Saturday, Jul 30, 2016
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Restaurant review: Stingy Lulu's ****

A new restaurant on Reynolds Road in Maumee calls itself Stingy Lulu s American Grille, which fairly begs the question: Portion-wise and quality-wise, just how stingy is the place?

I did my best to investigate, dropping by on three recent occasions and poking around the soups, sandwiches, and dinners with a fine-tooth fork. That was me you may have seen lifting the bun lid off the shrimp Po Boy to see just how much shrimp lay beneath the sheaths of breading. That was also me panning for chicken in the white chili and laying bare the Cuban sandwich to examine the contents.

The answer was unequivocal: There s nothing stingy about Stingy Lulu s except the name. The food is not only generously doled out, it s better than what you might expect in an operation that seems as much sports bar as restaurant.

In fact, the building once housed a Ralphie s Sports Eatery, and the table tents at Stingy Lulu s tout $1 margarita nights and other drink specials. Big-TV screens occupy the brightly lighted bar area, appetizers include the likes of nachos, chicken wings, and onion rings, and live bands appear during the week.

But the menu is larger than your run-of-the-mill sports bar, and the dishes are more imaginative everything from teriyaki stir fry, roast pork loin, and sirloin and ribeye steaks to chicken walnut salad, beef tips with molasses, Kobe beef burgers, nine-inch brick oven pizzas, and four soups served daily.

The owners, Gil and Jennifer Evans, are also the proprietors of Pasta Fina, an Italian eatery with two local outlets. Stingy Lulu turns out to be Jennifer who, according to the menu, got the nickname from her close eye on the pennies and from her middle name Louise, or Lulu.

Among the soups ($2.99/$4.99) are white chili, caramelized red onion, New England clam chowder, and a delicious bacon cheddar potato. The portions are such that a cup is about as big as everybody else s bowl. Dinner salads include steak cobb, Caesar, spinach, and fried chicken, all in the $7 to $10 range.

To my surprise, the aforementioned four or five breaded shrimp in the po boy ($8.59) were jumbo, and the grilled Cuban ($7.59) was stacked with ham, roast pork loin, and American cheese. Among the other plump sandwiches are the $7.59 beer-battered cod fillet; the Garibaldi, an Italian sub loaded with salami, ham, pepperoni, and bologna, and a turkey wrap ($6.59) with bacon, Swiss cheese, and basil mayonnaise.

Burgers come either with Black Angus beef ($7.78) or the more expensive Kobe in a sandwich called the Caprese ($9.99). It contains grilled portabello mushroom, mozzarella cheese, pesto mayo, and balsamic vinaigrette. Both patties were beautifully char-grilled and cooked to order, with the Kobe giving off perhaps a bit more intense beef taste pricey but delicious.

Contact Bill of Fare at fare@theblade.com

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