America’s First Burger – And Other New England Tasty Treats

According to legend, the first hamburger in US history was served at Louis’ Lunch sandwich shop in New Haven, Connecticut, circa 1895.  Louis Lassen, founder of Louis’ Lunch, served steak sandwiches to local factory workers out of a small wagon. Excess beef from his steak sandwiches was ground up, grilled, and then served between two slices of bread… thus began America’s hamburger craze.

Today, The Economist estimates that America consumes approximately 40 billion burgers each year. In 1948, Richard and Maurice McDonald opened the first fast-burger joint and the Big Mac remains the most popular sandwich in the world.  Although, with the wave of creative cooking sweeping our nation, the common ‘cheeseburger’ has gone gourmet!

Connecticut and the New England area, often call for a dash or two of Nutmeg in their hamburger recipes, adding a bit of Caribbean flare for a fantastic Jamaican Jerk Burger! The “jerk mixture” typically consists of: vinegar, water, chili, green onion, garlic, thyme,
allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, molasses, and salt & pepper, but be sure to wear gloves and thoroughly wash hands with soap after handling this zesty mixture.

Louis’ Lunch is still selling the infamous burgers today and they are served with either: cheese, tomato or onion… keeping it simple, just as they have been for decades!


There are 24 wineries located on the Connecticut Wine Trail.   The trail is split between two routes, one on the eastern side and one on the western. Both trails include picturesque small New England towns, but I would highly suggest visiting during fall, when the leaves have given off their radiant colors…Though you may prefer to visit for their annual wine festival, which is held during the month of July, in Goshen.

Since it’s legal in the state of Connecticut to marry your same-sex partner, ever considered a winery wedding? According to,
Connecticut leads the way in the number of possible winery-wedding venues throughout the New England area.


Though extremely well-known for the family-owned Mystic Pizza restaurants, mainly due to Julia Roberts and her breakout role in the 1988 film “Mystic Pizza,” there is another famous tourist-attracting pizza joint in Connecticut, which specializes in white pizza-pie, topped with freshly shucked littleneck clams. Pepe’s (Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana) opened in 1925 and is raved as one of the oldest and best known pizzerias in the US. Originating in New Haven, Pepe’s currently has a family-owned chain of seven restaurants, six of which are in Connecticut and one on Central Park Ave in NYC.

As featured in Connextions Magazine, Issue 7.

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