LOUIS LUNCH?

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mikez629
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LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 4:40 PM
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Ilive in N Jersey-is it worth the drive to Conn. for this burger-if you say yes I will travel to get this burger.

Michael Hoffman
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 6:15 PM
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Not as far as I'm concerned. I grew up in New Haven and I ate at Louis Lunch frequently. But I'd always get a steak sandwich because their hamburgers were pretty ordinary. Not that there was anything wrong with their hamburgers. I would drive from New Jersey to New Haven for a Louis Lunch steak sandwich. I might consider driving to New Haven for a burger at the Yankee Doodle, though.

roossy90
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 8:00 PM
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I dont like my burgers on white bread.. And thats how they do it at Louis Lunch..
You get no choices.. take it or leave it is their attitude...
Now, you can make your decision if its worth the trip.
But, you never know if you like it till you try it, right?

Here, IF you go..A free bag of chips...

http://www.louislunch.com/coupon.jpg

Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 8:04 PM
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I would say it isn't worth that distance for a burger, but the equation changes if you tie it in with pizza from the Modern and Pepe's.

Michael Hoffman
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 8:26 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by roossy90

I dont like my burgers on white bread.. And thats how they do it at Louis Lunch..
You get no choices.. take it or leave it is their attitude...
Now, you can make your decision if its worth the trip.
But, you never know if you like it till you try it, right?

Here, IF you go..A free bag of chips...

http://www.louislunch.com/coupon.jpg

They put their hamburgers on white toast, not plain white bread.

Michael Hoffman
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 8:38 PM
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Now, Rushmore made an excellent suggestion. But I recommend that as long as you're at Louis Lunch you should try a steak sandwich. And, after all that driving, why not head up to Old Saybrook and Johnny Ads for a hot lobster roll. And then go across the bridge to East Lyme and have anything ast Flanders Fish Market and breakfast at The Shack.

roossy90
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 8:39 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

quote:
Originally posted by roossy90

I dont like my burgers on white bread.. And thats how they do it at Louis Lunch..
You get no choices.. take it or leave it is their attitude...
Now, you can make your decision if its worth the trip.
But, you never know if you like it till you try it, right?

Here, IF you go..A free bag of chips...

http://www.louislunch.com/coupon.jpg

They put their hamburgers on white toast, not plain white bread.


Toe-may-toe..Toe-mah-toe..

Michael Hoffman
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 8:42 PM
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Yes, they offer tomatoes. Tomahtoes, too. And onion and cheese.

roossy90
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 8:52 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

Yes, they offer tomatoes. Tomahtoes, too. And onion and cheese.

Mr. H....... petty little semantics.....
But NO Ketchup!.....

Michael Hoffman
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 8:57 PM
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As I recall, that's all they offer in the way of condiments.

sk bob
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 9:38 PM
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make a weekend trip of it. rutts hut for breakfast,louis for lunch, johnny ads for dinner.
grab a hotel in new london.
next day, breakfast at the shack,lunch at super weinie,dinner at mangneros hero boy in nyc.

Michael Hoffman
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 9:43 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by sk bob

make a weekend trip of it. rutts hut for breakfast,louis for lunch, johnny ads for dinner.
grab a hotel in new london.
next day, breakfast at the shack,lunch at super weinie,dinner at mangneros hero boy in nyc.

Nice trip.

sk bob
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 10:13 PM
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did it before when I lived in CT.
the one I miss the most is Manganeros Hero Boy in NYC. LOVE THE BAKED ZITI.
someone please ship me 3 orders to Daytona, I'll make it worth your while.


Michael Hoffman
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 10:20 PM
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FrankBooth
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 10:24 PM
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i would venture to say that if you include a pig in a blanket at the yankee doodle, a bacon and onion pie from sally's, a pepe's white clam pie, a meatball pie from modern, and you got a dozen or so donuts from coffee an' donuts in wesport on the way you'd be in business. and you could continue on to meriden and get a steamed cheeburger at Ted's or stop in stamford for a hot oil pie at colony or a pepperoni pie from Letizia's in Norwalk, maybe a dog or two at Rawley's and definitely a Mighty Ity at Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield, now we are talking a CT roadfood trip... i'd drive to New Haven right now for any of those things, including a burger at Louis' Lunch. and top it all off with the super snark of a white sicilian at Jerry's in middletown- then a food coma... no ketchup at Louis' Lunch that is for sure. they will grill the onions if you ask at the time you order. mmmmmmm... louis'... delish... enjoy fb

ayersian
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 10:50 PM
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MikeZ, I think Mr. Booth above has the perfect mini-tour for you! Amy & I live an hour away from the Have, and I summer at Yale and eat at all those places. I think that Louis Lunch is worth the trip if you've never tried it, but keep in mind what you're getting: a burger on white toast. Some say exactly that, it's not anything special, they don't have ketchup, etc. But it's really the RF ambiance of the place that makes it for me. It's truly a RF place, and non-RFers don't get the hype.

