Monday, July 1, 2013

The First.

How about a post on the first of July about our trip to New Haven for a taste of the first hamburger!

But first a little back story: once upon a time, this girl named Megan wasn't much into meat. Just the sight of cooked beef grossed her out, and over time she slowly wiped out virtually all red meat from her diet---and her steak-loving dad thought she was nuts. Fast forward a few years, and Meg now has a sudden and inexplicable new love for meat---particularly cheeseburgers. It didn't matter if she just had one yesterday--she could (though had enough self control not to) eat one today, and the next day, and the day after that, enjoying each new bite as much as the last. Eventually she branched out from the traditional tomato-lettuce-mayo combo and ventured into a new, flavorful world filled with caribbean burgers with pineapple, or burgers with fig & bacon jam and goat cheese. Even cheeseburgers with peanut butter and bacon crossed her palate. And her tastebuds were awakened to a state of beefy, cheesy, hot, delectable bliss. And lucky for her, she found a stellar guy who loves cheeseburgers just as much as she does.

So its no wonder that when we found out a couple weeks ago that the home of the first hamburger in the US was only 50 minutes away at Louis Lunch in New Haven, there was no question---we were going there for lunch that weekend.

Louis Lunch is tucked away in New Haven amidst the high rises and urban staples of a large city. Though this is not the original location, it is the original building! That's right---this glorified brick shack was actually moved by truck to its current location after being threatened with demolition in order to build a new building. 
 The burgers are still cooked in vertical cast iron stoves from 1898!
The Louis Lunch burger, just like it was served over a hundred years ago. 

Before we went, we read some online reviews of the burger and to our surprise, a handful of people were quite disappointed with this traditional burger. The main complaint: a very short list of toppings. Cheese, tomato, raw onion. Thats what you can get at Louis Lunch, and that's all you can get. You can ask for mustard or pickles, but they're not gonna have them. But ya know what? Those three toppings are all it needed! All the flavors were so perfect and present, it simply didn't need anything else.   Juicy, hot beef, melty cheese, crisp onions, bright, fresh tomato....smartly and excellently assembled in one delicious sandwich. Even the toasted white bread (something Joey and I can't even remember the last time we ate) worked in this fab lunch. And I think that in a world where you can get whatever you want, whenever you want it, their persistence in tradition is refreshing and enjoyable. Sure its nice to go to Five Guys and get twenty toppings on your cheeseburger, but when you go to Louis Lunch you're going for an experience, as well as a burger.
 If you can't already imagine, that brick building is quite cramped inside, but luckily we snagged the one bench in front of Louis Lunch and had a little picnic with our burgers and beyond-delish root beer.
Geez, you'd think from reading this that Louis Lunch was paying me for this---but nope! We just really loved our Saturday lunch there. You not only get tasty burgers, but you get a very enjoyable experience as well. So hey, if you're ever in New Haven, we definitely recommend a stop at Louis Lunch!

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