Photos by Stephanie Lai, Words by Bri Garrett
I have never truly appreciated the beauty of brunch, the genius idea of having the option of both breakfast and lunch - an omelet or a burger, pancakes or a sandwich. For me, the idea always seemed strange, how some people at the table ordered French toast while others ordered something opposite of the spectrum, like a steak.
Ironically, that’s exactly what my best friend, Asia, and I did during our trip to the amazing Lulu’s. We were seeking out a delicious brunch place to celebrate her birthday on an early Sunday afternoon, and Lulu’s definitely did not disappoint. Evidently, we weren’t the only ones curious to try out the restaurant, as Lulu’s was packed the moment we stepped through the doors.
Asia and I found ourselves stuck in a corner, our mouths watering as we watched steaming plates of fries being delivered to the lucky customers sitting by the door near us. The entrance of the restaurant is somewhat tiny, making it hard to cater to the crowds that exit and enter the place. People anxiously team up at the door, most probably with the same mentality as ours: “This place must be good if it’s this packed, so I’ll suffer the wait and the crowd.”
The seating of Lulu’s begins right from the entrance. Bar stools and elevated circular tables share the space with the bar across the room, creating a bit of an overwhelming feeling to someone who has never been there before. Upon entering, you are not only automatically greeted with the hustle and bustle of the place, but also welcomed with the wonderful aromas of butter, spices and the sound of laughter and conversation, attracting even the most impatient of eaters.
Asia and I didn’t mind the chaos one bit. Though we were a bit jealous watching the people clearly enjoying their delicious meals a few feet from us, we figured that the wait and cramped feeling would be well worth it in the end.
And it definitely was.
Taking full advantage of what brunch had to offer, Asia ordered breakfast and I ordered lunch. She, being more daring than I, ordered the Rice Krispie French Toast - a dish I had never heard of before coming to Lulu’s. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with the Lulu’s Burger, assuming it must be good if it’s named after the restaurant.
After a surprisingly short wait, I discovered the true beauty of brunch, being able to enjoy the buttery and flakiness of French toast simultaneously with the tender juicy-ness of a burger, packed with a myriad of savory herbs that made it smell just as good as it tasted.
The Lulu’s burger was everything that a burger should be, with even more character and taste than those of typical quality. Not only was it extremely moist, the burst of butter and herbs in each bite combined with the soft brioche bun and the creamy cheddar cheese made it the perfect meal in my eyes - a burger with true class and sophistication.
I, of course, had to test out Asia’s meal, and while fully opposite to what I had ordered, it was equally as satisfying. I had never thought that Rice Krispies and French toast would be paired together, but the Rice Krispies added much needed texture to the French toast, which can often get soggy and dull. The addition of Rice Krispies created a delicious, crunchy coating, but a still maintained the warm, soft interior of each bite. The taste was so light and buttery; I found that the side of blueberry compote was not even needed.
Our meal didn’t end there. We were able to salvage a tiny bit of room in our stomachs for some dessert, deciding on the chef donuts with chocolate sauce. Due to my food allergy to nuts, I was not able to order the donut of the day, but the restaurant was nice enough to accommodate and make us regular powdered donuts.
Thinking that the taste of the donut would be compromised, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this dessert rivals any famous Zeppole. I am still in awe at the ability for a donut to be a so soft and pillowy on the inside, yet so flaky on the outside at the same time. It was like biting into pillows. Pillows covered in warm, decadent chocolate.
When our bill finally came around, I found myself thinking I would have been willing to pay more than the amount written. Much more. Asia and I were both surprised that a meal that had been so delicious was costing us both under $20. Our stomachs were filled with lunch and breakfast perfection, and we were certain we chose wisely.
Lulu’s definitely fostered a newfound love for brunch, opening my eyes to the convenience of having a variety of choices on just one menu, with food so delicious I’ll never again question the art of eating breakfast for lunch, or lunch for breakfast.