Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Do you remember back to college when you were hanging out with your friends and one would say, "hey lets get together over the summer because some of my high school friends throw this really big bash that is always a blast"? Do you remember how your friends would tell you how awesome they were and how you'd get excited to meet some more cool people? Then do you remember meeting the friends and thinking your friend must have really low standards? Then you wonder about his or her friendship with you. Remember that? But you still had a good time because you got drunk, right?

Thats sort of how I feel about Lucille's. Everybody I've talked to has made this place out to be the Holy Grail of restaurants. There could be no better place. Except that everybody sort of curbs their review a little so as to not totally brown nose the restaurant. They always put in a catch like, "yeah its really good, but just kind of heavy" or "its great, but not for lunch". My review, if somebody asked, which nobody will, would be "I would go to The Original instead."

The building and the interior are cool. I really like that it fits the lot and has a nice dark interior that makes it feel intimate and neighborhood-ly-esquei-sh (geniuses routinely use more than one suffix - i read it on the internet). By dark interior, I'm referring to the lack of lights. The restaurant is probably very light during the day.

We ordered a couple dishes and some fried green tomatoes. I'm not a big FGT eater but I do like them. These were enhanced mainly by the fact that they were fried and came with a side of ranch. The tomatoes were hard and a bit sour. I was hoping they would have used a fresher tomato.

The pasta dish I had was very dry. It was the cilantro pesto pasta with salmon, or something similar to that. It was dry and you couldn't really taste any of the flavor in the pesto. My wife had a salad with salmon in it and it tasted fine. The salmon was cooked nicely (as was mine) and the salad was nice, but there was just something off about it all. It was like the high school friend of your college friend who seemed to be hitting on you, but maybe was drunk. Very similar experience. Couldn't tell if the lack of flavors were intentional or uncontrollable (maybe the vat of flavor in the back didn't spill into my dish). By vat of flavor, of course I mean queso.

I'm willing to give this place another try because they had some other items on the menu that looked good. That was actually an initial problem. The restaurant has so many items that look good that picking one was kind of difficult. Seeing as how so many people give restrained glowing reviews, I figure it deserves another shot. It will probably be awhile, but I can't give up on such an institution this soon.

If any Lucille's-aholics are out there, please let me know if there is something else I should be ordering. As you all know, I'm pretty easy going in my reviews and I'd like to have a reason to give the place a glowing review without any restraints.

On a positive note, this place has an awesome location and the food wasn't horrible. It just wasn't what I expected. I'm sure to other diners there, the food was great. They, however, don't run the most powerful hole in the wall blog in the Universe, dedicated to Fort Worth hole in the walls, that uses the hole in the wall picture, and is written by a lawyer...who is me (is that specific enough to prevent any other competitors for that category?)

On a side note, thanks to everybody for all the BBBBQ suggestions. I think I've got enough to make a good review of Fort Worth. I will happily take your reviews on places you like and include them in the final review. Please email me at fortworthholeinthewall@yahoo.com if you would like more information or would like to send in your reviews.

Lucile's a Stateside Bistro on Urbanspoon


Hadji said...

I seriously have never met anyone that thought Lucille's was "the holy grail". Nothing on the menu is awful but nothing really knocks your socks off either. The brunch is comparable to a 3.99 vegas buffet. I have reduced Lucille's to a place to meet and have a drink or two at the bar when you don't want to sit in a smoky bar. The best feature is the building and maybe I'm just bitter because that used to be one of the original Black Eyed Peas before Gene Street became Gene Street.

Anonymous said...

Dare I say it? "I told you so." I told you to go for a drink but not for food! You need to believe those of us that give you our sage advice! I do know that you have to go and try so that you can write a credible review but don't act so surprised when we are right. Go forth and Eat!

Michael Bourgon said...

I've heard the whole "holy grail" thing. But given how bad The Original is, I still think Lucille's is better. But not by much.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Anonymous - I know, I know. But to maintain the integrity of this bastion of truth, I must give the restaurant a try. Plus, I had already eaten there by the time you warned me. And, although your review was succinct, I needed a post for the week.

