An important thing to remember, indeed one of the core things I have learned in my many food adventures is this:
The place that invented a food is never that great.
This is because once a place becomes famous for inventing a dish, they can’t change it.
No one wants to go to the place that invented, say, tiramisu, and find out you can’t get the original recipe anymore.
So the place becomes stuck preparing the dish they way they always have.
Other places, however, have no such obligation.
Instead, other places can take the original dish and do whatever they want with it.
So let’s dive into the Burger at Louis’ Lunch, the burger place in new Haven that has the best claim for inventing the burger.
The burgers are cooked inside these vertical coal shafts, supposedly still the original ones from invention.
The beef is put into a double-sided spatula-like holder, and cooked vertically in these cylinders.
Something about the cylinder gives the meat a distinct taste I haven’t encountered anywhere before.
The bun is just buttered white bread, lightly toasted.
You can cheese on it, and onion and tomato if necessary.
But no ketchup.
The whole experience is odd.
One I have tried a few times, and each time I am struck by how unique the burger tastes.
It is an odd, charcoa-ly and almost sour taste in the meat.
But not unpleasantly so, just there.
The buttered bread and American cheese give a balancing sweetness.
It’s very good.
Definitely one to try.
Address: 261 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06511
Hours: Sunday and Monday Closed
Tuesday and Wednesday 12pm to 8pm
Thursday 12pm to 12am
Friday and Saturday 12pm to 1am