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Louis Lunch

263 Crown St., New Haven, CT - (203) 562-5507
Posted By james babek on 1/24/2005 9:43:00 AM
After several years of wanting to eat at Lou's I finally had the opportunity this weekend. The building itself, a national historic landmark, is like stepping back in time to the early 1900's. The atmosphere is something to experience and something to behold.

I was extremely impressed with the burgers here. The 1/4 pound of beef was delicious with a rich taste without grease. One thing I was somewhat suprised about was the use of cheese wiz. I would have liked a cheese that was on par with the beef and history of the food the place serves. The burger, while medium rare inside had a wonderful curst thanks to the ancient broilers built around 1898 and still in use.

Additionally, Louis serves Foxon Park soda's. For those who are unfamiliar this brand is indiginous to the New Haven area and is a local favorite with flavors like white birch beer.

Upon sampling my wife stated that it tastes no different than a burger you can make at home, especially with the use of white toast. I must admit that she is primarily correct in her statement. While there is a spice added just before cooking, I suspect its nothing more than salt, pepper and garlic, there is nothing earth shattering about the fare.

However, Louis Luch is a whole package...the history, the building, the atmosphere, not simply the sandwich. In my opinion all these elements put together are what makes this place special, the food taste better and a must stop when youre in the area.

14 out of 15 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Rate this place
One cheeseburger, with Louis's works, which are onions (grilled into the burger as it cooks) and sliced tomato.  Ketchup is forbidden at Louis lunch.
"One cheeseburger, with Louis's works, which are onions (grilled into the burger as it cooks) and sliced tomato. Ketchup is forbidden at Louis lunch."
Michael Stern





Louis Lassen III explained to us that he once tried to use a machine to make the burger patties, but it ruined their flavor and texture.  Today, as in the beginning, each hamburger is hand-formed.
"Louis Lassen III explained to us that he once tried to use a machine to make the burger patties, but it ruined their flavor and texture. Today, as in the beginning, each hamburger is hand-formed."
Michael Stern


Bread for burgers is still toasted the old-fashioned way at Louis.  Of course, there are no buns for burgers ... because hamburger buns had not yet been invented when Louis Lassen invented the hamburger.
"Bread for burgers is still toasted the old-fashioned way at Louis. Of course, there are no buns for burgers ... because hamburger buns had not yet been invented when Louis Lassen invented the hamburger."
Michael Stern


These metal broilers are what give Louis Lunch hamburgers a succulence inside their crunchy exterior. Note how a knife is used to keep the door latched on the left broiler.  That's been the technique for at least the three decades we've been eating Louis' burgers!
"These metal broilers are what give Louis Lunch hamburgers a succulence inside their crunchy exterior. Note how a knife is used to keep the door latched on the left broiler. That's been the technique for at least the three decades we've been eating Louis' burgers! "
Michael Stern


The original Louis Lassen at his lunch counter some time in the 'teens.  That's the SAME counter at which customers dine today.
"The original Louis Lassen at his lunch counter some time in the 'teens. That's the SAME counter at which customers dine today."
Michael Stern


Vintage graffiti scratched into a Louis table. Graffiti on the counter dates back almost a century!
"Vintage graffiti scratched into a Louis table. Graffiti on the counter dates back almost a century!"
Michael Stern


Freshly-painted Louis on a bright winter day. Jeff Lassen told us that the family now owns the property on which Louis sits, so no matter what sort of urban renewal happens around it, Louis is not going anywhere.
"Freshly-painted Louis on a bright winter day. Jeff Lassen told us that the family now owns the property on which Louis sits, so no matter what sort of urban renewal happens around it, Louis is not going anywhere."
Michael Stern


Louis Lunch is tiny.  Expect to wait for a seat during lunch hour.
"Louis Lunch is tiny. Expect to wait for a seat during lunch hour."
Michael Stern



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