I felt guilty creating a website called “Things to Do Near Norristown” and not writing Lou’s. Afterall, Lou’s is located in the heart of downtown Norristown and has been a stalwart eatery in the area for years. To not write about Lou’s on a “Norristown” website would be like not bringing up Babe Ruth on a Yankees website or Mike Schmidt on a Phillies website or Dolly Parton on a breast enlargement site.
Anyway, Lou’s is famous for their zeps. If you think the word “zep” here is some sort of typo it isn’t misspelled at all and you should know what one is before stepping into Lou’s. Stepping into Lou’s and not knowing what a zep is would be like stepping inot the marine corps and not knowing what a rifle is, only Lou’s is a lot nicer. Very friendly folks, but more on that in a minute….for now, let’s talk about the zep.
What the Heck is a Zep?
If I describe a zep in novice terms it is essentially a hoagie without the lettuce and it just has one kind of meat. Sounds boring right? Wrong! The zep defines the less-is-more rule of thumb. It is very tasty, fresh and satisfying. Basically, they take a long roll, short roll or round roll and put salami, tomatoes, provolone cheese, and olive oil on it. You can add other ingredients too. Some people put peppers on it or sometimes I add mayonnaise to mine but to get an authentic one stick to the basic ingredients I described.
Keep in mind you can also get pizza, cheese steaks, fries and all the other fixings you’d usually find in this sort of establishment.
A Totally Old-School Joy of an Establishment
Walk into Lou’s and it really is a go-back in time sort of place without feeling intentionally done up to do so. This really IS an old-school sandwich shop. I was born in 1970’s and I remember places like this my parents would take me too long before all the pomp and circumstance of the contrived, flashy, trendy restaurant scene so popular right now. At Lou’s you sit right up at the linoleum counter only feet away from the cooking, the waitresses and the cashier on the other side. There are a couple booths just behind the counter stools. The place looks well-worn and weathered as if nothing has been updated for generations, yet it feels welcoming and clean.
Patrons look largely local and seem welcoming and nice enough. Talkative customers chat as if they are familiar with each other and the more quiet ones take it easy behind the local newspaper as their orders sizzle across the counter.
Lou’s is a family run place for a quick bite. Most quick meal family eateries I run into, especially pizza joints in the area, seem to carry a certain negative attitude when they speak to their patrons. Not at Lou’s though. You’d think this blue collar looking establishment would have the same swagger as a truck stop diner but it doesn’t. Lou raised his family and staff right, they treat you nice from the moment you pick up the order until you check out.
A Norristown Tradition?
If you are spending time in Norristown, I kind of get the impression that Lou’s is a kind of Norristown tradition. This is a place you should stop for lunch if you are in the area for work, business, courthouse (yikes! ;-), post office, etc. It has been around forever and does a nice job serving up simple grub with friendly service.
Where is Lou’s?
I’ll be honest, if you are used to strolling the streets of Whitpain and Blue Bell you’ll find the area Lou’s is in to be a bit of culture shock. This is one of the more grittier areas in Montgomery County but I’ve never had a problem. You can typically get street parking by Lou’s, their patrons seem to have no problem filling the place on a regular basis, and there is plenty of car traffic. By the way, the local theaters are just a few blocks away if you are considering planning a show with a trip to Lou’s.
Lou’s is on 414 East Main Street, Norristown PA 19401
If you are up for a cool coffee shop somewhat near Norristown you might want to check out Gryphons. I wrote a review on Gryphons near Norristown in Wayne on this site and hope that you check out my post and see if this place is right for you.
Please stop back to this site “Things to Do Near Norristown” from time to time as I’ll be updating regularly. My goal is to give you ideas of quick, easy and fun things to do when you are out of ideas yourself. Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Chester County, Delaware County and Bucks County all have cool things to do and I’ll try to continuously update this site with new ideas. Please bookmark us or check back regularly.
Do You Fish or Boat at All In the Norristown Area?