Lusco’s, which began as a grocery store and a restaurant with a mite-sized menu, really came into its own as a speak-easy when private booths were added in back for dining and the enjoyment of Papa Lusco’s home-brew.
During World War II, Lusco’s was frequented by soldiers from several bases in the area, as well as by those traveling on the train that stopped at the Columbus and Greenville Depot across the street from the restaurant. Those GIs helped spread Lusco’s reputation around the country. The nationally-recognized restaurant is now run by fourth-generation family members.
By calling ahead for a reservation, one can be seated in the privacy of one of the many curtained booths where the waiter is summoned by pressing a button that lights a bulb in the kitchen to alert the wait staff. Otherwise, you are free to enjoy an evening in seclusion. Sans reservations, you’re probably going to end up in the larger dining room with a lengthy wait possible.
Several appetizers are available. Our favorite is the baked oysters topped with bacon. The gumbo — seafood or crawfish-only — rate pretty high, but on our last visit, we tried the iced crab claws offered as the evening special. They were nice, meaty and quite enjoyable.
On almost every visit, we opt for the whole, fresh pompano listed on the bill of fare at market price. It was $21.95 on this particular visit. The sizable, meaty fish was perfectly cooked and easily flaked off the backbone. It was served in a lemon-butter sauce that provided a consummate complement.
My companion opted for another of the evening’s specials, the pair of soft-shell crabs. There were fried in a very light tempura-like batter. They were ample and tasty.
Lusco’s forte, aside from the fresh pompano, seems to be steaks. They range in cut and size from 8 oz. filets to 12-14 oz. ribeyes and strips. A T-bone for two is also offered. The price range is $16.50-$26.50.
The steaks are carved in-house, and the ones we’ve sampled have always been juicy, beefy and enjoyable.
Desserts are flan, Oreo cheesecake, chocolate sin and pralines ‘n’ cream ice cream parfait.
A children’s menu lists fried shrimp or chicken strips with fries or pasta with meat sauce along with salad for $4.25.
Lusco’s is BYOB with a one-dollar corkage and set-up free. Beer and wine coolers are available.
Lusco’s was considering a move to U.S. 82, but the family has decided against it. Personally, we are pleased with this decision. To move would deprive the present generation of a piece of history that is to be discovered in the building, which was first occupied by the grocery store on March 4, 1933. Lusco’s is located near the heart of downtown Greenwood and a parking lot guard will escort you to and from your car after dark and keep an eye on your car while you are enjoying an excellent meal inside the historic building. Please be sure to remember the guard when you are passing out gratuities.
Lusco’s is located at 722 Carrollton Avenue three blocks east of Main Street in Greenwood. Hours are 5-9 or 10 p.m. daily except Sunday. Major credit cards are accepted. Limited handicap accessibility due to space. Non-smoking section available. Reservations are necessary for the private booths. Call the restaurant at (601) 453-5365.
The Crown in Town, Indianola
The Crown quietly moved from its former location at that isolated site called the Antique Mall to the heart of downtown Indianola several months ago. It’s famous for smoked catfish pat