11am Sunday 54 E. 1st St. Bloody Mary, Lula Cafe

There are few brunch spots that make you feel like you’re dining at a friend’s house.

Lula Cafe in Logan Square is one of these places.

There’s something about the elegantly simple decor and fresh-from-the-market dishes that feel familiar and inviting. Yet Lula Cafe is as loud and swarming as any notable restaurant during brunch hours.

Grab a seat, and let’s wax poetic about the food and bloody mary selection for a moment. Lula was doing farm-to-table before it was uber trendy. And having done it since the early 2000s, Lula Cafe seems to do it better than most. Dishes and drinks are simply prepared, fresh and extremely flavorful. *Swoon*

Lula Cafe has two bloody marys on the menu: a traditional bloody mary and the 11am Sunday 54 E. 1st St. Bloody Mary. Not into traditional, we both ordered the latter. Upon later research, we learned this bloody mary is an homage to Prune in New York, which appears to have an amazing bloody mary menu. (Information that would have been useful last week when one of us was in NYC. Sad face.)

We only have one word for the 11am Sunday 54 E. 1st St. Bloody Mary: wow.

It’s the kind of bloody mary that reminds you that not all are created equally. It’s made with Broker’s Gin instead of vodka. And gin, as we learned from Twisted Spoke’s Bloody Queen, gives a bloody mary a smooth, slightly sweet taste that balances spicy flavors like horseradish and sriracha. And it has a smoked oyster swimming in it! Which of course gives the 11 am Sunday a smoky edge that also plays well with said spicy ingredients and lemon. The mix itself tastes incredibly fresh, which wasn’t surprising.

Bold statement: 11am Sunday 54 E. 1st St. Bloody Mary has secured a place next to our favorites. Inventive. Balanced. Flavorful. The only area where this bloody loses minor points is garnish. We’ve never seen a caperberry before (which tastes like a giant caper btw), however the garnish pales in comparison with others. See also: we really like cheese.

We could go on about this bloody, but the food deserves serious attention. Because both of us seem inclined to order brunch items with a Mexican flair, we both ordered the Suckling Pig Huarache from the specials menu.

The huarache includes carnitas, bacony black beans (oh yes, I just dropped “bacony” as an adjective), summer escabeche, shishito peppers, salsa roja and soft scrambled eggs. And speaking of adjectives, I’d use the same to describe this huarache: Inventive, balanced and flavorful. And not to mention, fresh.

Are you salivating yet? We seriously want to drink/eat this again.

11am Sunday 54 E. 1st St. Bloody Mary: Our rating (scale of 1–5)

Taste:         4

Spicy:          3

Treats:        4.5

Creativity: 4 

Overall:      4

Cheers to the rest of your summer! May there be many bloody marys in its home stretch.

Restaurant Information

* Restaurant Name
Lula Cafe
* Overall
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
Logan Square
* Street Address
2537 North Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647
* Phone
(773) 489-9554
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