Louis' Lunch, New Haven
Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut, advertises itself as the first restaurant to serve hamburgers and as being the oldest hamburger restaurant still operating in the U.S. Opened as a small lunch wagon in 1895, Louis' Lunch was also one of the first places in the U.S. to serve steak sandwiches.
Louis Lassen, a butter dealer, operated a lunch wagon on Meadow Street as early as 1895 and served steak and ground steak hamburger sandwiches, made from scrap trimmings, to local factory workers.
The population of New Haven doubled between 1870 and 1900. Tens of thousands of European immigrants flocked to the city to find work in the many factories located there at the time.
According to family legend, one day in 1900 a local businessman dashed into the small New Haven lunch wagon and pleaded for a lunch to go. Louis Lassen, the establishment's owner, hurriedly sandwiched a broiled hamburger between two slices of bread and sent the customer on his way, so the story goes, with America's first hamburger being served.
In 1907, Lassen moved the business to Temple and George Streets. After a decade there, he left his lunch wagon for a square-shaped little brick building that had once been a tannery. Forced to move to make way for development, Louis' Lunch moved to its fourth and present location, 263 Crown Street in New Haven, CT. The fourth generation of Lassens own and operate Louis' Lunch today.
Special of Louis Lunch
Louis' Lunch hand forms their hamburger sandwiches from ground steak made from a secret blend of five different cuts of beef. The hamburgers and steak sandwiches are then flame broiled vertically in the original antique stoves. The hamburgers are prepared with cheese, tomato or onion as the only condiments or garnish; never any mustard, ketchup or mayonnaise. If one were to ask for a condiment, he would politely be informed none were available as the proprietors strongly feel the quality of the sandwich would be masked. The hamburger sandwiches are served the original way: on two square pieces of toasted white bread.
Beside, that's one rule when customer enjoy their meal in Louis Lunch - Never ask for ketchup. Because they confident that their hamburger is enough delicious without ketchup, it's truth.
No Ketchup Signal in Louis Lunch
Menu of Louis Lunch:
The Original Burger $5.00
Tuna Sandwich (Fridays) $5.00
Potato Salad $4.00
Potato Chips $2.00
Homemade Pie (per slice) $4 and up
Fiji Artesian Water $3.00
Pepsi/Diet Pepsi $2.00
Foxon Park Soda $2.00
Remember, No ketchup in this shop or you get out.