Today's post is a longtime coming. I knew I'd be going back to try other items so I would always push the post back. Luella's opened right around the start of last year in February. It sits on a stretch of Lincoln that five years ago was pretty much a good eats desert. Though their opening along with a few other spots has turned the area into a much better place to chow. The title up top says brunch but most of the brunch menu is similar to the lunch/dinner options with just a few things not available on the other. The head chef/owner worked corporate gigs with Hilton for close to 20 years before deciding it was time to open up his own spot featuring the Mississippi flavors he grew up with.
Quickly becoming a locals favorite in Lincoln Square
So as mentioned I've been in a few times and business was doing really well on each of them. I'm really happy for the family that the neighborhood has latched on. Its a great place for a young couple, large family, or just a group of friends looking to eat out. Its very casual but you can tell there's a little bit extra attention given to the food. I still have a few items on the menu I want to try but have sampled most. It was time to post. The gumbo has a nice medium brown hue to it and comes with plenty of seasoning. Its a chicken and sausage blend that has a really nice consistency and all the flavors you look for in a satisfying bowl of gumbo. I hear the She Crab soup is worth ordering.
Bowl of Gumbo
The Mac and Cheese is my favorite representation in the city. We all have our preferences when it comes to a good mac and cheese and mine consists of extra cheese with the consistency of queso. Luella's uses shells that allow for cheese to seep into them and takes the recipe up a notch with braised short rib beef added in. This is a dish that both adults and kids can enjoy.
Mac & Cheese
The Catfish tacos are a great example of culinary cross breeding. They take nice sized nuggets and give them a dip into cornmeal before frying. That goes on top of a white corn tortilla spread with a chipotle aioli thats topped with crunchy slaw. Tasty for sure. They come three to an order.
Chicken and Waffles are yet another winner. Well fried chicken thighs go on top of mini waffles and they all get drizzled with a bit of syrup. I'm usually not a big chicken and waffles guy but I found myself eating the last one as I just couldn't stop enjoying this classic soul food dish.
Chicken and Waffles
The Pimento Cheeseburger is available on both menus as two smashed Slagel Family Farms beef patties are dressed with an egg along with the pimento cheese and its served on a near perfect bun. But since nothing else is on it I would've liked a bit more cheese and maybe some onions but other than that it was a burger worth the calories consumed. I look forward to trying the rest of the menu.
Luella's Southern Kitchen
4609 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625