Lucy’s Diner4605 Towson Avenue Fort Smith, AR 72901 479.646.1001
Somebody’s going to be real happy we finally got around to reviewing Lucy’s Diner. Lucy’s turns up in our blog search terms more than any other word (other than, you know, “fierce genius,” “hysterically funny” “brainbustingly informed,” “stunningly attractive” and other such terms we assume must refer to people seeking us out).
Maybe it’s because we’ve got a couple of pics from the diner in our header. Maybe it’s because Lucy’s and Fort Smith Eats made their debuts in this city at roughly the same time. Maybe it’s because it’s the newest 24-hour place. Maybe it’s because as unlikely as it sounds, the little diner has become the hot new restaurant that’s all the buzz.
Like we’ve said, Lucy’s is all the buzz. We’ve heard a lot about it. Much of what we’ve heard is complaints. One specifically: “Wow, they’re so busy there were no spaces in the parking lot! We had to wait for a table!”
If you’re a restaurant owner, this is the one complaint you’re not going to be upset to get.
When we first started going to Lucy’s the clientelle was mostly worker bees. Guys with coveralls and heavy things hanging off their belts. Lately, though, we’ve seen about every type of person in there, from families in their Sunday best to pink-haired college kids to Junior League types, and the worker bees still there too. It’s a little microcosm of Fort Smith, eating together. Warms our hearts when that happens.
Though, personally, we’re even happier when our Fort Smith butts are already warming those seats at the table instead of standing around watching everyone else gobble their food. Microcosms are great and all, but lunch hour’s only so long.
We have a few foods we think are good Test Foods. You know, like eggs. If you can’t do eggs well, get out of the business. Another of those foods is a club sandwich, a diner staple. We tried the club at Lucy’s. Lots of good meat, crispy bacon. Lettuce still crisp, cheeses tasted real, tomato not mealy, stacked together nicely. Its only flaw? Grilled bread. Club sandwich bread should be toasted not grilled. This one was too greasy and as a result, we didn’t finish it. Next time, we’ll have to specify. TOASTED.
Lucy’s is open 24 hours, but our favorite thing there is only available for about 3 of those. That would be the daily plate lunch specials. Battle the crowds and for about $6 midday, you get a huge entree, three home-cooked side dishes and a roll.
So far, every vegetable side we’ve tried has been a winner. We’re particularly fond of the sugary turnip greens, the gigantic sliced sweet carrots and the creamy mac-and-cheese (this one sells out fast). When your meal comes with three vegetables like this, you have to feel like you’re doing something right with your life for this one meal at least.
Lucy’s does comfort foods and they don’t try to fancy them up with creme fraiche or Herbs de Provence or expensive bagged salad greens stuffed in the sandwich instead of Just Plain Lettuce (yeah, you know who we’re talking about, 2nd Most Commonly Searched New Restaurant on Our Blog). If it looks terrible, tastes great, that’s just fine by Lucy. Ergo, dishes like Goulash (Seriously, Goulash, the dish we only had in our childhood years on those hurried nights after the paycheck was gone and the cupboard was bare, is a daily special) and Beef Tips with Noodles and Chicken & Dumplings. On a cold bleak day, there just might not be a more satisfying dish in Fort Smith than this:
The Roast Beef was superb. Too bad it didn’t come in a boat like Dodson’s does. Not that it would taste any better. We just like boats.
Lucy’s Diner, Official Sponsor of Brown Gravy.
We were told by our waitress, a real gem of a diner gal in the making though about 30 years too young, that “the cooks make the pies back there, sort of, yeah.” We guess that means they put the filling in to the pre-made crust and bake it. They taste good. Not prize-pie-at-the-county-fair great, but they’ll kill that sweet tooth for an hour or two.
Like we wrote in our first Pie-Off, Lucy’s gets major bonus points just for serving sweet potato pie.
Here’s another one we liked so much it’s in our header.
Next on the agenda is trying Lucy’s breakfasts. Any recommendations, people? What do you think of the newest diner on the block? Buzz away.