Lucile’s Creole Café – Fort Collins, Colorado

When Lucile’s first opened their doors in 1980, Cajun food was a rarity in Boulder, Colorado. Fletcher Richards and his mother Lucile Richards did not let that stop them from carrying out their vision of becoming the premier breakfast and lunch establishment in the area.

They purchased a small, yellow, Victorian house, and developed a Creole menu. Then the duo hired a chef that hailed from the famous New Orleans restaurant, [amazon_textlink asin=’0767902904′ text=’Commander’s Palace’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’theyums-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’bc60a501-fbdb-11e8-ba2b-89340e2be3d7′]. The kitchen started creating a buzz immediately for its Cajun breakfast (red beans, poached eggs, hollandaise, and grits). People flocked there for the “French Doughnuts” doused with powdered sugar.

Due to its popularity in Boulder, the restaurant expanded in January 1996 to open another location in Fort Collins, Colorado. The second Lucile’s, run by Tony Hanks, a born and bred Creole from Louisiana, continues to honor the original.

The restaurant is in a small yellow house. It has a comfortable and unique atmosphere that serves excellent [amazon_textlink asin=’0307395812′ text=’Cajun food’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’theyums-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e95b152c-fbdb-11e8-ac14-ad04a7517fe5′]. Zydeco, jazz or Cajun music plays in the dining room. The eclectic decor consists of  Mardi Gras beads, alligators, masks and Creole posters. The smell of chicory coffee wafts through the air and plates of the state doughnut of Louisiana, beignets, are loaded with powdery white sugar.

Folks line up for the food, that everyone agrees, is worth the wait.

Location: Lucile’s is located at 400 South Meldrum St., Fort Collins, Colorado.

Find a Fort Collins hotel, complete with reviews and rates on TripAdvisor here.

Menu: Lucile’s is open for breakfast and lunch daily. If you come early, a great way to start your meal is with a freshly squeezed glass of orange or grapefruit juice. If you like coffee, try Lucile’s blend which can only be found at the restaurant.

Breakfast here has a Creole slant. You can discover Eggs Pontchartrain, a fresh pan-fried trout with poached eggs, béarnaise, grits (or potatoes) and a buttermilk biscuit the size of your hand. There’s also blackened Salmon with eggs or Eggs Sardou with creamed spinach, Gulf shrimp, and poached eggs topped with hollandaise.

If you prefer French toast, the Pain Perdu with fresh fruit, one egg, hot Louisiana sausage, and buttery syrup is a great choice. There are various scrambles and omelets too, but if you prefer something lighter, there’s Lucy’s granola, oven-roasted, drizzled with honey and topped with fresh fruit.

For lunch, there’s gumbo, red beans, and rice, shrimp Creole or crawfish etouffee (crawfish tails smothered in spicy brown gravy). The portions are huge and if you go with friends make sure to order a few items to share.

Thoughts: Lucile’s aims to please and offers you the time to enjoy the food. I was with a large party mid-morning on a Saturday, so we waited for a table.

Once seated though, we did not wait long for a warm greeting from our server. She quickly brought waters for the table and placed our orders of coffee and beignets. If you like café-au-lait, they serve a big cup with perfectly frothed milk.

A few of us ordered the eggs “Jennifer” (eggs Benedict but with spinach, tomato, avocado, and grits or potatoes). Two of us ordered egg scrambles. Hank’s eggs consist of potatoes, onions, peppers, cheddar cheese and three eggs topped with avocado and tomato. I chose Pain Perdu, two thick slices of bread with fresh fruit and hot Louisiana sausage.

When the plates arrived, the egg scrambles came with enormous buttermilk biscuits. The biscuits were so big, we agreed to share them. They were delicious and cakey; you almost did not need to put butter or the house-made jam on them, but we did anyway. The scrambles mounded up on the plates were so filling, we had to ask for to-go containers. We sampled from each other’s plates until we couldn’t eat another bite.

The food, the casual atmosphere, the eclectic decor, and tasty Cajun cuisine made for a fantastic start to our day. It is a must stop if you are in Boulder or Fort Collins, but if you happen to be near Denver, Longmont, East Evans or Littleton, Colorado, there is a Lucille’s that recently opened in these locations as well.

Lucile’s serves big plates of tasty food. A meal there makes you think you are dining in one of the top restaurants in New Orleans, Louisiana except you are in Fort Collins Colorado.

Price Range: A plate of four beignets is $4.75. The Cajun breakfast which consists of red beans with ham, poached eggs, grits, and a biscuit is $8. Eggs Benedict/ Jennifer is $10.75. Blackened Salmon is around $13, and the Gumbo is market priced.

Jeanine Consoli
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