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The Lunchbox

620 East Main Street, Meriden, CT - (203) 238-0313
Posted By Chris & Amy Ayers on March 6, 2011 10:14 AM
Anita Dufresne knows all about steamed cheeseburgs (New Englanders often drop the –er suffix from burger). She mans the steambox behind the twelve-stool counter at the Lunchbox on East Main in Meriden. Locals certainly have their loyalties to steamed burger joints around town, and those new to town have probably heard of Ted’s across town, thanks to the Food Network. But the Lunchbox is a cut above with a juicier burger, tangier cheese, and a fresh bakery bun to bind the whole package together.

The Lunchbox may be the only steamed burger establishment to serve breakfast, and more often than not, even in the afternoons, you’ll see a few guys digging into plates mounded with eggs, sausage, and home fries. Plump omelets, waffles, and even blue pancakes are available, but the steamed cheeseburg deserves the spotlight here. Anita won the Most Creative Award in last year’s Battle of the Burgers competition, sponsored by Meriden’s Record-Journal newspaper. The “Military Burger” was topped with guacamole, blue cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, onion, lettuce, tomato, and mushroom, though I’ll gladly take just bacon and spicy mustard on my steamed cheeseburg any day. Bonus points for offering both cherry and strawberry Fanta in cans, too! The Lunchbox is open Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., closed Sunday.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger

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Posted By Marty Lager on October 28, 2013 11:03 AM
The timing was perfect for a mid day meal as arrived at the The Lunchbox. First time experiencing the steam cheese burgers. We had it with swiss cheese, peppers and onions. The better half was happier than I was since breakfast is served all day. Very, very good and Anita had a few moments to talk as it was the end of the lunch shift, which made our visit even better.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger

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Posted By Bart Gullong on October 2, 2012 10:40 AM
Ted's may be the original but The Lunchbox is what the steamed cheeseburger was always meant to be. The burger is fresh and sweet, with no freezer or cheap-meat taste. The cheese has a Black-Diamond-style aged cheddar bite that counterbalances the beef perfectly. And the bun fits the burger in both size and texture, encompassing the meat and cheese but giving way to your bite, delivering the perfect balance of resistance and surrender, rendering every bite a perfect ratio of flavorful goodness.

I know to many it may seem like blasphemy, but the Ted's emperor is naked. The beef is inferior and the 372 satellite is embarrassingly bad. I'm still a powerful disciple of the steamed cheeseburg as uniquely Connecticut fare, but when I have guests in from out of town, the Lunchbox is the place I take them to show off the qualities of multicultural working class food that makes our little nutmeg melting pot what it is.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger
Steamed Cheeseburger
Egg and Hot Cheese Sandwich
Eggs and Kilbasa breakfast
Rubin Sandwich

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Posted By Brad Hagen on September 29, 2012 7:08 PM
My first steamed cheeseburger. I must say that the steamed/melted cheese made it very good-tasting.
3 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger

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Posted By patrick on July 26, 2012 3:02 PM
The town of Meriden is known as the Silver City. But there seems to be a nugget of gold known as The Lunch Box tucked on the corner of East Main Street and Clinton. What a great establishment.

All the dishes I have had are truly delicious, from the omelets, to the steamed cheeseburgers and the wonderful salads! The Lunch Box is definitely a pot of gold for my tastebuds, and is sure to be the same for you and yours. The owner and staff are sure to provide the rainbow. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to The Lunch Box.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger
Egg and Hot Cheese Sandwich
Eggs and Kilbasa breakfast
Rubin Sandwich

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Posted By Chris Ackley on July 15, 2012 11:57 AM
First time visit to Anita's Lunchbox. Easy to get to. She makes you feel right at home and is obviously proud of the food she puts out, and she has every right to be. I really loved the potato salad. It's all great stuff.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger

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Posted By Jo Gura on June 14, 2012 12:43 PM
I lunched at the Lunch Box while visiting my mom. Holy mackerel! This is a perfect little hole-in-the-wall diner staffed with very friendly folks. Left there stuffed to the gills.

I had a Blazin-Bleu burger and Mom had the Military with a side of potato salad. This place is heaven to a burger lover. Super-fantasticly delicious! The Lunchbox will absolutely be on my list of things to do every time I am in Connecticut.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger

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Posted By Michael Allen on March 23, 2012 1:51 PM
Best.Steamed Cheeseburger.EVER.

Better than California's steamed cheeseburgers lol. Great folks, atmosphere, and variety.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger

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Posted By Jeff on March 23, 2012 1:49 PM
Awesome place, great food, awesome people definitely coming back
0 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger

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Posted By Hector Ramos on March 20, 2012 3:06 PM
When ever I'm in the area, and crave for some chesse burger..can't think of any other place than The Lunch Box! Great Burgers, Great Service, and Personality(Anita)with the people!
3 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger

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Posted By bruce green on March 19, 2012 11:17 AM
1st time i was there it was like the owner knew me for years ,super cust service and super food.i will be back over and over again.
super super place..
3 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger
Eggs and Kilbasa breakfast
Chicken Soup
Egg and Hot Cheese Sandwich
Rubin Sandwich

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Posted By Carla Doyon on March 17, 2012 2:12 AM
Have dined at The Lunchbox" several times and have enjoyed the experience each time I've dined there. Anita (the owner) makes a juicy, delicious steamed cheeseburg, which was the best thus far, I've ever eaten. Just yesterday, I ordered a Rubin Sandwich, (new on the menu) that was generously stuffed with pastrami, tasty melted cheese and cabbage on fresh Rye bread, which was excellent. The service was quick and friendly, and I am looking forward to going back to try Anita's chicken soup, which was highly recommended.
3 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger
Eggs and Kilbasa breakfast
Chicken Soup
Egg and Hot Cheese Sandwich
Rubin Sandwich
Migas

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Posted By ron on January 22, 2012 8:20 AM
best steamed cheeseburgs in town bar none.Really great service too.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger

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Posted By jenny mazock on May 27, 2011 1:40 PM
This is absolutely the friendliest dinner I have ever enjoyed. Not only are you greeted with a big smile (many customers are greeted by name), but the food is always good-tasting and the portions are larger than anyone could ever eat in one sitting. Add to that the prices on the menu and you will know you got a deal! No way you could walk away from The Lunchbox and still be hungry.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger
Migas
Egg and Hot Cheese Sandwich

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Posted By Charles Peach on May 4, 2011 4:55 PM
This is the place to go for great steamed cheeseburgers or a full breakfast. The service is fast and friendly and the lovely ladies serving the food are the best.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Steamed Cheeseburger
Eggs and Kilbasa breakfast

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Posted By Jeff Beeton on March 10, 2011 7:57 PM
My large special breakfast of kielbasa, scrambled eggs, and home fries with rye toast was delicately prepared and presented by the friendly and pleasant owner Anita. She told me a little about her victory four months ago as the "Best Steamed Hamburger" competition held in Meriden. The win included a large trophy, which Anita proudly displays in her Lunchbox restaurant.

Although I visited during a slow mid-morning, Anita offered to whip up her steamed burger. I declined, saying I will return sometime during lunch to experience the full pleasure of the meal.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Eggs and Kilbasa breakfast

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