Iconic, enduring local burger places are defined by just the right combination of flavors to enhance a grilled patty of beef. Judice Inn has proved its lasting appeal over the decades, being just about as old as McDonald’s, and surviving for so long in south Louisiana, where food passions run high.
Judice Inn serves only burgers and ham sandwiches. You can add chips, bottles of beer, perhaps a milkshake or Snickers bar for dessert. That is the extent of choices. This place is all about the burgers.
The menu recommends a double cheeseburger. We agree, although those with small appetites or lactose intolerance will be happy with a single, hold the cheese. A Judice burger with cheese comes as a patty griddled dark-brown with a light dusting of spices and a crown of gooey American cheese, plus shredded lettuce and light smears of mustard, mayo, and secret Judice Sauce. A paper thin slice of sweet onion is served on the side to be added as you like.
For us, the cruelest thing you can do to a great hamburger is to drown it in sauce, especially if the sauce comes from a squeeze bottle. But Judice Inn does an excellent job of using condiments as enhancements rather than meat-smothering diversions. We almost wanted more sauce; mysterious Judice Sauce is so unusual. It is like a mild, tangy barbecue sauce with just enough acid to cut through the fat without distracting from the flavor of the burger.
The patties are thicker than fast-food griddled burgers, but not so thick as to lose that carmelized magic from the griddle.
The only topping add-ons available are grilled onions and an egg. Neither are necessary. Why mess with a winning formula? Although we will say a cheeseburger with grilled onions and some extra Judice Sauce is a nice alternative to the classic Judice cheeseburger.