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A Different Kind of Burger: Louis' Lunch

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Since 1928, Louis' (pronounced Loo-ee-z) Lunch in Gainesville, Florida has been mixing up its special batch of meats and spices, forming them into small patties and frying them in a cast-iron skillet. Yes, you read that right, their method of making an already unhealthy indulgence even more unhealthy involves hot, churning oil. And we thank them from the bottom of our cholesterol-filled hearts.

But wait, there's more... Not to be outdone by the other famous deep-fried burger patties, at Dyer's Burgers in Memphis, TN, Louis' uses a family meatball recipe, which has been passed down through generations of the Pennisi family, who still run the place (third generation).

The blend of beef, turkey, bread, bread crumbs and a carefully guarded secret mix of spices combined with the crispy deep fried outside and moist, flavorful center is a burger experience that creates loyal fans as well as adamant dissenters - a real love-it-or-hate-it burger. We happen to live on the "love it" side of the fence and never miss an opportunity to grab a Louis' Special: two burgers, small fries (freshly fried and crinkle cut) and a drink.

The first bite is always a bit shocking, with strong flavors of sage and other sausage seasonings combined with an unexpected crunch of the meat. It has the traditional toppings of lettuce, ripe tomatoes, mayo, mustard and onion; our only gripe is the lack of pickles.

Louis' Lunch is an institution of old Americana that has changed little in its 82 years of operation, from the building to the burgers. And we're pretty sure the required napping that follows a lunch at Louis' has been around just a long.

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