Where I Went: Louis’ Lunch, 261-263 Crown St.
What I Ate: Hamburger with the works
What It Set Me Back: $4.50
Watching the Travel Channel’s “Hamburger Paradise” from my Illinois home over the break, I was suddenly transported back to New Haven. Crown Street’s own Louis’ Lunch, known worldwide by foodies and documented in the Library of Congress as the purveyor of the first-ever hamburger sandwich, was unsurprisingly featured in a 10-minute piece that sent my stomach growling across the Illinois plains.
Although over a thousand miles away, my mind raced back to my first Louis experience, and since I was unable to eat a new Elm City treat over the break, I decided to write my weekly piece on the local legend.
Louis’ Lunch is a modest hamburger joint in almost every sense of the word (except perhaps in its sometimes cocky attitude), but what it lacks in amenities it definitely makes up for in taste, atmosphere and history. The menu is small, but a burger is all you want. Get it with the works (tomato and onion), and then take a seat at one of the tiny wooden school-desks carved with the names of customers past. It is likely that they, too, devouring the tender pink meat sandwiched between thin slices of toast, enjoyed the truly unique atmosphere of this New Haven eatery.
Louis’ Lunch is open on Tuesday and Wednesday during the day, but most importantly from noon to 2 a.m. on Thursday through Saturday.