Lula Cafe: fun flavors in a small space
If there’s one thing Chicago has, it's loads of neighborhood eateries.
Small restaurants short on space but long on flavor fill the city, and Lula Café in Logan Square is one not to be missed. Its eclectic menu, focus on organic food and funky atmosphere make it one extremely popular spot.
Lula maintains a hip hotspot atmosphere with a sleek dining room and adjacent dark wood bar, where patrons can enjoy simple beers or specialty cocktails. Seating is a little tight in the narrow dining area, but customers are more than happy to wait for Lula’s tasty treats.
Dishes revolve around seasonal organic produce (often local) and naturally raised meats, and each menu has several vegetarian options. Offering breakfast, brunch, café and dinner service, Lula has a wholesome, healthy and often international take on each.
Breakfast includes brioche French toast, a tofu scramble with ginger miso sauce, and even soy sausages, although chicken and organic pork are available for meat eaters. The café menu is a trip around the world, with Middle Eastern, Greek, Mexican, Italian, Asian and American dishes. Pastas mix with soups, salads, sandwiches, and can be ordered all day.
While the café menu is a little more budget friendly than the dinner options, dishes like sautéed walleye with crispy turnip cake, or pan-seared duck breast with green lentils make Lula stand out. Desserts also veer towards the unusual here, with chocolate and sour cherry cream pie, and walnut fritters with sour cream ice cream.
Lula Café may attract crowds for lunch and dinner, but weekend brunch lines can be more than an hour as patrons line up for such dishes as roasted poblano tamales with scrambled eggs, or sweet lemon Israeli couscous porridge. Black sambal bloody marys and blackberry bellinis make great brunch accompaniments.
While meals can veer towards the pricey ($10-plus for brunch dishes, $20 for dinner entrees), the international flavor, fresh foods and trendy-yet-cozy ambiance make this eatery a worthwhile treat. So brave the long line, order a bellini and relax in Logan Square at Lula Café.
Posted on April 29, 2009 by D.J. Siegel