'Food & Wine' names Ted's Restaurant best 'fast food' in CT
You might immediately think "McDonald's" or "Burger King" when someone says "fast food," but Food & Wine Magazine took another approach with its list of "The best Fast Food in Every State."
Starting with a long dissertation about the In-N-Out Burger phenomenon, the magazine went on to explore how greasy hamburgers can actually be the window into a place's soul.
"Fast, easy, typically quite affordable, nearly always imbued with a deep sense of place, these restaurants often end up pulling double duty as ambassadors for their place of origin—they can be a great introduction to an unfamiliar place, the perfect place to tune in to the local vibe," writes Food & Wine.
It just so happens, though, that Connecticut's fast food winner isn't greasy at all. It's steamed.
Ted's Restaurant in Meriden has been offering up its iconic steamed cheeseburgers for decades. It may seem strange to outsiders, but steamed cheeseburgers have been popular in central Connecticut for years. Ted Duberk and a partner opened the original Ted's on Broad Street in Meriden in 1959. They now have a food truck called the Steam Machine as well.
"There's regional, and then there's the how-does-this-still-exist steamed cheeseburger, still very much a part of life in a very specific part of an already small state. Said to have been invented back in the 1920s, when steamed hams came into fashion as a healthy alternative to frying them on the grill, Ted's in Meriden is roughly as old as the steamed cheeseburger itself," writes Food & Wine. "
While it is far from the only place in these parts where you'll be able to find the humble delicacy, the bite-sized counter joint certainly remains at the heart of the culture, and if you've never had one of these beauties, you're overdue. What the meat lacks in char, it typically makes up for in juiciness, and then there's that often overly-generous cap of white cheddar, melting everywhere, like the glaciers—unforgettable."
This isn't the first time the magazine has praised this local haunt. Ted's is a staple on their annual "Best Burger" list as well.