has the claim to fame of being the birthplace of the Hamburger Sandwich. This place has been cranking out the simplest cheese/hamburgers since 1900. Two slices of toasted white bread, a nice thick patty of ground beef, slice of cooked onion, a slice of cooked tomato, and a slice of American cheese if you are so inclined.

This place is tiny, still housed in the same lunchbox sized building that it has always been, with only three circa 1900 flame broilers, two cashier girls, and one guy cranking out burgers at a pace that leaves the hungry wanting. The aroma is divine and on a busy afternoon, as it was during my visit, the patron has plenty of time to enjoy wafts of the smell of flame kissed beef and toasted white bread. All in all, the wait for three burgers was about 40 minutes, and with standing room only this factor was rather disappointing.

The “Cheese-works”

Finally we received our burgers and rather than crowding in with fluxing masses at the limited seating we decided to take our grub across the street to “Bar” to enjoy them with some cold brews. The burger is simple. The patty lacks a lot of seasoning which is not all bad. The meat used is definitely of high quality with a good fat ratio. Louis’ claims to cook all burgers to mid-rare which is preferred but mine came closer to mid-well, which was disappointing. All burgers come dry and don’t ask for any condiments cause they do not have them. One slice of onion cooked into the meat, a slice of tomato, and a slice of American cheese on toasted white bread. Even without any condiments or pickle or anything this burger still hit the spot. The play between the meat and the sweetness of the tomato was great, the goopieness of the American cheese was also a plus.
All in all, this burger makes you appreciate many things:

1. The simplicity of the burger, at its origin.
2. The importance of good quality ingredients.
3. The great natural flavor of an all beef patty, with limited if any seasoning.
4. Lastly, it makes you appreciate all the gains in burger technology that have occurred over the last hundred years.

Thank god for change, but also for our origins.

In the words of Doublecheese, “Eat it”.

Louis Lunch
261-263 Crown Street
New Haven CT

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One Response to “Louis’ Lunch – New Haven, CT”

  1. rl reeves jr says:

    Are you still blogging about burgers in Texas? I’m producing a burger pop up in Austin. email me if yr interested. rl

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