The Memorial Day meal of choice (for meat-eating Americans) is a juicy burger cooked to perfection. As luck would have it, the holiday falls on May 28 this year, which just so happens to be National Hamburger Day.
Unfortunately, the origin of this minor holiday is even less recorded than the origin of the hamburger itself. According to ABC News, there are two main ownership claims on preparing cooked ground beef between bread, one in the South and one in the North.
According to former Texas state legislator Betty Brown, the first hamburger was made in Athens, Texas in the 1880s by a man named Fletcher Davis. He unveiled his creation at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, and America fell in love. His original recipe may not have been passed down, but a plaque commemorates the town where history was supposedly made.
The biggest dissenter of this origin story is Jeff Lassen, the fourth generation proprietor of Louis’ Lunch, the restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut that still serves their burgers the way that Louis Lassen first did in the year 1900. To his defense, the Library of Congress actually named Lassen the inventor of the burger, beating Davis’s world premiere by four years. For those eager to check out the Connecticut eatery, don’t dare ask for condiments; Lassen’s burgers weren’t served with ketchup one hundred years ago, and to do so now would dishonor his legacy.
There’s no reason to travel off the East End to find a good hamburger though. The Hamptons and North Fork have plenty of great options prepared in a variety of ways. Check out Dan’s 2017 Best of the Best Burgers on the East End.
Find more Dan’s Best of the Best businesses and personalities at DansBOTB.com.
1 North Steakhouse
322 West Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays
85 Montauk Highway, Westhampton Beach
(2nd location in Mattituck)
78 Foster Restaurant & Bar
78 Foster Avenue, Hampton Bays
62 Main Street, Sag Harbor
17 East Main Street, Riverhead
Cliff’s Elbow Room
1549 Main Road, Jamesport
(2nd location in Laurel)
Grace & Grit Burger Pop Up
55750 Route 25, Southold
(Open Thursdays 4–9 p.m.)
44780 Route 48, Southold
First and South
100 South Street, Greenport