Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Louis Lunch

263 Crown St., New Haven, CT - (203) 562-5507
Posted By Joan Keating on 3/25/2009 3:42:00 PM
What a letdown! We made a special trip to Louis Lunch just for the great burgers. We walked in and found it packed with first-timers like us, standing in a confused mob inside the door. The counterperson (owner?) and the cook, standing next to each other at the counter, neither acknowledged nor made eye contact with ANYONE in the line for an annoying 20 minutes or so. FINALLY the counterman said, "OK, who has to order?" Not, "how can I help?" or anything cordial. He then took orders for about a dozen or so burgers from six or eight people, and was surly at best during the entire process.

No menus, no explanation, not even a list on the wall to explain protocol. We ordered based on hearsay, and waited an excruciating 40 MORE minutes (for a total of ONE HOUR) to get a mediocre, dry burger; and the order was wrong! If it was supposed to be a cheeseburger, there was so little cheese it was a hint at best. "The works" were forgotten, and it was NOT the default medium-rare that is supposedly served unless otherwise requested. It was flavorless, dry, and boring, on white toast with not a drip of ketchup or other condiment, and NO SALT OR PEPPER either!

The icing on the cake was the FU attitude from the owner and the chef, who sighed and rolled their eyes at anyone who asked a question or made a special request. We are SO disappointed at this bum deal. Worst of all: it cost roughly $30 for four lousy, dry, overcooked burgers, a half-cup of potato salad, a bag of chips, and two sodas. What a RIPOFF!

22 out of 31 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

Scorecard

1 - Overall: Won't Eat Again
Overall: Won't Eat Again
hamburger
cheeseburger
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



What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com