Put the napkin in your lap and pull up to the table with Eau Claire's Hungry Italian as he provides the area's only true Restaurant Review. Don't have another family night ruined by poor service. Find the perfect spot to take that special online someone on the third date that has romance commingled with value.
EATING ESTABLISHMENT Lucy's Deli
DINING DATE Wednesday December 18th
MEAL TIME Lunch
ATTENDEES IN PARTY 1 adult
TOTAL BILL - $13
OREDERED Big Italian
Size matters but more so perception does. Both can also be manipulated but when efforts to do so are lacking, the perpetrator comes out small.
The Hungry Italian has regular business in Chippewa Falls and decided to partake in a downtown lunch between meetings with associates. Full disclosure, the original plan was to go to The Fill-Inn station but seeing an abnormally large group walking into the place dressed to the nines (post funeral lunch? office holiday party?) he skipped that and walked the extra couple blocks to Foreign 5. This eclectic part café, part store is a throwback of sorts to the department stores of generations ago. The store sells flowers, locally oriented clothing and souvenirs, fancy chocolates and formal wear. Attached to the side, and accessible from the clothing area is the delicatessen.
The layout is that of soft wood with handwritten but very legible menu boards. A clear case displays some of the offerings, but the preparatory area is hidden. On the Hungry Italian’s visit, it was after 1pm so the crowd was dwindled thus lots of room, but one could see it getting packed quickly. Four hard wood booths sit opposite the clear case and ordering area, though much more seating is located back on the store’s main floor.
That’s right, more often then not, you’ll be dining in the store which oddly takes on a sort of…fancy hotel lobby feel. There is a tranquility that is nice, a change from the ambiance that is commonplace at most eateries and not at all an unwelcome difference. Its so peaceful you hear a relaxing fountain…but there is no fountain.
The Hungry Italian scanned the menu board and went with, no pun intended, the BIG ITALIAN sandwich. The menu board hypes this sandwich as being so big you don’t even need to order a side (i.e. chips), an almost intimidating notion. That’s right, they try to talk you out of spending more money on a side dish by hyping how large this sandwich is.
Well, they must not have big appetites at Lucy’s.
The sandwich presented is of a regular size, perhaps seven or eight inches and upon first glimpse is disappointing because of said hype. The size of the sandwich isn’t the problem, the over-marketing is. Just call it an “Italian” sandwich or take away the claim of “not needing a side dish” and we’re fine.
The sandwich is packed and compact and I’m sure the amount of meat you’re getting qualifies as “big” and validates the price but visually it just doesn’t look large when one is expecting something that is gargantuan because of the marketing.
Enough with that negative start, what about the positive because this is a place the Hungry Italian plans to revisit and that is because the TASTE of this sandwich is outstanding. Size aside, the meat is salty and little greasy which is what an Italian sandwich should be. Flavorful salami, pepperoni and ham with both provolone and mozzarella cheeses.
The sandwich is filling, again it's not tiny but not quite "Big". Long story short, you get your value with the sandwich but it's not a bad idea to get some chips to go along with it if that is something you usually do.
This is easily one of the best sandwiches in the region and clear to see why this deli been a favorite for many in Chippewa Falls.
Combine the unusual and welcoming ambiance and Lucy’s is a unique spot worthy of one’s time. A spot that should be a regular for those in Chippewa Falls and a spot Eau Clairians need to find an excuse to get to.
The Hungry Italian plans to make this a part of this Chippewa Falls lunch rotation.