One of my Chicago friends is completely reliable when it comes to restaurant recommendations. Not only does she have great taste, but she used to review so many restaurants that she attained some kind of elite Yelp status. So she really knows the scene. When she says, ‘I think you’ll like this place,’ or ‘This place is really good,’ I say, ‘Let’s go.’
Lula Cafe was within easy walking distance of my friend’s apartment as well as the Logan Square station on the Blue Line. According to my friend, it’s a really popular neighbourhood hang-out, and during really busy times, wait times can easily get up to 45 minutes. In keeping with the hippie vibe of the neighbourhood, the restaurant focuses on creating a menu around seasonal, local, fresh ingredients. As such, the menu is very dynamic … which means I can’t look up the names of the dishes even though I forgot them.
I don’t drink coffee, but my friend got one, and I just thought it was cute how they had these brown sugar lumps. Looked very natural.
My friend got a vegetable stir-fry. She said it was very good, but my favourite part of the dish were the potatoes. There was a strong taste of lemon, which was novel for me, and they were soft and fluffy without being too starchy or bland. I really loved them and helped her finish them. The butter was also pretty interesting – it was quite sweet, but not overtly so. More as an aftertaste.
My dish was called ‘toad in a hole’, I believe. The toast came with an egg in the middle of the slice – I can’t imagine how they managed to achieve that. It was very cool. The bottom is ground veal and collard greens – very tasty.