As a Fair Lawnite, I was very sad to see Sub Base's reign at 18-50 River Road come to an unceremonious end. I always had very fond memories of the location where Lucky's Steak Plate has chosen to set up shop, because my grandparents used to bring us there as a special treat when I was growing up.
One of the reasons I believe I became a foodie in the first place is because the taste and sheer smell of food can be linked to some of my strongest and happiest memories during my youth. Just ask any individual of Italian descent to describe their mother's gravy or a member of the Jewish faith to discuss their grandmother's Matzah Ball soup, and you will hear the passion that food can instill in people, as just the thought of this comfort food transports them back to a simpler and happier time in their lives.
With that said, I was reluctant to go to Lucky's at first because I wanted to remember Sub Base as it was lodged firmly in my psyche. Luckily, pun intended, Zoe was not attached to Sub Base like I am, and she convinced me to give this spot a try. Don't tell Zoe this, but after visiting Lucky's Steak Plate I realized I should probably listen to her more frequently.
Zoe and I entered Lucky's and were greeted with a smile and a, “howdy” by a welcoming employee who was standing behind the counter. This often overlooked and seemingly insignificant interaction is always appreciated by Zoe and I whenever we go out, whether it is to a restaurant or even a clothing store. I was ecstatic to see at Lucky's, this, thought to be, dead art is strolling around searching for brains just in time for Halloween.
As for the décor, Zoe and I truly thought that Lucky's was a chain restaurant when we first walked in, and that is not the insult that it sounds like. The color scheme, the paint, the uniforms, and even the menu are so well thought out that it seemed like they were all designed, implemented, and kept up by professionals. I tip my hat to the proprietor of this establishment, because to be honest most newly opened restaurants look like they were decorated by a student of the Helen Keller institute of design.
I can hear my fellow foodies while I type this review, “WTF!, since when did the BCF turn into a furry Martha Stewart.” I know this blog is about food and believe me if Lucky’s Steak Plate was just another flashy chain with required flair this Blue Collar Foodie would not be doing a write up on them. If you are familiar with my blog, I praise blue collar food done right, and Lucky is, well, doin’ it right.
On our first visit to Lucky’s, Zoe and I were in the mood to sample a variety of the fare that Lucky’s is offering. We decided upon the Cheese Steak Hero with Onion, Sweet Peppers, and Hot Peppers, a side order of hot wings, and a helping of the Disco Fries to round off our healthy meal all for $28.04.
After we ordered our food, the lovely waiting staff instructed us to have a seat and they would bring the food out to us when it was ready. In the dining area there are several televisions that keep you entertained as well as a great soundtrack of American Rock and Roll, that Zoe and I were convinced was someone’s iPod with a playlist simply entitled Lucky’s. Once we were seated it was only a few minutes until the food arrived and we were able to dig in.
Zoe and I are quite the wing lovers so both of us started off our entrée with one of the, “Lucky Wings.” Lucky’s wings had the perfect ratio of crispy skin to moist meat, which is always a tricky balance to master. The hot sauce was full of flavor but not punch you in the nuts so you can’t breathe kind of hot. For those of you who like to lose all your taste buds for a week when munching down on some hot wings, Lucky does supply a bottle of hot sauce on the table to increase the heat.
Next we divided up the Cheese Steak Hero, which as a Chef I would be scared to serve to Zoe, due to her roots in Might As Well Be Alabama South Jersey, but she seemed to like it. I for one was a fan, if not for any other reason but the quality of the steak. Most North Jersey eateries try to pass off store brought frozen “Steak-Um’s,” as a “Philly” Cheese Steak but not Lucky’s, they use fresh rib eye steak which is served on a fresh baked hero roll. Furthermore, as a New York Sports fan that despises any and all Philadelphia sports fans, this includes Zoe during baseball season mind you; I always love finding a proper Philly Cheese Steak in the North because then it is one less excuse Zoe can use to drag me down to Philly to visit the city of brotherly hate.
After a few bites of the Cheesesteak and another wing each, we moved onto the Disco Fries, which as the menu says truly is a Jersey thing. The fries were cooked well and tasted great due to whatever magical oil they fill their fryer with. They were also smothered in mozzarella cheese, which is a must for any self-respecting order of disco fries, but sadly the gravy was lacking something. Don’t get me wrong I would still order them again, but I may ask for the gravy on the side this time.
All in all the food that we tried at Lucky’s was worthy of praise and most definitely earned Lucky’s Steak Plate a return visit, so I can eat me some steak. Although I was sad to see Sub Base leave, after seeing what Lucky’s is all about, I truly hope they stick around for the long haul and create more than a few memories for the foodies in training that are running around Fair Lawn today.