Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Don't even think about asking for ketchup

So I find myself in New Haven with my friend Eric, ostensibly seeking out paintings by Howard Hodgkin but really with the express purpose of visiting the place where hamburgers were said to have been invented. At least I think that's the claim to fame.

Anyway, if you step out of the Yale Center for British Art, make a right, then make a left, you see a little shack about half way down the block on the left. This is not to be confused with the Shake Shack in the middle of Madison Park, but the concept is similar: curious claim to fame, long lines, limited seating, and a food product that doesn't merit the hassle involved in getting it.

Apparently all you can buy at Louis' is burgers (plus some pretty crappy potato salad, and drinks, of course.). They cook them four at a time, suspended in some kind of a metal contraption that allow them to be cooked sideways. Yes, sideways. When done, they throw them onto toasted white bread, top them with smallish slices of tomato and onion, slap them on paper plates and then shout out your name.

The sign above the serving area says "Don't even think about asking for ketchup."

Another sign--this one above the cooking paraphenalia on the back wall--reads "All burgers cooked medium rare."

Since mine was cooked medium/medium-well, I wondered later if this then provided an opening to ask for the ketchup. It certainly would have made for a better burger.


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