Every restaurant needs to have at least one thing they do really well. A few foodies around town have counseled me to try Cafe Lou Lou, with two locations at 2216 Dundee Road and 106 Sears Avenue. I had heard rumor of a hot brown pizza, with bacon, tomatoes, green peppers, bacon, Mornay sauce and mozarella all on a flaky thin crust. We were very impressed with the hot brown pizza; as well as the Lou Lou pizza with roasted red peppers and onions, sun dried tomatoes, garlic sauce, bacon and goat cheese. Clearly, Cafe Lou Lou excels at gourmet pizza--their crust was especially crispy, and the heavier flavored ingredients, like goat cheese or green peppers, were in a small enough quantity to lend a light quality to the pies.
I was not at all impressed with the service at Cafe Lou Lou, however. Our server hovered around our table balefully as we began to puzzle our way through the menu. We had a large party, and as the waitress waited for us to order she plunked herself down in a chair with an exasperated sigh. Now, I used to waitress, I have done my time in the depths of country cookin' hell, where red faced men in overalls call you "DARLIN'" and demand extra butter for their grits. I know waitressing is a hard and often thankless task punctuated by bad tippers, psychotic line cooks, and perpetually high co-workers (don't lie, if you've worked at a restaurant you know these people!). But no matter how tired you get, a good waitress NEVER sits down while waiting on an order. NEVER.
We were also unimpressed with the chicken parmesan sandwhich: cool and flavorless mealy chopped chicken with sauce soaking through to equally lackluster bread. The meatball sandwhich was oddly slathered with a dearth of mayonnaise. On an upnote, the Cobb salad was refreshing, the sangria was sweet, and the creme brulee was nicely crisped on top. There's nothing I hate more than coming off as mediocre about a restaurant, particularly when that restaurant does one or two stupendous dishes like Hot Brown Pizza. However, I have to say that Cafe Lou Lou came out as a solid blah--in need of more perkiness from the staff and the cuisine.
photos: Elizabeth Orrick
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