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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Mon–Tue 11:00am–6:45pm
Wed–Fri 11:00am–8:45pm
Sat 5:00pm–8:45pm

Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted


East Austin
1815 Rosewood Ave.
Austin, TX
(512) 474-5652
Nubian Queen Lola’s
A one-woman operation with memorable quirks and fried chicken

The self-styled Nubian Queen originally opened this closet-sized restaurant as a way to feed the homeless (which she still does every Sunday). The building appears nearly condemned, but the colorful storefront is exciting and inviting. Inside, it’s flourescently lit and cramped, but diners happily chat each other up while waiting (and waiting and waiting) for their food. The sponge-painted room is decked out with inspirational quotes and observations in Lola’s handwriting, and when she’s done cooking your meal, she’ll come out to talk with you. It feels exactly like you’re eating at your friend’s apartment in the Treme. If you bring a group of more than four, you might be finishing up as the last person gets their plate. Also, she’ll close early if it’s not busy, and the credit card machine’s known to go down, so call ahead.

Any minor inconveniences are smoothed immediately by the first delicious bite; fried chicken’s tender and juicy, and oh so flavorful—maybe the best in town. Fried pork chops and catfish are the best in their class. Po’ boys are so huge you have to eat half the filling first before you can close it. Crawfish étouffée is wonderful in its bell-peppery stew. (We find the gumbo a bit flimsy.) Amongst sides, yams are sweet and syrupy, designed to be mixed with some cabbage, cornbread, and red beans and rice. Hey listen, Lola knows what she’s doing.

PhotoFried chicken
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