Two Connecticut-made burgers have been selected as among the 40 top burgers in America, according to the website The Daily Meal. What better time to review the list then in the midst of the July 4th celebration?
Coming in at #17 is The Original Burger at Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, and at #32 the Steamed Cheeseburger from Ted’s in Meriden. Both are perennial favorites, and no stranger to acclaim, here at home and well beyond Connecticut.
As the Louis’ Lunch website recalls the story… “One day in 1900, a gentleman hurriedly walked into Louis' Lunch and told proprietor Louis Lassen he was in a rush and wanted something he could eat on the run. In an instant, Louis placed his own blend of ground steak trimmings between two slices of toast and sent the gentleman on his way. And so, the most recognizable American sandwich was born.” The New Haven icon was also featured by ABC television’s The Chew earlier this year, and Food and Wine magazine a year ago.
The Daily Meal added this description of the burger cooked in downtown New Haven: “A flame-broiled burger made in a vertical hinged-steel wire gridiron that cooks the burgers on both sides at the same time. That’s what. It’s a hamburger sandwich supposedly made from a blend of five cuts of ground steak. If you want condiments, you’ll have to ask. The extent that your burger is going to get tricked out is cheese, tomato, and onion. No mustard, ketchup, or mayo. But do you really need all that? You can practically taste the nostalgia. And that never disappoints.”
The other Connecticut top finisher is summed up this way by The Daily Meal: “Since 1959, Ted's, in this historic community north of New Haven (there is another location in nearby Cromwell and a food truck on the way), has steamed theirs. Steamed meat? Yep. Steamed Cheddar cheese, too. Cooked in custom-designed steam boxes, the burgers, served on kaiser-roll-like buns, lose very little bulk while cooking and, need we say, stay very moist. The steamed cheese is spooned over the patties and cloaks them thickly. Add lettuce and tomato (or complimentary sautéed onions and/or mushrooms) and you've got an unusual, and unusually good, burger.”
Ted’s “world famous steamed cheeseburgers” also topped the local Advocate newspaper’s “best of” list, most recently in 2012, “Best Burger in CT” from The Food Network Magazine and “Best Burger” from Connecticut Magazine. Ted’s describes itself as the only known restaurant in the U.S. that exclusively sells steamed cheeseburgers.
If you were wondering, New York City establishments took three of the top five slots, with the others going to burgers in Atlanta and Virginia. The Daily Meal has America’s Top 40 burgers listed on their website, with mouth-watering images accompanying. The Daily Meal, according to its website, produces more culinary content than any other resource.