LOUIS’ LUNCH • 261-263 CROWN STREET • NEW HAVEN, CT
Hi everyone, we’re back with something really special. We have been wanting to visit Louis’ Lunch, The Birthplace of the Hamburger Sandwich, in New Haven for a long time, and this weekend, we did!
Louis’s Lunch has been in New Haven since 1895, and the story goes, in 1900 a man walked into the luncheonette and asked “For a quick meal he could eat on the run.” Louis Lassen, who was the founder, took a broiled beef patty, put it between two slices of toast and sent him running… and with that, the first hamburger was born!
Louis’ is famous not only for being the first hamburger but for still making burgers just the way that man had it back then and they are excellent! The restaurant is really small, and there is not a lot of room to sit, but that didn’t matter… there was tons of people eating outside, standing, and making new friends by sharing at a big table. There was also a lot of people in line which went all the way out the door. You’ve got to wait patiently because burgers this good take a while.
First… they prep the burgers which are
hand rolled from five different kinds of meat:
Then, they are broiled in the original cast iron grills from 1898:
Then… it’s toast time:
At Louis’ they only make one thing and that’s burgers. And there are a few things that you need to know about burgers at Louis’:
- No Condiments! The Lassen Family (who still own Louis’) want you the experience the taste of the burger so… hold the ketchup, mayo, mustard — You don’t need it!
- The toppings are cheese, tomato and onions (grilled with the burger)
- All burgers are medium rare (but if you ask they can make it well done too but, make sure you have it medium rare, that’s the best way)
- No buns… just toast!
- No fries!… but you can have their awesome potato salad or a bag of chips
So how was it?
Dad and I had:
“Two cheese works, a salad and a birch”, which means two burgers with cheese, tomato and onions, a potato salad and a birch beer.
It was delicious and one of the best burgers I ever had. It’s definitely different because you really get the flavor of the meat, it’s very juicy and the toast made it a little crunchy. It was SO good, that I wanted to have a second, but, we needed to leave room for…
Louis’ also makes great pies!
Louis’ is SO busy, we didn’t really get to have that much of a talk with the cooks and servers, but we did get to meet John who takes your order and Paul who works the grills.
They asked us how we liked it and we joked… “It was terrible”
Paul said, “Then, when you do your article, If you think the food is bad, make sure you call me John… if it’s good, my name is Paul…”
AND Paul is on the right!
There’s a lot of great history at Louis’ Lunch, so check out their website and you can learn all about how much of an important place it is…
The Sunday Diner Rating (out of 5)
FOOD * * * * * (5)
SERVICE * * * * * (5)
LOOKS: * * * * * (5)
BATHROOM: Did Not Go… but it looked clean!
I loved Louis’ Lunch and we’re definitely coming back…
Thanks so much John for the awesome T-shirt!