Thursday, September 2, 2010

Having a Ball at Lucille's?

Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que
23760 El Toro Road
Lake Forest, CA 92630

I had screwed up. I wanted to go to another restaurant on this Friday night. I thought it would be easy to get a table, but alas, I had waited to long, and not wanting to eat at 9:15, we had to look at other alternatives. I asked Katie where she wanted to go, and she suggested Lucille's. I was fine with that, so we took the short ten minute drive to Lucille's.

Arriving at Lucille's at seven o'clock on a Friday night, we had about a half hour wait. Lucille's always seems to be busy. The legend goes that Lucille Buchanan learned her cooking from her Granny, and after marrying her husband Joe, (who was in the Navy), moved out to California, and started her restaurant in Long Beach. Now Lucille's has thirteen restaurants, three of which are in Orange county, (Tustin and Brea are the others).  Let's see how this trip to Lucille's turned out.

Greeting every customer at Lucille's is a basket of buttermilk biscuits, with apple butter. These biscuits were very moist, and the apple butter is fantastic. These are, "stick to your ribs", biscuits. Very good start to our meal.

For an starter, we wanted to try a little bit of everything, so we opted on getting the half order of Lucille's Appetizer Platter. This came with a good amount of items for the $11 price tag. The cavalcade of appetizers included pork rib tips, fried dill pickles, onion straws, fried green tomatoes, Dixie egg rolls, fried okra, chicken strips, and a tri-tip quesadilla. I almost cramped up just typing out that list. My favorites were the rib tips and, surprisingly the fried okra. The fried green tomato was not something that I was too fond of, but I am not much of a tomato guy. Katie enjoyed the fried pickles, and the quesadilla.

Katie went a little off the map for her entree here, the Louisiana Pasta was her choice. This penne pasta dish is topped with sausage, blackened chicken breast, ham, shrimp, peppers, onions and mushrooms. She really liked this plate, and I had her leftovers for lunch the next day, and I would have to concur. Who knew that a barbecue place could make such a delicious pasta dish? Good sauce on this, and very flavorful.

I went the more traditional route when ordering here, the BBQ Two Meat Combo Plate. For my meats I chose the tri-tip and the baby back ribs. The ribs were good, but not fall off the bone good. The tri-tip was some of the best I have had in awhile. The hickory wood that they smoke their meats over, gave this a very good flavor. My sides that I got were the macaroni and cheese, and the garlic mashed potatoes. The mac and cheese was good and cheesy, but a little bland. The mashed potatoes were lacking in garlic, but still had a good consistency.

Lucille's for me is sometimes hit or miss. This visit was definitely a hit. I really liked the tri-tip, and I felt that the appetizer platter was a good value. I also wanted to mention that you could get a salad or soup for $1.75 more when you purchase an entree. I like when restaurants have this option. You should be able to round out your meal with a low cost salad or cup of soup.

Out of the chain barbecue places, this is near the top of the list for me. The service is always pretty good, considering how crazy, busy they are all the time. I still like the mom and pop type places for barbecue, but when you fail to make reservations on a Friday night, and you do not want to drive too far, Lucille's will fill in nicely.

Out of five guitars, (because Lucille is what B.B. King calls all of his guitars), five being best to zero being worst, Lucille's gets three guitars). 

For more information on Lucille's, click here:

Lucille's Smokehouse BBQ (Lake Forest) on Urbanspoon

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