Sunday, August 14, 2011
Part of the reason we chose Connecticut as our weekend getaway, was to sample something we saw on Travel Channel's "Hamburger Paradise" - the steamed cheeseburger. There was a restaurant featured on that special called Ted's Restaurant that steamed their food, and it intrigued both myself and my husband immensely.
We ended up staying about a mile away from Ted's location in Meriden, CT.
They have a new second location in Cromwell, CT., but we wanted to go to the original. It's small - when we first drove past it to go somewhere, I could easily have missed it. There are a few picnic tables outside, and only 3 booths inside. There is also some seating at the counter, but this place gets crowded quickly. Pictures on the website show me that their new location is much bigger!
The menu is small, burgers, hot dogs and something like a grilled cheese - not much more, but we knew what we were coming for anyway - the cheeseburger. There are no french fries - just home fries - but the way they are cut they are almost french fry like. They were delicious though!!
The burger was messy - both my husband and I had buns, cheese, lettuce and burger sliding everywhere. Ketchup was all over the place - including my hands and pants! Also, the buns were much bigger than the steamed burger. The burger was good, but both of us agreed it was nothing out of this world special. But we are glad we experienced the world of the steamed cheeseburger. Part of me wonders what the steamed hot dog would have been like though.
I can tell this place is popular though - we got there relatively early for dinner and within a matter of 15 minutes, all booths were filled and there were people at the counter and waiting for take out service, and some waiting outside at a picnic table. The funniest part was that there was another table of New Yorker's behind us, obviously there for the same reason we were! They too were first timers wanting to experience Ted's steamed cheeseburger.
There are several other places in Meriden offering steamed cheeseburgers like K LaMay's on East Main Street. We wondered why Meriden is apparently the steamed cheeseburger capital of the world, and I found this little factoid on Wikipedia: "Steamed cheeseburgers are a regional food particular to very few establishments in Meriden, Connecticut where it was invented in the early 1900s. The steamed cheeseburger is cooked in a stainless-steel cabinet which contains small trays that hold either an individual hamburger or a chunk of cheese to be melted."
Well, all right then. All in all, it was tasty, but I've had better burgers. But definitely go try steamed cheeseburgers if you are in Connecticut - it's worth it to see what all the fuss is about!