One of my favorite hamburger places posted this quote by Calvin Trillin on Facebook: “Anyboy who doesn’t think that the best hamburger place in the world is in his home town is a sissy.” Mr. Trillin is right. The best hamburger I ever had was from Noah’s Drive-In in Lockport.
The hamburger was just perfect. Juicy and tasty, a Noah’s hamburger was perfect in just about every way. A cheeseburger was even better because it truly forced a cohesive bond between the patty and the bread. When I got older and bigger, then it was time to have the gourmand burger. This, proving Mr. Trillin’s rule beyond a doubt, was no hamburger for sissies.
Noah’s was more than a hamburger place. Sunday after church lunch was always a special event. The broasted chicken was always delicious. My sister would be content with just the mac and cheese. After Junior High sporting events, it was a great place for a celebratory meal. The sundaes were a tradition in my house. I am sure their roast beef poboy was made with deli roast beef, yet it was the only roast beef poboy of that style that was as good as the debris poboys of New Orleans.
Not only was Mr. Noah a familiar face when you went, so was the entire family. After Mr. Noah’s tragic death, the place stayed open under different ownership, but it was not the same. It wasn’t that the food changed much, it was that the experience changed. Mr. Noah fed my family and if you are from Lockport, he probably fed yours too. That is what could never be replaced.