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Our experiences with Richmond’s Black-owned restaurants have been great. With Southern Kitchen’s amazing soul food, Lillie Pearl’s elevated southern cuisine, and Buttermilk and Honey’s incomparable chicken sandwiches, we were on a roll. Then we went to Lulu’s, a massive disappointment and in dire need of our prayer’s and the good Lord’s powerful hands.
Nationwide, Sunday Brunch has become a true experience for Black diners. To fill the demand, soulful brunch menus in cities like Atlanta, Chicago, and Houston have really stepped up their game. If Lulu’s was trying to be a part of this trend, they seriously missed the mark.
Our visit started with a very polite server acting as hostess taking our order at the bar. The place was packed, which had us low key excited because we just knew this food was going to be bangin! After placing our order, we were directed to their outdoor dining area. After a thirty-minute wait, the food arrived in to-go bags as requested. We opened the bags immediately, took photos for the article, then started our unfortunate culinary journey.
First up was the disappointing Croissant Sandwich with scrambled eggs and breakfast skillet potatoes. The croissant was an abomination with everything about it being wrong. For starters, I am not expecting Lulu’s to have a pastry chef making their croissants using Échiré Beurre de Baratte and other fine ingredients. What I was expecting was decent bread that embraces restaurant quality texture, mouth feel, and above all taste.
A good croissant should be crispy, with an aroma of butter and dough, a warm buttery interior and just as small trace of yeast. Instead, this croissant was definitely not baked by any human baker, but rather a T-800 in some factory churning out thousands by the minute. The croissant was limp and soft, with a slight stale processed taste beneath a massive slather of a mystery low quality butter like-spread we all thought was mayonnaise.
The common theme with virtually every dish was its lack of flavor. Everything was tasteless. The cook cracked and scrambled some eggs with no seasoning whatsoever, served them with this boring bread and a side of breakfast potatoes bland enough to cure hypertension because any salt in the human body would be trying to rescue these pathetic potatoes. They were way too soft, borderline mushy with zero resemblance to how they should have been served – seasoned liberally with various flavoring and sauteed or even shallow fried with bell peppers that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Next, we had the flavorless, dense biscuit with completely lackluster sausage gravy. This texture, flavor, and presentation were disastrous. It reminded me of something Frodo would have packed in his burlap sack to snack on and share with Gandalph on their journey from the Shire to Mordor, but I digress.
Last and least, we had the French toast. Like the croissant, the four thin slices of white bread tasted like they came out of the frozen food section at Safeway and were warmed up on the flat iron or griddle.
The cooking in this kitchen felt like the culinary equivalent of a sweat shop style production with an assembly line, not caring and passionate cooks. When Burger King’s French toast sticks can beat the living crap out of this bread, it’s time for massive change.
The proprietors must do some serious soul searching. They must look at what they’re serving and be completely honest with themselves. The food is completely underwhelming in every way possible.
It’s great to have a packed house, but if the folks like the current iteration of the menu, imagine what they would do if you actually had cooks who cared? The cuisine was not restaurant quality and needs a serious makeover. I cannot return unless there is an actual attempt to improve the food. You can visit them at 21 N 17th St, Richmond, VA 23219 or give them a call at (804) 343-9771.