Tag Archives: Hamburgers

Louis’ Lunch: The birthplace of the hamburger

This guest post comes from my wonderful fiancé from AndyGapin.com. I was unable to attend this delicious excursion, due to errands including an oil change and trip to Whole Foods, and homework. However, his return from the trip, he just kept talking about how great the food was, so I figured it’d be a perfect opportunity for him to guest post, something I’ve been asking him to do for awhile. So enjoy!

Over the weekend, a few friends and I took a two state drive up to Louis’ Lunch in Connecticut. Louis’ Lunch is famous for being the birthplace of the burger so it was a perfect destination for our monthly food adventures. The story goes that in 1900, a man rushed into the joint in a hurry and asked Louis Lassen for something he could eat on the run. Louis slapped his own blend of ground steak trimmings between two slices of toast and sent the gentleman on this way. This, my friends, is how a staple of American cuisine was invented.

Over 100 years later, Louis’ Lunch still serves up burgers on sliced white bread instead of buns. The proprietary blend of five meat varieties is not only cooked to order, but it’s cooked in the original cast iron grills which date back to 1898. One of them has even been repaired using a butter knife to replace the handle.

Besides the burgers, Louis’ Lunch doesn’t serve much else. You can get chips, soda, pie, and potato salad. That’s it. The burgers can come with cheese, tomato, and/or onions. That’s it. You can remove any of those options, but you can’t add anything else. As they say, it’s not Burger King. Don’t even think about asking for ketchup. I think this kind of thing at fooderies is a bit snobby and gimmicky. They’re not the only place that does it, many hot dog places do the same. I just think it’s silly. Why tell people they can’t enjoy your food how the like it? I can support restaurants refusing to make additions to the food the serve, but to deny customers ketchup for them to apply themselves is simply snobbery.

Louis’ Lunch has a few tables, but it’s not a sit-down joint. You order at the counter and then wait. When I say wait, I mean it. You might be waiting a little while. We had to wait about 20 minutes for our burgers. Being that it was a nice day out, I have no complaints at all, but the joint is small inside so if the weather isn’t being friendly, your experience may not be as pleasant.

I ordered a “cheese works” which is the cheeseburger with tomato and onions. It was delicious. The burger was cooked perfectly. No char, nice and juicy with lots of flavor. It reminded me a lot of the steamed burgers that I make at home–incidentally, I got this idea from another burger place in Connecticut. I was afraid that the bread wouldn’t handle the burger properly and it would soak through, but this didn’t happen at all. It was perfectly toasted and held it’s own.

It’s a simple burger, but it’s one of the best I’ve ever had. I would most definitely drive two and a half hours for another.

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Filed under Food Review, Restaurant

Steamed Hamburgers, inspired by Man vs. Food!

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I’m completely obsessed with food on TV. I watch any and all types of recipe shows, as well as more interesting food show in regards to traveling and food cultures. I often find myself watching the Food Network while running on the treadmill at the gym. Some might say that’s the cruelest form of torture, but I just love food that much.
The Travel Channel has an awesome show (Wednesday nights at 10!); Man vs Food. Yes, it is exactly as it sounds. The host, Adam, travels across the country to take on a ridiculous food challenge, while also sampling some of the other local favorites. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it!
Recently, Adam took a trip to Connecticut, where there is a local burger joint that steams their hamburgers. Everyone was raving about how juicy and flavorful they were, and they really did look delicious. My boyfriend and I watched this episode together, and were immediately inspired. So, this past Sunday after a long day of snowboarding, we decided to give them a try ourselves.

I have to admit, we really just guessed and went into it blindly. Luckily, though, they turned out phenomenally! We got ourselves a large pasta pot, and filled it up with about a 1/2 cup of water. We luckily have a strainer that fits pretty nicely into the pasta pot, so we set that inside, but without touching the water line. From there, we brought the water to a light boil, placed the two patties onto the strainer, and covered the pot. We let it steam that way for about 15 minutes, then I placed a slice of cheese on each patty for a few seconds before turning off the burner. We then placed them on a bun with a side of fries, and we were in business.

They were seriously some of the juiciest burgers we’ve ever had. My boyfriend went so far as to say they may have been the best burger he’s ever had, and he’s a great proponent of grilling (as all men are)! Needless to say, we were really proud of ourselves. To note, we used patties that were 80/20, which I think was important. I don’t think it would have steamed as well and retained such juicy flavors if they were any less fatty. I will say, though, I refuse to go any lower than 80/20.
I would absolutely suggest trying out this method. Especially for wintertime, they’re a great way to still have burgers without standing outside and freezing while grilling. I understand some people are partial to grilling and won’t try things any other way. But give it a shot! You’ll have dinner ready in about 30 minutes, you won’t have to brave the cold, and I promise you’ll enjoy it!


Filed under Home Cooking