On occasion, you run into little joints that have some culinary heritage to their offerings in addition to the food. Examples include Phillipe’s in Los Angeles (a leading contender for the invention of the French Dip) and Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis (one contender for the invention of the Jucy Lucy), although like any sort of invention claims, both of these come with some controversy. When it comes to the idea of who invented the modern hamburger, Louis Lunch is one credible claimant. Now located on Crown Street in New Haven, Louis Lunch has been around since 1895 (in locations ranging from a street cart on Meadow Street to the current permanent location), and has been serving hamburgers for most of that time. Regardless of primacy, however, Louis Lunch is interesting since they haven’t made any significant changes to their menu or hamburger preparation the entire time, and are still serving hamburgers prepared pretty much the same way they were done the beginning of the last century.
Where Offbeat Eats has been:
A quintessential part of the New England dining experience is the Worcester Diner Car, and quite a few New England towns have at least one Worcester Diner Car-based diner, typically with a long service counter, stools, tables, and lots of chrome. And, despite being designed on a wagon and/or train car style chassis, they typically don’t move. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the earliest Worcester Diner Cars weren’t this way. Early Worcesters had the stovetop, food prep, and service counter in the end of the car, with seating at the other end. And the cart was mobile, typically stored during the day and pulled out at night to serve factory workers. However, it’s extremely rare to find examples of these early Worcester Diners. Gilley’s PM Lunch in Portsmouth, NH is, however, a good example…