I’ve held off for a long time on review Lou’s, for a number of reasons, including (a) it’s in downtown Hanover, so it’s obvious, and (b) it’s probably the most-reviewed restaurant in the area. But for completeness, and since that’s where I ate this morning, I decided it was finally time to write it up.
Lou’s is quite the institution in Hanover, having opened in 1947 (so I’m expecting some minor press next year as the restaurant turns 60). And it obviously has quite the following with both the Dartmouth crowd and the tourist traffic, since the place is universally packed after around 9am every morning (and generally, forget about going there on a saturday). Some would call it small (but by Upper Valley standards it’s pretty roomy), and having a long queue of folks waiting for seats gawking at you while you eat your meal is part of the charm.
However, the reason I try to make it to Lou’s at least once every two months or so is that the food here makes for one of the best breakfasts in the area. My particular favorite is the corned beef hash and eggs breakfast (at right), especially since they make their own hash which is noticeably more chunky and spicy than your average canned hash. Other good items include the cruller french toast, the waffles, and the porridge.
It’s also just about the only place left that makes decent crullers, and I find that I kinda miss the days when I got my mail at the Hanover Post Office, since that was often an excuse to grab a cruller. The rest of the bakery items are excellent as well, but I usually only indulge on special occasions.
1. The food here is top-notch diner fare, and there are quite a few gems hidden in the menu (one of the few places I get can halfway decent gyros, for example).
2. They use McNamara Dairy milk in their milkshakes.
1. The crowds can be stifling at times, and once the line reaches the back of the restaurant, it pretty much becomes intractable. So I try to go early.
2. Real maple syrup is extra.
3. This is Hanover people watching at it’s best. Nothing like seeing Ivy League professors, hungover students, and red-flannel clad Vermont hunters all next to each other at the counter.
So, in summary, I really like Lou’s, although usually I’m not in the mood to wait in line. If I find myself already in Hanover around breakfast time before the major crowds hit, I usually go.