In 1947, recently-discharged Marine Lou Bressett chased a dream to Hanover’s Main Street, opening a bakery and coffee shop. The smells of donuts and cinnamon buns lured Dartmouth students and teachers, visitors, and business men. After decades of success as a beacon of hospitality and good food, Lou retired. Two owners have since rotated in. The most recent was July, 2018. Former Marine and family man Jarett Berke promises he’ll keep Lou’s just the way Lou would have wanted it.
We take our place in a line that wraps around the center divider, and Carol has to continuously plead with newcomers to please only keep one person per party in line. The rest? Outside. In the rain. At one point she even got out her megaphone. By luck, a few of the waist-high bar seats opened up, which are first-come, first served. We sat down as quickly as possible.
The star of the show is an October special: Pumpkin Nutella Crullers. Not your traditional cruller, these donuts are dipped in spiced French toast batter then grilled until golden and just crisp on the edges. Pumpkin Nutella cream cheese frosting is the cherry on top, but we opt for it in the side, and I’m glad we did. The crullers are better on their own. The slightly twisted dough is soft and chewy, buttery, and sweetened ever-so-subtly with pumpkin.
The Little Green is a small version of the Big Green, and still comes with bacon, eggs, home fries, a blueberry muffin, and French toast. The medium-cut bacon is smoked over corn cobs, resulting in a deep, smoky flavor. Home fries are simple and crunchy, slightly overdone. French toast is thin and smooth, a veritable sponge for butter and maple syrup.
Finally, another October (Halloween) special: the Bloody Mess Avocado Toast. Local honey oat bread is the foundation for sliced tomato, cilantro-lime avocado spread, two slices of bacon, poached free-range eggs, and Sriracha-cheese sauce. The sauce is not as spicy as it is creamy, almost Benedict-like, made with dairy from McNamara in Plainfield.
Along the walls, you’ll see old pictures from Lou’s time: varsity-sweatered students sitting at the bar, local celebrities, and town regulars.
Our spot at the 17-person bar affords us a front-row seat to all the action, which is non-stop on a Sunday. The waitresses are sweet and attentive and turnaround is quick. When you’re done, Dartmouth is two minutes to the right, or you can walk off the crullers with a stroll around Hanover.