A First Look at Lulu’s Allston’s Laid-Back Menu

Chef Sarah Wade brings plenty of southern charm to Allston’s casual new bistro.

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Chef Sarah Wade of Lulu’s Allston. Photo courtesy of Lulu’s/Facebook.

Lulu’s Allston is slated to open its doors next week featuring an extensive menu of upscale, southern staples like deviled eggs and a game-heavy Frito pie, 50 craft beers on draft (and 50 more in bottle), and even a section of “beertails” (beer-based cocktails). The new restaurant, located at 421 Cambridge Street in the former Café Brazil space, is helmed by Oklahoma-native Sarah Wade.

“When I initially started heading up the East Coast, I landed in Greenwich, Connecticut (at the Hyatt Regency),” Wade says. “Initially my goal was to graduate to New York and do that whole New York City chef thing. But I came up to Boston last Fourth of July and fell in love with the city. So, I started looking around on Craigslist and found that Lulu’s was looking for a chef.”

Prior to moving up north, the executive chef had also worked in restaurants around Houston and North Carolina, where, Wade says, “I had a good, proper Southern woman teach me how to make authentic mac and cheese.”

Wade’s mac and cheese, which she tops with braised short rib, is just one of many comfort foods she’s brought to her debut menu. There’s also her family’s fried chicken recipe, brined in a bath of brown sugar, salt, chili flake, garlic, and thyme. A chicken fried sandwich (yes, named after the Zac Brown Band song) is layered with potato salad, bacon, cheese, and pickles to evoke “summer barbecues and picnics in Oklahoma.” And her standout bar bite—something Wade has named Mexican Cheetos— is something she picked up from her travels down south.

“There’s a Mexican product called Duritos, that are wheel-shaped, deep-fried pasta,” Wade says. “When you put them in hot oil they puff up like a Cheeto. Traditionally in Mexico they fry them and toss them in salt and pepper, then dip them in hot sauce. So my little twist was to throw some powdered cheese seasoning on it and serve it with salsa Tapatio.”

Despite her affinity for buffalo, wild boar, and all manner of slow-cooked swine, Wade makes room on her menu for plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. A veggie burger is given the star treatment with a patty made from black beans, quinoa, coconut milk, and Thai red curry. All the seasonal salads come sans meat. There’s even a vegan ramen made with a miso-based broth, ginger, roasted mushrooms, and rice noodles.

“We’re definitely in a vegan neighborhood,” Wade says. “I always feel for the vegans and vegetarians of the world. I wanted to make sure there were enough options for them on the menu so they didn’t feel alienated.”

Lulu’s Allston is owned and operated by Peter Culpo, his nephew Joshua Culpo and business partners Justin Dalton-Ameen and Mark Murphy. Culpo owns several bars and restaurants in Boston, including The Hill Tavern in Beacon Hill, Woody’s Grill and Tap in the Fenway, and both Parish Cafes in Boston.

Lulu’s Allston Dinner Menu

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Lulu’s Allston Beverage Menu: