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Central Connecticut's Steamed Cheeseburger

We're not saying that the steamed cheeseburger is the best burger variation on earth, but if you care about regional specialties, it is something you must have. Limited to a small region of central Connecticut and dating back to the 1920s, when anything fried was considered unhealthful and steamed food was the nostrum of the moment, it lacks the crunch of grilled or charcoaled patty but, at its best, makes up for it with extreme juiciness and ultra-goopy cheese.

Dawg House
Lunch Box
K. LaMay’s Steamed Cheeseburgers
Dawg House - New Britain , CT
Dawg House is a tiny eatery with only a few inside seats and a bunch of picnic tables outside. Its very inexpensive menu includes split and grilled hot dogs, steamed cheeseburgers and superb chili dogs.
Ted's - Meriden , CT
A steamed cheeseburger is cooked in a steam cabinet, the meat held inside a squarish stainless steel tin as it browns but does not sizzle. Adjacent to the cooking beef are tins into which are placed small blocks of cheddar cheese. The effect of the steam on the cheese is to make it molten. The beef and cheese are loaded into a hard roll with lettuce and tomato and, preferably, mustard; and you’ve got one heck of a messy but delicious cheeseburger!
O'Rourke's - Middletown , CT
O'Rourke's is a diner with a difference. Dating back to 1946, it serves classic diner fare as well as serious good cooking from Chef Brian O'Rourke, nephew of the founder. It is one of the few places in Connecticut to sample that rare specialty, a steamed cheeseburger.
Lunch Box - Meriden , CT
The Lunchbox may be the only place in Meriden to eat a steamed cheeseburg for breakfast, and what a sandwich it is: extremely juicy with tangy molten cheese on a sturdy bun. Traditional breakfasts of eggs, meats, home fries, and pancakes are also served, but the steamed cheeseburg should not be ignored.
K. LaMay’s Steamed Cheeseburgers - Meriden , CT
The steamed cheeseburger is unique to central Connecticut, and Meriden is home to several purveyors. Kevin LaMay worked at Ted’s as a teenager and now runs his own eatery, cranking out the best steamed burgers in town. Foxon Park bottled sodas and soft-serve from the seasonal stand next door make K. LaMay’s an irresistible stop.

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