Now save room for a Yankee Doodle pig in a blanket, and pick any of the aforementioned pizza pies to take home with you -- now that's worth a trip. Chris

wheregreggeats.com
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 01/15/08 11:22 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by FrankBooth

i would venture to say that if you include a pig in a blanket at the yankee doodle, a bacon and onion pie from sally's, a pepe's white clam pie, a meatball pie from modern, and you got a dozen or so donuts from coffee an' donuts in wesport on the way you'd be in business. and you could continue on to meriden and get a steamed cheeburger at Ted's or stop in stamford for a hot oil pie at colony or a pepperoni pie from Letizia's in Norwalk, maybe a dog or two at Rawley's and definitely a Mighty Ity at Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield, now we are talking a CT roadfood trip... i'd drive to New Haven right now for any of those things, including a burger at Louis' Lunch. and top it all off with the super snark of a white sicilian at Jerry's in middletown- then a food coma... no ketchup at Louis' Lunch that is for sure. they will grill the onions if you ask at the time you order. mmmmmmm... louis'... delish... enjoy fb

To be honest, that would be a good start to a southern CT adventure :)

steaklover
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Wed, 05/7/08 6:26 AM
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I just found this topic.

I had a Louis Lunch, (New Haven, CT.), burger a few years ago and found this place to be way overated.
The burgers tasted like something my mother used to make when she didn't want to cook or was mad at my father: tiny patties of the cheapest ground beef you could find served on thin sliced, 49 cent-a-loaf white bread, with an atitude that didn't fit in with the quality of the product.

No parking, dingy neighborhood, no hours posted, (at that time), the store was locked up in the middle of weekdays and looked abandoned.

I was in New Haven a few times a week then, so it wasn't a big deal for me to keep trying, but definitely not worth traveling for.

Sorry to disappoint, but don't waste your time.

Billhat
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Wed, 05/7/08 6:44 AM
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Not to mention the rudest staff on earth.

Slim Strummer
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Wed, 05/7/08 5:53 PM
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I think it is fine to go if you are passing thru New Haven. Not worth the trip on its own, tho. Wooster Street, on the other hand...

douginvirginia
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Wed, 05/7/08 7:33 PM
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We're stopping in New Haven this August for our first time at Pepe's. As much as I've wanted to go to Louis', I think we'll be going up the road for burgers at Ted's instead.

Baah Ben
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Thu, 05/8/08 2:03 AM
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Hey - How do they do a steak sandwich on those special hamburger cookers? Can someone please explain. Maybe they shove in a piece of steak, broil it, take it out and hand slice it to order? Those cookers are unique.

I have never been there, but have seen several shows on this place. What always struck me was the fact that the burgers are broiled (not char-broiled) which is not something I personally enjoy. And, no ketchup? Almost like a statement from management..You'll do it our way or the highway....

New Haven to me always means a chance to try those three pizza places. Another roadfood dream of mine still to come. I heard this city has the best pizza in the country.

Hope someone can answer the steak sandwich question..Thanks

steaklover
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Sat, 05/10/08 12:40 AM
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I went to Frank Pepe's Pizza about the same time as I went to Louis Lunch. I waited in line to get a coal-fired pizza, and placed my order for a pepperoni pie to go. The staff was very courteous and told me that I should come back in about an hour. I didn't mind because the pizzas I saw on the tables looked fantastic.

I came back after a meeting and got my pie, (which cost about $2.00 more than anyone else's).

The dough was fresh made but burnt. (Not just charred, burnt).
The pepperoni slices were the size of dimes, and they skimped on the amount. No slice had more than 3 and one slice didn't any.

I had to get back to work, so I didn't go back to complain, but this experience still sticks in my craw, especially because of their over-inflated reputation.

Sorry, I just hate being cheated.

tommyeats
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Sun, 05/11/08 9:49 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by steaklover



The dough was fresh made but burnt. (Not just charred, burnt).
The pepperoni slices were the size of dimes, and they skimped on the amount. No slice had more than 3 and one slice didn't any.


i would think that they dough is made early in the day or even the day before to give it time to rise and take on some complexity. what did you observe to suggest that it was "fresh made"?

stanpnepa
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Sun, 05/11/08 10:36 AM
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I finally made it to Louis Lunch after THREE trips to New Haven. They were closed on a Sunday...and then TWICE on vacation in the Summer. You certainly can't beat the atmosphere and the history. That said, the burger is good, but not exemplary. I don't know what was in the water, but both Modern and Pepe's were EACH DISAPPOINTING last time through. It was my first trip to Modern, fifth or so to Pepe's, which I would rank among the all-time best. Haven't been back since (it's been 15 months or so), but certainly want to. Those clam pies are terrific!

