James Holmes has taken the wildly popular chicken offered at brunch at Olivia and also sold at the Austin City Limits Music Festival and turned it into a new casual concept Lucy’s Fried Chicken. They are located at 2218 College Avenue near the corner of Congress and Oltorf. I grew up in Travis Heights very near here and can definitely see this place turning into a neighborhood favorite. Yet another reason to miss my old hood.
The place offers a full bar with craft cocktails and all Texas beers, a covered porch area with heaters and fans for whatever Texas weather might hold, and a music selection that is fine blend of classic Country and Honky Tonk.
Of course, the most important question is, “How’s the chicken?” Best. Damn. Chicken. In. Austin. They use locally sourced farm raised birds that they obviously butcher themselves. My three piece basket actually had four pieces in it because the breast was so large they split it in two. I love breast meat but sometimes with larger pieces you have to sacrifice the perfect crust to meat ratio you get with smaller pieces. Not at Lucy’s. Oh, and that crust. Crispy, crunchy, salty, and slightly spicy. At $9 for 3 pieces of chicken with no sides, it is a little pricey compared to chain places but the quality is well worth it.
I got the black eyed peas and cornbread stuffing as sides. They were good versions of country classics but not as outstanding as the chicken. I will have to try some more of their offerings like collard greens or Mexican Coke sweet potatoes to find a better match. I did really enjoy the starter I had of fried chicken livers with an extremely spicy dipping sauce. Again that crunchy crust won me over especially against the creamy interior of the livers. The menu offers many diverse options like oysters both raw and grilled, chicken boudin, deep fried deviled eggs, and even calf fries. Reasons for many more visits.
I ended my first visit to Lucy’s with a piece of Sweet Tea Pie from Olivia pastry chef Taff Mayberry. I was intrigued when I first heard about it and despite being stuffed to the gills, I had to give it a try. It was a custardy filling and the tea gave it a caramel flavor. Loved it! Loved it even more when I got the recipe in an email from Tasting Table. Try it at Lucy’s and if you like it give the recipe a whirl.
I noticed on the chalkboard wall where the special were written that Lucy’s was offering their first steak night the following Tuesday. At $19 for a 13 oz. strip steak with 2 sides of potato gratin and spicy green beans along with bone marrow and a roll, I had to check it out. I was going to a book club meeting on later in the evening so I found myself back at Lucy’s right at 5pm and I was honored to be the first customer on the first steak night and it was indeed worth the trip. My steak was charred on the outside and a perfect rare in the middle. The gratin was slightly underdone but I chalked that up to being so early in the evening. The green beans had a nice crunch to them without being undercooked and a nice punch of tomatoey spice. I used the marrow as meat butter on my roll. Mmmmm, meat butter. So check out Lucy’s and let me know when you are going because I will probably meet you there.