Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Louis Burgers

In New Haven, CT there is a small burger joint at the campus of Yale University. Its claim to fame is being the place where the very first hamburger was made. It has changed little since it opened in the late 1800s. They even use the same vertical gas grills! (see below)

You can have your burger plain or with the works... cheese, tomato and onions. Anyway, one quirky little thing about them is their refusal to offer--or allow the use of--ketchup. No mustard or mayo either, but it's the ketchup they have a real problem with. Signs all over the place with a little red bottle and the international circle with a line through it is everywhere.

They say they want people to be able to really taste the burger. Somehow ketchup sullies this grand burger experience. OK, no sweat. But here's the weird thing. The "cheese" they put on it? Cheez Whiz! No shit! That crappy, fake, yellow glop that's so wrong the company won't even spell the word properly. It's probably not legal to call it cheese since there's likely no actual dairy in it.

So yeah, that's the deal... no ketchup! That'll just ruin everything! But funky, viscous, Cheez Whiz? No problem!

Like I said, weird.

Oh, and the burgers were fine. Not great, fine. If you find yourself in the neighborhood, go ahead and stop in for the experience. But no need to go out of your way.

Til next time.... cheers.


  1. "Gee Wiz"!!! ;-)

    Who's to say what some people think is good food. It's the tradition that actually makes it good.

    Cool pics. Did you ask before taking the snap of the cook or did you ask for forgiveness afterwords. ;-)


  2. Tradition? I suppose, but Cheez Whiz is about fifty years old. The burger is over one hundred. Could be tradtion, could be simply that these folks have seriously bad taste! Heh. Or maybe it's just me.

  3. Forgot... I just shot the pic. No asking or apologizing! They were actually pretty cool... they understand that they are a tourist destination. Cameras were flashing left and right. I went with existing light, of course. Less intrusive, I think.

  4. Well the joints been around for over 100 years so they must be doing something right.

    If you ever get up to Pittsburgh try Piminti Brothers. Huge deli sandwiches piled high with Coleslaw and Fries. Tasty I guess if you like Coleslaw and fries on you sandwich but who am I to argue with success? ;-)


  5. True. Proving once again--like McDonald's, Howard Johnson's, and Denny's do on a daily basis--success and longevity does not necessarily require quality.

  6. Mmmmmmmmm McD's!!!! :-)

    One man's trash is another man's treasure.

    I don't like Cheez Wiz or Cole Slaw but its not up to me to judge what others should like based on I like. All I know is places like Louis and Primiti Bros have been around for a long long time. (longer than MCDs and Denny's) ;-)