“One day in the year 1900 a man dashed into a small New Haven luncheonette and asked for a quick meal that he could eat on the run. Louis Lassen, the establishment’s owner, hurriedly sandwiched a broiled beef patty between two slices of bread and sent the customer on his way, so the story goes, with America’s first hamburger. The tiny eatery that made such a big impact on the eating habits of an entire nation was, of course, Louis’ Lunch. Today, Louis’ grandson, Ken, carries on the family tradition: hamburgers that have changed little from their historic prototype are still the specialty of the house. Each one is made from beef ground fresh each day, broiled vertically in the original cast iron grill and served between two slices of toast. Cheese, tomato and onion are the only acceptable garnish — no true connoisseur would consider corrupting the classic taste with mustard or ketchup.
– from the official Louis’ Lunch website
Buenos Aires – After last week’s post on my trip to the northern suburbs and hamburger samplings, a friend pointed out that I’ve never mentioned the place we go to regularly for burgers when we’re in the mood. I realized that originally, I’d slated it for Round Two of the Great Hamburguesa Roundup, something which I never got around to writing. So the photos, and the memory, lapsed into historical obscurity, while meanwhile, we continued to go and eat really good burgers…
The place, Tucson, the location closest to me (it’s a four-spot chain) in Palermo chico at Salguero 2741. It fits very much in the mold of places like Kansas, which I mentioned in the original roundup – very norteamericano in style – salad bar, burgers, steaks, fries, etc. And, they offer up a couple of different burgers, including one which would make Louis Lassen cringe, given the “cheese, tomato and onion” rule that Louis’ Lunch has maintained for more than a century. And, to add insult to injury, they’ve named it after him – the Louis Lassen Burger – topped with bacon and a very, very sweet hickory barbecue sauce. Luckily, the sauce is fixable by combining it with a little cup of hot, spicy mustard that you’ll have to request, but which is brought gladly to the table – the two together make a really good hickory bbq… And the burger itself, thick and juicy, and cooked to order the way you want it.
If more than one of you is in attendance at the table, order up a round of the Phoenix Chips, a large bowl of potato… chips… somewhere between a french fry and a potato skin, semi-crunchy, and smothered in mixed cheeses, bacon and green onions, and a little ramekin of Ranch dressing to smother it, as if the heart attack that the food itself is about to provide is insufficient. There’s more in the bowl than one person ought to be considering finishing – and, unlike the first time I went, you’d be best advised to ask for a substitute for the fries with your burger, since you’ll get another mound of french fries that basically puts you somewhere around a four-potato lunch. Tucson has a quite passable cole slaw, and I tend to opt for that as a replacement for the fries.