W.W. Cousins has for many years been lauded as serving the best burgers in Louisville and winning several awards. Back during the 80s I would have agreed without hesitation, and although they still serve one of the better chunks of ground cow on a bun, they are no longer the absolute best.
Most well-travelled diners who happen upon Cousins would probably note its similarity to Fuddruckers (owned by same company as Macaroni Grill), but since I didn’t eat at Fuddruckers until 2000, I would say that Fuddruckers resembles Cousins as it was in the 80s. But Cousins has lost touches like the sides of beef hanging behind glass near the order counter that Fuddruckers has retained.
What Cousins has kept is a pretty good burger, which can be ordered as either a 1/3 or 1/2 pound patty and one may get it topped with a variety of cheeses. The burgers are served on a toasted bun that is baked in their on-site bakery and is probably closer in taste and texture to a nice yeast roll than your typical hamburger bun.
But the main reason for dining at Cousins is their toppings bar. Like Fuddruckers, they have a long salad bar-like counter with a plethora of toppings for your burger. The usual condiments like ketchup, mayo and mustard are here, along with salad dressing (Miracle Whip), sour cream. Tomatoes and onions come sliced or diced, but the green olives only come sliced. You can get dill pickle spears, or top your burger with slices of dill, bread & butter or sweet pickles. I am not sure how many toppings there are, but I think it may be more than 30 altogether.
On my visit last weekend, I got their $8 Half Pound Special which included steak fries and a soft drink. I had them add a slice of smoked gouda cheese (I have forgotten how much it is to add cheese, sorry) and asked to have it cooked WELL. Lynda just got the Third Pound Burger without cheese, though she says that if she had known they had had gouda, she would have gotten that.
In fairly short order, they called our name and we picked up our burgers and headed for the toppings bar. To tell the truth, it sometimes takes longer to top the burger than it takes them to make it. We sat down in the dimly lit dining area and dug in. The steak fries were forgettable, as usual — should have gotten the onion rings, always a better choice. I bit into my burger and found a very pink surprise inside; hardly the well-done burger I ordered. Back to the counter to get a new one cooked, and by the time I got it and topped it and sat back down, the steak fries were inedibly cold. At least the burger was delicious and properly cooked this time.
We don’t eat at Cousins as much as we used to and I certainly don’t think they are as good as they were 20 years ago, but if you are in the neighborhood anyway, they do still make a very good burger.
7 out of 10 stars.
900 Dupont Road