Food critic: Lucile’s Cafe satisfies Creole cravings | Culture & Leisure

Walking into Lucile’s Creole Café isn’t quite like being in New Orleans, but it’s close considering you’re in the Mile High City.

It’s a popular brunch spot so we anticipated a long wait. However, we were lucky and were seated long before the hunger pangs became audible. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to be prepared not to get a table right away. Regardless of the possible delay, the food and service are worth it.

We started with an order of donuts ($6.95 for an order of four; a single donut is $2.25. These Big Easy Pillars are similar to donuts except they’re square and have no holes. They’re puffy and dusted with powdered sugar.Although the plate they arrived on was warm, which I took as a positive sign, the donuts were downright dense.I was expecting something light and airy. These adjectives best applied to the warm, freshly baked cookies that accompany most entrees.

The two must-try dishes are the Shrimp and Grits ($14.95) and the Gumbo ($10.95 a bowl / $6.95 a cup. A choice of plain cheese, cheese or jalapeno grits is We opted for the latter, although I was expecting something spicier. Yet the thick, mush-like side of cornmeal had a subtle spiciness that didn’t overwhelm and complemented the sausage bits. of andouille sausage and diced red peppers.The shrimp was tender and rich.Somehow the plating enhanced the flavor combination since all the ingredients were awesome.

I always knew okra was popular in Louisiana, but I didn’t realize it was the state’s official cuisine. The menu says it’s made with ‘daily selected ingredients’. Our server said that since she was in the restaurant they hadn’t changed. So you can expect sausage, okra and chicken in a rich sauce based on a dark brown roux. White rice is served in the bowl. The accompanying buttermilk puff pastry was served with homemade strawberry and rhubarb jam.

Several of the egg starters are variations on Benedicts. The Eggs Sardou ($14.95) features oatmeal flanked with creamed spinach in a butter/cheese sauce with two poached eggs smothered in a sweet and decadent Hollandaise sauce and a single prawn adorning each egg.

Similar in presentation are Pontchartrain Eggs ($15.50). Two poached eggs smothered in Béarnaise sauce rest on lightly fried trout on a bed of creamy oatmeal ($1.40 extra for cheeses). The sauce is tangy, buttery and sprinkled with tarragon.

For obvious reasons, the French toast ($14.35) doesn’t come with a cookie. Three thick slices of baguette are dipped in an egg custard batter before hitting the hob. A choice of eggs and a range of fresh fruit complete the meal. The sweet praline syrup is there for more than decoration.

Lucile’s has multiple locations in Denver and northern Colorado. The Ogden Street site is large, but not massive. The decor includes posters of New Orleans landmarks, musical instruments, and various related bric-a-brac.

I can’t wait to go back to Lucile. If I happen to be alone, I’ll only have a cup of okra with the shrimp and grits. Based on experience, however, it will be more fun to dine here with friends.

Lucile’s Creole cafe

Description: New Orleans style kitchen

Location: 2095 S. Ogden St., Denver

Contact: 303/-284-5230; lucils.com

Price: $10.95 to $16.95

Opening hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday; 8am-2pm Saturday and Sunday

Details: Alcohol. Credit cards accepted. Outdoor dining. Wireless.

Favorite foods: Shrimp and oatmeal, and okra

Other: Gluten-free and vegan options available.

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