Mental Floss

The Birthplaces of 10 Great American Foods

Streeter Seidell
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We've compiled a list of all the foods you love, and all the places you need to thank for them.

1. Louis' Lunch, New Haven, Conn.

The Hamburger

There are competing claims for the coveted "Inventor of the Hamburger" title, but according to Louis' Lunch (and the Library of Congress, for that matter), this small New Haven restaurant takes the prize. The story goes something like this: One day in 1900, a rushed businessman asked owner Louis Lassen for something quick that he could eat on the run. Lassen cooked up a beef patty, put it between some bread, and sent the man on his way. Pretty modest beginnings for arguably the most popular sandwich of all-time, huh? If you visit Louis' today, you'll find that not much has changed. The Lassen family still owns and operates the restaurant, the burgers are still cooked in ancient gas stoves, and, just like then, there is absolutely no ketchup allowed.

2. The ChipShop, Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Fried Twinkie

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3. Myers Avenue Red Soda Co., Cripple Creek, Colo.

Root Beer Float

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4. Cozy Dog Drive In, Springfield, Ill.

Corn Dogs

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LAB04~Corn-Dog-Posters.jpg /

5. Lombardi's, New York City, N.Y.

The Pizzeria

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6. R.U. Hungry, New Brunswick, N.J.

The Fat Darrell

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7. Pat's King Of Steaks, Philadelphia, Pa.

Philly Cheesesteak

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8. Brown Derby, Los Angeles, Calif.

Cobb Salad

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CobbSalad1.JPG.jpg /

9. Pig Stand, Dallas, Texas

Onion Rings

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10. Melrose Inn, Prospect, Ky.

Derby Pie

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