Last time I visited Connecticut I missed out on an iconic eatery by the name of Louis Lunch. It just so happened that they were on a winter break. Since I was helping my friend Alan move out of New Haven, I had only one thing on my agenda, and that was to eat at the historic Louis Lunch.Louis Lunch is best known for the fact that they are the first ever restaurant to serve burgers. Although some restaurants can fly with just the title, the burger that they serve is considered one of the best ever. Travel Channel even named it number 1 on their 101 Chowdown Countdown list.The tiny restaurant is basically a shack with limited seating. But because the place was built 2 centuries ago in 1895, I’ll cut it some slack.While most places grill or place their burgers on a flattop, Louis Lunch’s unique method of flame broiling their burgers in their antique stoves is phenomenal. While waiting for our burgers, I was getting impatiently hungry so I nabbed myself an order of their potato salad and a cool glass of New England’s special White Birch Beer. The potato salad had a strong egg taste and should’ve basically been called an egg salad with potato. The Birch Beer was refreshing and had a strong resemblance to Hey Song’s Sarsaparilla. Finally the momentous occasion had arrived! My first bite of Louis Lunch’s burger! I got my burger cooked medium rare (as you should) and with everything on it. You immediately notice that instead of using your traditional burger buns, Louis Lunch uses 2 pieces of toasted bread (but since they’re the original is it safe to call this method traditional?). The burger can only be paired with 3 items: cheese, tomato, and onions. You’ll be in for a rude awakening if you tried to order ketchup. The end result is hands down close to perfection. Every bite you get the meaty taste of the patty without other condiments masking the flavor. The burger is oozing with juices and is well captured and incorporated in that buttery toasted bread. Although the Black Label Burger is still my favorite burger of all time, the simplicity and value of the burger at Louis Lunch makes its place into the top 3.
Louis Lunch Scores:
Food: 9/10 – The potato salad with an identity crisis prevented what could’ve been a perfect score
Restaurant Environment: 8/10 – Although I do enjoy the history of the location, I still love a bit of elbow room.
Service: N/A – Although the workers seemed pleasant, I didn’t need or require enough service to make this applicable.
Value: 8/10 – At $5 per burger, they’re relatively inexpensive for anybody’s price point
BONUS COVERAGE!!New Haven is pretty well known for their amazing pizzas, as I covered last time I was there. So before a long night of hard work, we decided to grab a slice of pizza.The Italian Bomb is a meaty explosion of pepperoni, bacon, sausage, green pepper, onions, and garlic. As with other places in New Haven, they don’t skimp on their toppings, and that’s what I like about them. By the time we brought the pizza back, it had turned really soft and floppy and just wasn’t rigid enough to hold all the toppings, a shame. However, food coma immediately ensued after devouring half of this bad boy.