photo credit: Christina Slaton
Luella’s Southern Kitchen
There’s a lot of fried poultry in this Midwestern city, but comfort food isn’t worth sh*t if you’re not comfortable. Lucky for us, this is where Luella’s excels. It’s named after the chef’s great grandmother, his wife takes your order, and you get the feeling that everyone in this humble little restaurant is a close friend, yourself included. Expect the staff to have a little bit of sass and a huge amount of pride in the food coming out of their kitchen.
Luella’s isn’t your typical order-at-the-counter fried chicken spot, your first tip-off being presentation. It’s not extravagant, but some extra thought went into the appearance of your dish, which we appreciate from time to time. Don’t let that confuse you—this isn’t a luxury experience. Unless you want to set price expectations low, we don’t recommend it for a first date. We like to come here after a long, usually bad day to remind us that the world is full of a lot of good things, most of which can be had at Luella’s.
We love Luella’s because it’s casual, BYOB, and serves familiar food with outrageous flavor. It’s easy to carry out, but we suggest you grab a 6-pack beforehand and settle in for the full experience. The welcoming family operation gives you feelings you don’t get elsewhere, which is why it’s one of our favorite spots. If you leave dissatisfied, that’s on you, not Luella’s.
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Buttermilk Biscuits and Jam
Biscuits north of the Mason Dixon usually aren’t worth your time compared to actually being in the South. These are an exception.
Kale Ambrosia Salad
This is not what you come here for, but it is delicious. If, for some weird reason, you’re craving salad, you should eat this.
Fried Chicken and Collard Greens
We liked the chicken so much, we once ordered it twice. That’s right, we finished the first chicken and got a second to-go because there should never be a cap on happiness. It’s everything that fried chicken should be, and one of our favorite versions around.
BBQ Brisket Mac & Cheese
This is not your average meat + mac & cheese. Maybe it’s the cheddar moray sauce, maybe it’s the buttered breadcrumbs, who even knows. But you can’t leave without getting this.
Shrimp and Grits
You know this isn’t just another fried chicken counter when you see the way they plate their barbecue shrimp and creamy cheese grits. It looks delicious, and, not surprisingly, it is.
Fried Shrimp with cayenne remoulade on French bread, served with fries. Tastes even better than it sounds.
Great beignets. When they come to your table, they’re almost too hot to touch, so you know you’re in good hands.
There’s a lot of rollover from the main menu, but if you make a brunch stop, be sure to get the Apple Cider Chicken and Waffles. Woah.