Michael, I had so much respect for you through all of your other comments. I'm a big fan of any Mexican restaurant that provides a bowl of queso with one of the menu items. Plus, they have an item named after President Roosevelt. Find me one other Mexican restaurant with both of those traits. Those are the two defining characteristics of a good restaurant. Presidentially named items and bowls of queso.

cdees39 said...

Original-- I may be in the minority, but I really like their cheese enchiladas (it is the chili sauce that does it for me) and LOVE the Roosevelt platter.

Lucille's- Love the Martini's. Like their Thanksgiving lunch. Everything else-- don't know-- I haven't been there except Thanksgiving in a long time.

Francis Shivone said...

Lucille's is over-rated to me. I'm not sure of the appeal but I have been a dozen times and never consider the meal to match the price.

Stephanie said...

I went to Lucille's once in high school and didn't care for it. I'm not big on The Original either.

JR said...

I SO get exactly what you mean about Lucille's. I moved to Fort Worth 11 years ago, and for the first few years heard nothing but holy grail-esque reviews. Then when I finally went, it was just "okay." I've been twice since, and stand by my initial "it's just okay." But maybe I haven't ordered the right thing, either.

Of course, I'm not a big fan of The Original, so what do I know?

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Seriously people...you get a bowl of queso with the Roosevelt. A bowl of queso!!! Its like a four entree meal for under $10.

It looks like we'll have to have a mexican food review after the BBBBQ off.

Ralphie said...

Next time, try Lucille's for breakfast. I went there once for lunch, and it was nothing special.

However, before my latest diet, it had become a tradition for us to go to the early service at Arlington Heights UMC just down the street, then go to Lucille's for breakfast, then go back to church for the 10:50 service.

I've had each of the breakfast menu items except the pizza, and all were superb. I especially enjoyed the corned beef hash with poached eggs, and am looking forward to that this Sunday when I break the diet for just one day.

Be advised, though, that they are evidently open for breakfast only on Saturday and Sunday.

Oh, and about the Original, it's been years, but are they the ones that make their own tortilla chips? If so, they are my favorite, too.

Happy dining!


Clay Aaron Clifton said...

I will second the breakfast comment. I typically go there on Sundays for breakfast. I love some CFS before noon, and the Lucilles' CFS and EGGS is outstanding. Ill go on a limb and say I enjoyed it more than Texas Grill, Masseys, or any other locally owned "famous CFS". Seriously, try it.

AND The Original for cheese enchiladas is a fantastic choice.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

I'm going to third the breakfast at Lucille's. In all of my trips, its the only one that I've really enjoyed there. The breakfast pizza was fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Did no one notice that the name is L-U-C-I-L-E? Single "L" in the last syllable.

Ali said...

I know this is not a recent post, but I had to comment. While I do agree that most of their food is mediocre, and I have found that their wait staff seem to be on quite a few (& I'm only guessing) "smoke-breaks". I do travel to Lucile's on certain occasions when I can't stop thinking about their Lobster Bisque. It is an absolutely crave-worthy delight. The Lobster Bisque, and the fact that they actually offer Fried Green Tomatoes, are really the only reasons I ever think of the place. And I agree with you on The Original. I have always left sufficiently stuffed and quite a bit happier than I arrived. Any place that has a bean and cheese burrito bigger than a boat is notable place for me. And I am happy to tell you that is even more delightful with a couple coats of queso or chili.

My Lucky Seven said...

My husband and I have been going there for years. We go for the lobster bisque and grilled chicken salad. The GCS isn't bad but the LB is better than just about anywhere else's that we have tried. We have found that they are a little stingy with their rolls....which are excellent with the LB.

Alan said...

The breakfast / brunch at Lucille's is the real action. I've had some good dinners there too. They do a good steak, their salads are all some of my favorite salads, and their seafood specials are one of the common reasons people who seek this place out do so. I think I remember having a pasta dish there once and being underwhelmed as well.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Alan, so far the brunch is why we go, but based on the last three comments, it looks like I need to go for the Lobster Bisque. Do they serve it all the time? This will have to become a new obsession that will overtake my life until fulfilled.


Anonymous said...

I really like Luciles,in fact its my favorite place to eat. The Lobster Bisque is the best around. My favorite items are: Lobster Bisque (served daily), New England Clam Chowder (soup of the day)and the Fire Roasted trout, it is so delicious! Try it again!