Lulu’s Local Eatery: Seriously Fun Sustainable Dining on South Grand

 In Food, Guide

Lulu’s Local Eatery has a lively, upbeat vibe, where both staff and customers alike can agree on the admirable sustainability practices of the restaurant’s day-to-day operations. Some steps are small, such as offering compostable to-go containers. Others are bolder, such as achieving five-star certification in sustainability through the Green Dining Alliance and recycling or composting 95 percent of its waste. And a few—such as providing work-life balance to employees and repurposing materials to outfit the dining space—are hard to quantify but may be most important of all.

The menu at Lulu’s is entirely plant-based, relying on grains and vegetables as sources of protein, but diners from all walks of life can find a culinary common ground thanks to stick-to-your-ribs, plant-based bar grub and comfort food that’s so flavorful, so hearty, it satisfies any craving.

Once a popular food truck, Lulu’s has been serving up fun in its current South Grand brick-and-mortar location since 2014. Owners Lauren “Lulu” Loomis and Robert Tucker focus on building seasonal menus around vegetables, grains and nuts, using all-natural, organic, local ingredients as much as possible, including those grown in their patio herb garden.

One of the most talked-about dishes is the sweet potato-black bean burger, with a huge house-made patty that’s as satisfyingly tender as it is juicy. Alongside, try crispy buffalo cauliflower bites or Cajun tater tots with spicy chipotle dipping sauce. Other entrées include vegan tacos and burritos—packed with Mexican- or Asian-inspired fillings: think jackfruit, mushrooms and the aforementioned cauliflower—plus noodle bowls with made-from-scratch sauces to round out the menu. Wash it all down with a beer from Lulu’s rotating menu.

Lulu’s also serves brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Its classic pancakes, golden and fluffy, have become a Sunday Funday staple for those in South City, but the restaurant also offers unique spins on breakfast standards, such as Latkes Benedict with a creamy hollandaise, biscuits smothered in house-made sausage gravy and breakfast tacos topped with kimchi.

In summer 2019, Lulu’s took the fun to the next level by transforming the floor above the restaurant into a pingpong bar. While the two tables are available anytime the restaurant is open, the full bar upstairs opens at 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, giving players the chance to grab a game and a signature cocktail at the same time.

A version of this story originally appeared in fall 2017 in Guided: South Grand, available in a digital edition.

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