The Travelin Man
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Sun, 05/11/08 11:47 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Billhat

Not to mention the rudest staff on earth.


This was not my experience at all. It is not the first time I have heard this criticism, but I found the staff to be "above average" on the friendly scale. I sat at the counter in mid-afternoon (not a particularly busy time), mentioned it was a first visit (which gave them an opportunity to hate a tourist!), and ordered a medium burger with onions and cheese. The burger came a little undercooked, which was fine, but I thought it was a unique taste.

I DO think Louis Lunch is a worthwhile stop, mostly from an historical perspective - more that just the food, itself. But, it is also a UNIQUE hamburger - one that you would not find at every burger joint up and down the highway. As for their inflexibility, I have been to places far more egregious in their policies. On a recent trip to Seattle, I tried to go to the well-regarded Dick's Hamburgers and every one of their burgers comes the way that they say - no substitutions at all. Well, all included mustard and other goo that I do not like on burgers. My choice was simply not to eat there - I can find any number of places to eat in Seattle - the same way that if you don't like Louis Lunch's policy, there are plenty of other places to eat in New Haven.

steaklover
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Sun, 05/11/08 3:14 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by tommyeats

quote:
Originally posted by steaklover



The dough was fresh made but burnt. (Not just charred, burnt).
The pepperoni slices were the size of dimes, and they skimped on the amount. No slice had more than 3 and one slice didn't any.


i would think that they dough is made early in the day or even the day before to give it time to rise and take on some complexity. what did you observe to suggest that it was "fresh made"?


I meant "homemade", (store made, if you'd like to pick nits)).

roossy90
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Mon, 05/12/08 7:46 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

As I recall, that's all they offer in the way of condiments.


Excerpt from their web page...

"The tiny eatery that made such a big impact on the eating habits of an entire nation was, of course, Louis' Lunch. Today, Louis' grandson, Ken, carries on the family tradition: hamburgers that have changed little from their historic prototype are still the specialty of the house. Each one is made from beef ground fresh each day, broiled vertically in the original cast iron grill and served between two slices of toast. Cheese, tomato and onion are the only acceptable garnish --
no true connoisseur would consider corrupting the classic taste with mustard or ketchup."

No Ketchup!


Michael Hoffman
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Mon, 05/12/08 8:41 PM
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Absolutely!

Baah Ben
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 05/13/08 8:24 AM
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Steaklover - I believe there have been posts and pictures on Pepe's pizza that pointed out the crust is literally burnt in some places. You might want to check them out. I have never been there, but I do remember reading about their "burnt?" crust.

Hoping to try all three places one day. The negative in your report for me (I like well done pizza) is regarding the pepperroni. From all the business these places supposedly do, the last thing you'd think they'd do is skimp on ingredients. Why not just charge a bit more?

tommyeats
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 05/13/08 9:05 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Baah Ben


Hoping to try all three places one day. The negative in your report for me (I like well done pizza) is regarding the pepperroni. From all the business these places supposedly do, the last thing you'd think they'd do is skimp on ingredients. Why not just charge a bit more?

one man's "skimping" is another man's "appropriate".

having char on the crusts is an essential part of a high-temp wood or coal fired brick oven pizza. that's the style. of course, one man's "char" is another man's "burnt", but it's generally by design.

steaklover
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 05/13/08 12:51 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by tommyeats

quote:
Originally posted by Baah Ben


Hoping to try all three places one day. The negative in your report for me (I like well done pizza) is regarding the pepperroni. From all the business these places supposedly do, the last thing you'd think they'd do is skimp on ingredients. Why not just charge a bit more?

one man's "skimping" is another man's "appropriate".

having char on the crusts is an essential part of a high-temp wood or coal fired brick oven pizza. that's the style. of course, one man's "char" is another man's "burnt", but it's generally by design.


A slice of pepperoni pizza w/o any pepperoni isn't appropriate in anyone's book. But it was a few years ago, and maybe they fixed the problem.

I may try the new Pepe's in Bridgeport, but most people I asked about it just shrugged their shoulders when asked if it was any good.

Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 05/13/08 1:29 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by tommyeats

one man's "skimping" is another man's "appropriate".

having char on the crusts is an essential part of a high-temp wood or coal fired brick oven pizza. that's the style. of course, one man's "char" is another man's "burnt", but it's generally by design.

