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Phantom Gourmet: Lulu's In Allston

ALLSTON - Have you ever had a Mexican Cheeto? How about Frito Chili Pie? Beer and Bacon Pancakes? At Lulu's in Allston, comfort food is getting crazy and hungry customers are eating it up.

Brand new to Boston's biggest hipster neighborhood, Lulu's has quickly become a local favorite for their fifty craft beers on draft, dozens of creative flavor-packed dishes and a large, laid back, sun-soaked dining room.

The sunniest part of Lulu's, by far, is the personality of Executive Chef Sarah Wade. Sarah grew up in Oklahoma, and worked in Texas, North Carolina, and Connecticut before coming to Boston. Along the way, she's collected plenty of delicious recipes.

Recipes like the Mexican Cheetos, first shown to her by a sous chef back in Texas.

"Mexican Cheetos essentially is a Mexican product called a Durito, D-U-R-I-T-O. They're dry little pasta. They're very hard. You drop it in hot grease and it puffs probably like four times the size," she explained. "They amuse me. Look at that. How can that not make you laugh every day?" she giggled, watching them rise.

Lulu's, Phantom Gourmet
Mexican Cheetos at Lulu's (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

"We toss them in a powdered cheese. They come with a salsa Tapitio, which is a very traditional Mexican spicy sauce. So it's crunchy like a Cheeto and it has that heavy cheesy flavor to it. And then you get to dip it in the sauce and it kind of cuts through it.

"Most people are like 'What is that? I have to try it.' And it's only three dollars, so most of the people try it.'"

Much of the menu at Lulu's is made for snacking and sharing, like the Warm Soft Pretzel Bites with cheese sauce; a hand rolled Meatball inspired by a recipe from Sarah's mother; and a crispy flatbread with tomato, bacon, onions, greens, and torched bleu cheese.

"It brings out all the sweetness and sugar in the bleu cheese, which is so different and so nice compared to just roasting it off in the oven," Sara said.

Lulu's, Phantom Gourmet
Wings at Lulu's (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Just about everything here goes great with beer, especially Lulu's wings, which are brined for 24 hours, then slow smoked with mesquite wood.

"Most people actually order them without the sauce on them, or a lot of times with the sauce on the side, because they're that good as just a wing. Because it's smoky, it tastes like Texas; it's awesome. When it's smoking in there, it lightly smells like a barbecue joint in here."

When it comes to burgers, there are a couple options, but for serious eaters, there's only one you need to know: The Bad Ass Burger.

"It has a lot of layers to it. The beef itself is our beef grind that we have made for us. It's on a griddled brioche bun. From there it goes with the beer cheese soup, the braised short ribs, and a sunny side egg. It also comes with chili cheese fries, just because we wanted to make it as ridiculous as possible," she laughed.

Lulu's, Phantom Gourmet
Shortrib Mac N Cheese at Lulu's (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

When it comes to entrees, comfort food rules, like Lulu's Shortrib Mac and Cheese featuring cavatappi pasta in a sauce of cream, butter, white cheddar, and --believe it or not -- Velveeta!

"No shame, no shame in Velveeta," Sarah insisted. "You want to know what? When it tastes good, no, I have no shame in using Velveeta. It's good stuff."

Since she doesn't mind using Velveeta, it should come as no surprise that Sarah also enjoys using Fritos in one of her dishes, namely the Wild Game Frito Chili Pie.

Lulu's, Phantom Gourmet
Wild Game Chili Frito Pie at Lulu's (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

"So the Wild Game Chili is a mix of wild boar and buffalo. And then Frito Chili Pie, Fritos, yes, the Frito Fritos. The chili goes on top, then you get sour cream, shredded Cabot cheddar, and a little bit of scallions. It's crunchy. It's salty. It's fun. It's different."

No matter what time you get a craving for all this great food, you're in luck, because Lulu's serves dinner every night until one a.m. On the weekends, they do an over the top brunch, with dishes like the down and dirty White Trash Hash.

"White Trash Hash is tater tots with shredded short ribs, two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. It is the best hangover cure you'll ever have."

Lulu's, Phantom Gourmet
White Trash Hash at Lulu's (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Except maybe for the Hair of the Dog Pancakes, featuring a triple stack of bacon infused beer batter pancakes topped with Bloody Mary butter.

"So it's basically a savory pancake," Sarah explained. "It's such a play on everything that happened the night before, and everything you need the day of, and they're really, really good."

Lulu's, Phantom Gourmet
Hair of the Dog Pancakes at Lulu's. (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

So is everything Sarah makes, because just one meal at Lulu's and you'll know that this is a chef who has truly found her calling.

"This is definitely my passion, at the end of the day. It's tough. It's hard. You get burned. You work crazy hours, but when you see people that enjoy your food, and they enjoy what you're doing, you know, 'Yeah ok, this is what you're supposed to do. Keep going kid.'

You can find Lulu's at 421 Cambridge Street in Allston, and online at

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.


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