It's not yet 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, the day after a snowstorm, and there's already a line that fills the entryway of Lulu's Allston and spills outside, leaving people huddled together in the cold. But it doesn't matter to them; they know that the line will move fast. Before long, they'll be inside, eating hearty and fun comfort food.
There's a great mix of people, some who are obviously attempting to fight off whatever damage they did to themselves the night before, but there are a couple of families with small kids too. What appears to be a brunch birthday party is taking place in the back, complete with a chair full of gifts and someone who keeps popping up every so often to take a photo of the group. There's a duo of women behind them who have gone all in and ordered a bottle of bubbly. A group of five women sit down at a table in front of them, and one of them has brought her boyfriend to meet her friends for the first time. He politely smiles and nods while keeping one eye on the soccer match that's being televised on one of the several big televisions suspended from the ceiling. The women don't seem to notice or care as they lose themselves in gossip.
The most popular dish at Lulu's brunch is the white trash hash, a plateful of crispy tater tots that are topped with two poached eggs and splashes of hollandaise. Buried just below the eggs rest braised short ribs, tender and flavorful. Arriving at most tables, there's a quartet of deviled eggs, nestled into an egg carton and resting on a bed of arugula. "These are so good," a woman at the next table over says, drawing out the "so," as she takes a second bite. Her dining companion nods in agreement and sips his coffee. Just behind her, a couple that looks hungover divides up pancakes and eggs so that each gets a portion of both sweet and savory.
The service manages to hit that magical balance of hustling but making it seem effortless and laid back. Tables are cleared and turned over minutes after diners leave, and a new party is seated. The music is humming along throughout the bright room, supplying tunes from the '90s. Oasis' "Wonderwall" plays as a mini pail of doughnuts arrives. Warm, doughy in all the right ways, and doused with crunchy sugar, they are served with a side of dark chocolate sauce.
The line to get in has grown even more, and it's a struggle to exit. The bar is full and alive with chatter. Winter jackets, hats, and scarves are draped over chairs, and the line that was once just out the door is now well onto the sidewalk and running along the side of the building. A party's name gets called, and there's a round of whoops and hollers as they trickle over to their table.