J.R. Tolkien

"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R. Tolkien

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Love at First Bite at Lucretia's Kitchen

It’s an exciting time to be a foodie in Louisville.  New restaurants are opening up all the time, blink and you’ll miss it.  I’m all for the underdog though, so what I’m most excited about are the restaurants opening in parts of town that are less affluent, with foods that draw people in rather than a heavily filtered Instagram account.  This week I’m excited to share with you Lucretia’s Kitchen, a new restaurant located inside Chef Space in West Louisville that should definitely be on your list of places to visit.

Lucretia’s is not a standalone restaurant, but rather one of the many entrepreneurs using the space offer by Chef Space to prep and sell their food.  Chef Space is a kitchen incubator, a project supported by Community Ventures, offering commercially-licensed kitchen spaces, equipment inventory and business support services for food industry entrepreneurs.  Members pay a monthly fee to access the facility and services.  Currently, Chef Space has 20 vendors (V-Grits is the most recognizable), some utilizing its space to prepare food for distribution off site, a few offer food directly onsite, like Lucretia’s Kitchen.

Look for a large new building near the corner of 18th and Muhammad Ali, there’s plenty of parking in the back or on the street, right outside the front door.

Chef Space. Photo Source.
Once you entered the building, you’ll see a spacious community room with tables and chairs, Lucretia’s has her table set up at the back corner.  The menu changes daily, so you can check their Facebook page for the most updated list or look at the hand written board near the order table.

Inside community room
You can eat in or take out.
Lucretia’s offers a small menu of southern and soul food dishes, traditional sides and desserts, some from Norma Jean’s (also a Chef Space success story).  Expect to see salmon croquets, fried chicken, BBQ ribs, chicken salad, etc.  Below is a sample of the menu.

I had the fried catfish dinner my first time, which came with a large piece of catfish and 2 sides.  The fish was fresh and crunchy.  The green bean was cooked just right, not too mushy like some places, and has a bit of a tang to it.  I could eat at least 2 containers full.  I also enjoyed the potato salad, it has a special seasoning I can’t really place; it reminds me a bit of curry.  My lunch came out to be $12, a large satisfying meal that makes me want to come back to try other items on the menu.

Fried catfish
My friend had the chicken salad that day and enjoyed it as well.  This humongous salad was filled to the brim and can easily feed two.  A steal at $8.

Chicken salad, $8
I ordered the salmon croquet for my co-worker on another occasion, like before, the portion was large.  She enjoyed it but reported that it’s a little dry.  On my second go around, I ordered 4 jumbo fried chicken wings, large enough to feed two people.  They were crunchy with the right amount of seasoning but a little dry in some parts; still good chicken wings.

The star is apparently the Liquid Gold BBQ (I'll have to verify this on my next visit). My coworker said it was amazing and actually called Lucretia's Kitchen to give her a compliment.

It’s a new venture so expect a few kinks.  The wait time is LONG, Seafood Lady long.  On our first visit, I waited 40 minutes for my food, my friend waited close to an hour.  However, the food comes out fresh.  To keep your wait time to a minimal, call before they open and place your order before coming in.  The staff was always gracious and welcoming.  Lucretia came out and greeted everyone personally.

A special deal:  There’s currently a Groupon for Lucretia’s Kitchen, you pay $12 and will get $20 to spend on the food here (the Groupon says BBQ, but you can spend it on anything). For the next 2 days, Groupon also has an extra 20% off on local deals, so use the code sale3 and you'll end up paying only $9.60 for $20 worth of food!

If you’re looking for an off the beaten track lunch or dinner venue, I recommend this place for the consistency in the quality of food it produces, generous portions and good value for your money.  Words are getting out about this place and the lines are already getting long.  So skip your usually lunch spot and head west to support this great new venture.

Lucretia's Kitchen
1812 W. Muhammad Ali
Louisville, KY 40203
Wednesday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Soul Food Sunda: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Occasionally you'll see other vendors selling food in the same venue.  Lollie's Kitchen has some decent fusion soul and Jamaican food.