Agree totally! The topping amount and char on the crust is by design; it's not a result of cheapness or carelessness. Of course, there are people who don't like char on their pizza (we know plenty of them) and who like plenty of toppings. Those people are free to ask for their pies less well-done, with extra pepperoni. But if that describes you (not you, tommyeats) then Pepe's may not be your style of pizza. Everyone doesn't like the same thing.

roossy90
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Tue, 05/13/08 10:30 PM
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I coulda swore that this thread was about a hamburger!

The Travelin Man
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Wed, 05/14/08 1:55 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Bilmes & Sue Boyle

Agree totally! The topping amount and char on the crust is by design; it's not a result of cheapness or carelessness. Of course, there are people who don't like char on their pizza (we know plenty of them) and who like plenty of toppings. Those people are free to ask for their pies less well-done, with extra pepperoni. But if that describes you (not you, tommyeats) then Pepe's may not be your style of pizza. Everyone doesn't like the same thing.


I actually hesitated to post this picture, because I could already hear all the naysayers crowing about the "burnt" crust. Personally, I like the char:



This is the full pie picture, seen in my "Random NYC" trip report:



If you read that report, there are many who believe that this is one of the best looking pies that they've ever seen. These are well-respected members, who have been to more than their share of Roadfood establishments. It also comes from the place that was all-but unanimously chosen as the best on a tour of Brooklyn and lower Manhattan pizza joints last spring - so, it is not just a good looking pie, but it compares favorably to other "legendary" NY establishments - Totonno's, DiFara's, Lombardi's, etc.

Anyway, yes, this thread is about hamburgers - but, there is also a tangent about New Haven pizza - and the criticism of such can also be found in this pie, which I consider to be one of the best in all of New York City.

Like they say, to each his own. And, for all those that don't like char, you are just reducing the wait time at places like Grimaldi's and Pepe's for those of us that do! Thanks!

Michael Hoffman
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Wed, 05/14/08 10:36 AM
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I have to laugh. The first time I saw a pie without char I sent it back because I thought they hadn't cooked it.

Baah Ben
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Wed, 05/14/08 8:15 PM
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Pizza looks amazing to me! Better than in Rome! How the heck to New Haven become the Pizza Capital of the USA?

tommyeats
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Wed, 05/14/08 9:17 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Baah Ben

Pizza looks amazing to me! Better than in Rome! How the heck to New Haven become the Pizza Capital of the USA?

it's not. Naples is.

The crust is exceptional in comparison to the typical pizza place. The cooking process is close-to-perfect if high heat is your thing. The toppings are somewhat mediocre, when compared to Naples, for example. But New Haven is certainly worth a visit for, um, hamburgers.

Michael Hoffman
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Wed, 05/14/08 9:24 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by tommyeats

quote:
Originally posted by Baah Ben

Pizza looks amazing to me! Better than in Rome! How the heck to New Haven become the Pizza Capital of the USA?

it's not. Naples is.


Naples is the Pizza Capital of the United States of America? Please tell us how that came about.

uncledaveyo
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Wed, 05/14/08 9:28 PM
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I agree MH, the Pizza in Naples Florida sucks.

tommyeats
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Wed, 05/14/08 9:34 PM
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well you guys just don't know where to go.

Ciaoman
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Wed, 05/14/08 10:15 PM
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Pepe's w/o the char isn't Pepe's. Other pizza crusts taste like saltines by comparison. After having eaten Pepe's pies for years, I finally figured out why so many folks leave the crusts at most pizza places...they have no flavor. An analogy would be real, crusty Italian bread compared to the plastic wrapped junk they label "Italian bread" at a supermarket.

Steaklover, I suggest that if you visit Pepe's, skip the peperoni and try their excellent sausage or, even better, get bacon on your pie (not Canadian stuff, regular bacon). Bacon, onions, mooz and their superb tomato sauce...awesome.

NebGuy
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Wed, 05/14/08 10:16 PM
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Well geez. I thought it was common knowledge that Gary Indiana has the best pizza, burgers, and Polish food.


TAtwod
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RE: LOUIS LUNCH? - Mon, 05/19/08 11:20 AM
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From a pepperoni lover (first thing I choose always!) - I've changed to salami at Pepe's vs their pepperoni; I actually prefer it, and you don't see salami as an offered topping in most places. That being said, there's not much that wouldn't be tasty on a Pepe's pizza!

Re Louis' Lunch; didn't have a good expeience there - part of my burger was overdone, and the other part was raw (literally raw hamburger)....wouldn't be my first choice for burgers, or second, or third....but the historical aspect is interesting.