Chow down at Louis' Lunch: The birthplace of the Hamburger Sandwich
Serving delicious grub since 1895!
The best-kept secret restaurant in Connecticut is Louis' Lunch in New Haven. It's major claim to fame: Inventing the hamburger sandwich in 1900. As the story goes a customer went into the lunch joint in 1900 and needed a something quick. So, Louis Lassen, the owner, quickly tossed a cooked ground steak between two pieces of toast and the American hamburger sandwich was born!
The Lassen family still carries on the tradition today. Louis' great-grandson Jeff Lassen has even kept the original recipe that's been used all these years. Every day the burgers are made frewsh, hand-rolled from a blend of various meats and cooked to order. They're even cooked on the original cast-iron grills, which have been in use since 1898: "The Lassen family hold firm on their desire not to offer any condiments. The Louis Lunch experience is about the taste and simplicity of a fresh burger grilled to perfection. Cheese, tomato, and onion are the only acceptable garnish."
Locals love Louis'. When the restaurant was threatened with demolition in the early 1970's the community rallied around in protest of a proposed new skyscraper. Hours before the demolition deadline Louis' was saved and relocated to a safer place. The whole 19th century building was put onto a truck and shipped thirty minutes down the road to Crown Street. From around the world people sent in bricks to help with the rebuilding efforts. So, each brick in the joint has a special story.
If you are visiting Louis' for the first time, you may want to learn a little of the "Louis' Lingo". For example, a Louis' regular might walk up to the counter and say "give me two cheese works, a salad and a birch". This translates to "May I have two hamburgers with cheese, tomato and onion, cooked medium rare on toast, an order of potato salad and a birch beer".
There are many other examples of Louis' Lingo to be learned, but we suggest learning them first hand from the regulars. After all, we don't want to give away all our secrets!Roadtrippers, a great resource for anyone interested in travel.
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