Missing Louis’

Yeah, I know, that looks like a typo, but it’s not.  That’s what the sign says, apostrophe and all.  My love affair with Louis’ was all too brief.  I found out about the restaurant the day before it closed for good, and only ate there once.  One of my classmates told me about it, and I knew I had to go.  Fried hamburgers.  Not grilled, not cooked on a griddle, fried in grease.

Honestly, can’t say it was the best burger I have ever had, but it was pretty good.  It was the idea of the place that I really liked.  An old restaurant, owned forever by the same people, selling cheap, good food.  A non-chain fast food kind of place, or a lunch counter.  There really aren’t many of them around anymore, so they are worth noting.

The day we went to Louis’ it was packed with people saying goodbye to the waitresses and restaurant they had known for years.  I felt almost as if I were intruding on a stranger’s funeral.  They were out of some of the things we would have ordered, but what they had left was worth waiting for.  And then, they didn’t even charge us for it.  After years of working in the community, their last day wasn’t about making as much profit as they could, but about giving as much to that community as they could.  I was glad to be part of that community, if only briefly, and not just for the free lunch.

Walking around this site, I was reminded of how unadventurous I have become about food.  Oh, I don’t mean for a second that I have stopped seeking out new flavors or combinations of flavors.  What I mean is that rather than seeking out the best hole-in-the-wall places, I have acquired a tendency to play it safe and go to the clean places in the middle of town that are somehow respectable.  A little bit snobby, it seems to me, since the grittier places are often much cheaper and offer much more genuine flavors than their Sysco-stocked counterparts.

And the respectable places never have chickens in the yard next to them.  Did I mention that this is downtown Gainesville?

 

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2 thoughts on “Missing Louis’

  1. I liked this place to. It will be missed. There is another place in town that only most locals know about. It’s call La Familia Cuban Sandwich shop. They drive from Tampa every day. They have the best cuban. You will love it.

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