We left for New Haven after dropping Austin off with my Mom who had offered to dog-sit while we were gone. We met Number Three son and we headed down to New Haven. He’d come up with the idea to just jump on a train for NYC when we got into town since he already had a hotel waiting for him and he wouldn’t have to rush to get from Grand Central to the show on Friday. Brilliant!
We had a mostly easy drive with little traffic down, for some reason WAZE, the GPS system I highly recommend, had us take a seemingly pointless detour but we got there with time to spare and dropped him off at the station.
We parked in a no parking zone and I helped him get his stuff out of the trunk and as he ran into the station I noticed an older woman stop him to talk. I got back in the car and watched for a minute, Number Three can handle himself fine, but sometimes he’s too nice and I was just about to walk over to tell what I was certain was a panhandler to move along when he broke free of her and headed inside.
We got to our nearby hotel and checked in, it was a nice little spot and then made the short ride into town to check out some of the sights.
Louis Lunch is the birthplace of the Hamburger in America (or at least I like to think it is). It’s a tiny little place built during the revolutionary war (actually 1800s but let’s go with Revolutionary War) and it still uses the same vertical hamburger grilles it did back in the day. The booths are something akin to church pews but they’ve since added cushions so they are infinitely more comfortable than they once were.
Louis Lunch has a simple menu; what do you want? Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Potato Salad, Bag of Chips? That’s it. I ordered two burgers and a side of potato salad and was distraught to find they’d run out of PS, so I lived without it. I thought for a minute about standing outside and screaming at the sky or looking for a safe space because I was really upset but I manned up and took my place in the nearby booth.
I love this place. It makes amazing burgers. It also offers you the following options for toppings; onions or tomatoes or both. EVERY burger is cooked MEDIUM RARE which is the ONLY way a burger should ever be cooked. You want it some other way? Move along. You want ketchup on your burger? Not here. They recognize, as all burger experts do, that really good meat needs nothing on it. You don’t pour ketchup on a good steak and you don’t put it on a hamburger either.
The burgers arrive hot and fresh on two pieces of white bread. It’s honestly one of the best burgers I’ve ever had and I’ve had some amazing ones.
We walked the burgers off and then headed to the hotel, setting our alarm for 5:30am with the hopes of catching the 6:34am express train to Grand Central.
Next, New York New York, a heckuva town.