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New Cravings in New Haven

July 12, 2017

Typically on these summer vacations, three families rent a house someplace near a body of water, and we take our time exploring the local towns and experiencing some local color. You know, when we actually leave the house.

But we all have kids, and they are growing up. This year the very oldest is starting to look at colleges. So when the unusual suggestion was floated of taking a day trip to visit Yale in New Haven, I jumped on it.

Heck, yeah. Actually, I might want to spend all my future vacations in New Haven. In part because I may have just found my perfect hamburger.

I’m on the record for the things I look for in a hamburger, and the things that I wish most burger places would avoid. You know like ketchup, pickles, and lettuce. It’s almost like Louis Lunch predicted I might have these feelings when they developed their original burger over 100 years ago.

To be clear, when I heard the burger at Louis Lunch was served on toast, I was skeptical at best. Buns are such an important part of the burger experience.

My god, it works.

Charred onions and broiled tomatoes are combined with a charred and juicy, thick hand-formed patty on a slice of cheese, encased with just enough dry white toast to sop up the beef juices while maintaining its structural integrity. It’s brilliant. And all for $6.25 per burger.

The cheese still does that magical thing where it commingles with the beef fat to create a glorious sauce. Yes, even with just one slice of cheese and one patty.

Even Little Miss Fussy, who always takes ketchup on her burger, loved this ketchup free spot.

I was tempted to go to Arethusa around the corner for some ice cream, but I had to save room for dinner. To that end, Little Miss Fussy and I took a stroll through the Yale Art Gallery taking in some culture, and walking off some of lunch.

The desire to hit the food trucks by the wharf was also strong. But my will to maintain an appetite for Pepe’s Pizza was stronger.

This was the first time I was able to get the summertime special where Pepe’s puts fresh local tomatoes on the pie instead of the canned Italian ones used in the traditional sauce. Wow, that was delicious, if a bit different than I expected.

My expectation was that those local tomatoes would be gently cooked down into a sauce. But in reality, the tomatoes are coarsely chopped up and thrown on top of a white pizza with mozzarella.

It was delicious. But got more delicious as it cooled down a bit and more of the fresh tomato flavor came through.

What surprised me most was that Little Miss Fussy, the girl who asks for as little sauce as humanly possible on a pizza, loved Pepe’s original tomato pie. Because this blistered beauty is all sauce and crust.

And it’s glorious, to be sure. But her statement filled me with as much pride as when she started enjoying end crusts at Pizza Town USA.

Man, what a day. It’s pretty high up there in the running for best day ever.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. EPT permalink
    July 12, 2017 8:53 am

    I think you’re gonna have to kick up this blog a bit as it seems to be getting tired. Not much content or enthusiasm here any more. Perhaps Yelp has sucked some of the punch out of you…

    • July 12, 2017 10:10 pm

      What a douche comment this is.

      • EPT permalink
        July 14, 2017 2:11 pm

        Stupid comment J.

    • David E Nardolillo permalink
      July 13, 2017 1:25 am

      I actually like the post-Yelp FLB better. I perceive a shift to a more positive style of criticism, but I think that has resulted in a more effective end product that has done well to highlight many interesting things that might be overlooked locally. Would be surprised if this has hurt readership.

  2. llcwine permalink
    July 13, 2017 6:50 am

    EPT sounds like he misses the controversy…stirring the pot…I like the FLB as of late as it’s not nearly as negative, even when it is critical, it is in a much more relaxed and intelligent manner.

    • EPT permalink
      July 14, 2017 2:14 pm

      Not trying to stir the pot FLB doesn’t have to be critical and today’s post is a great example of a great brain teaser.

  3. September 5, 2017 12:29 pm

    My husband and I love Louis Lunch! We’ve been there a couple times and always enjoy the experience. Such a gem of New Haven.

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