Just in time for New Hope’s busy season comes LouLou Burger, an affordable family restaurant on the south side of town that combines the business savvy of restaurateur extraordinaire Louis Zanias (Karla’s, Zoubi, Nina’s Waffles) with the culinary talent of renowned chef Mark Miller (Hamilton’s Grill Room). Partner Shawn “Cakes” Lawson, also of Nina’s, adds his formidable expertise to the mix, as well.
LouLou joins the newly-opened New Hope General Store at 18 N. Main St. in the growing trend of casual, family-friendly dining in town, with its attractive price points and ample outdoor seating. But while the signature dish at the General Store is the cheesesteak sandwich along with country deli favorites, LouLou is built around the classic American hamburger in all its glorious permutations.
The basic burger with special sauce and pickles is offered at $5.95 (cheese $1), a price that is sure to make waves on New Hope’s dining scene. The LouLou (bacon, roasted garlic, blue cheese) comes in at $7.95, as does the Jersey (pork roll, American cheese, fried egg). The Royale burger (pulled pork, frizzled onion, Cheese Whiz) sounds tempting, as well.
The waffles (a la Nina’s) are done savory style, and at $7.95, include the West Coaster (candied bacon, avocado, arugula, goat cheese) and the Porker (pulled pork, cole slaw). Nina’s popular ice cream varieties also figure in the menu.
Vegetarians won’t be disappointed with the selection, with the Bowl of Yum (arugula, tabuleh, tomato, cucumber, roasted peppers, beets, feta, french fries, goddess dressing) priced at $7.95. Veggie burger and felafel sandwiches round out the mix, both at $7.95. Other tasty noshes include fried mac and cheese balls, milk shakes, and a variety of french fries.
But the real hook for LouLou Burger may well be partner and chef Mark Miller. He’s been in the kitchen at Hamilton’s Grill Room in Lambertville for more than 20 years, and the idea that the man behind the Mediterranean-inspired haute cuisine at one of the area’s most famous eateries is now applying his sophisticated culinary skills to family fare is mind boggling.
Miller is no stranger to the complexities of family life; he and his wife Riste are raising two kids, ages five and nine, in New Hope, along with family pooch Marley. Miller started out at Le Petit Four bakery on Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia, and even worked at Karla’s in New Hope for a time. Switching from Hamilton’s to a burger joint is quite a leap, but Miller welcomes the challenge.
“It’s a big change for me,” he observed. “It’s a little simpler, and a little more family friendly, and I’m really looking forward to that.”
LouLou Burger is located at 110 S. Main St. in New Hope, and opens its doors on May 2. Hours will be 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; open later on weekends.