Lucy’s Deli sits on Reading Rd. in the heart of downtown Reading. Parking is convenient with a small lot located right next to Lucy’s. The interior is comprised of two rows of booths with several rows of tables and chairs in the middle, decorated like an arts + crafts store exploded within. Be sure to check out the heart-shaped aquarium by the cash register. The menu is mostly sandwiches with a heavy focus on double-deckers, but we were pleased to note that the chili selections were featured first in the menu. Does the chili deserve its top billing? Read on to find out…Overall Rating:
The food was okay on taste. I did need to go with a second helping of hot sauce. The portions were average based on pricing. The prices were decent. I don’t think I would go out of my way for chili, but other menu items looked interesting. Similar to Thelma’s Diner, they may focus on the diner aspect much more than a chili parlor; but that’s okay.
I ordered up my usual bowl of plain, 2 cheese coneys. The bowl of chili came out way before the coneys did — long enough that I had actually polished of the bowl of chili before the coneys arrived. The chili was meaty with a nice texture, but pretty flavorless. I wound up having to splash some hot sauce on it to liven things up a bit, something I almost never do. After the disappointing bowl of chili, I hoped the coneys would pick things up a bit. The coneys were on the large side and sloppy enough that I wound up eating them with a fork. The onions on the coneys were very coarsely chopped which allowed a lot more of the onion flavor to come through, while giving the coneys an interesting crunchy texture. The buns were fresh and the cheese was good, though shredded too short for my tastes. The chili, however, was still a disappointment. Its lack of flavor meant that the cheese, hotdog, onion, and mustard flavors all shined through nicely, but there was just no chili taste. I can’t recommend the chili there, but judging by the gorgeous double-deckers I saw being whisked to and fro this is a fine place to get a terrific sandwich.
I enjoyed Lucy’s Deli. The chili was meaty, not greasy, but had an aftertaste to it that I couldn’t put my finger on. The cheese appeared to be freshly grated but clumped up a lot making large cheese balls that I didn’t want to eat.
4 way: The noodles were cooked properly and were not stale. Obviously fresh. The amount of cheese wasn’t overwhelming, but it wasn’t the same texture that I prefer. The chili portion was OK, not too sloppy and no leftover soup after the noodles were gone.
Coney: Messy, but that’s not a bad thing. Served in a bowl and not on a small plate, the coney was the star of lunch today. The bun was fresh and soft, the hot dog had great flavor, not your typical dog that is served up at chili parlours across the area.
Oyster Crackers: Given w/o request. New England Brand. Extra crax cost $.20.
Hot Sauce: Frank’s Red Hot, oddly enough w/o the label, but the contents were the same.
Overall Score: 6/10. A decent contender, but the cheese and the after taste keep me from throwing Lucy’s up there with the top dogs. (Side Note: Their sandwiches looked phe-nomnom-inal. May be worth a trip back for their bacon/turkey/egg sandwich.)
Not much flavor but good portions
After consuming more hot dogs in the last few months on the chili tour than I have had total in my entire life, I made the executive decision to go with chili cheese sandwiches instead of coneys at Lucy’s. I need to preface this next statement by saying, I love cheese. I would give up pretty much any other food before I give up cheese and I firmly believe you can never have too much cheese. But on this one occasion there might have been too much cheese, well maybe not too much but the cheese definitely overpowered the chili on the sandwiches….I think if I had gotten coneys that the ratio of cheese to chili to hot dog would have been fine, but without the hot dog it was off. The bread was fresh, as was the cheese and the chili was hot, there just wasn’t enough of it…I didn’t dislike the taste, but it just lacked an overall flavor. Lucy’s offers French Fries or for $0.25 more you can get Amazing Fries, which are seasoned waffles fries. They are not the typical frozen variety, they are a homemade version…which with cheese lived up to their name. The fries were cooked very well, the seasoning was tasty and normally I hate when they melt the cheese on the fries in the microwave, but the Amazing Fries remained crispy. I feel as if I owe Lucy’s another try, next time I would get a coney to see if the chili would stand up better with the compliment of the hot dog…..and I would definitely go back for one of their double-deckers, they looked incredible!