SBJ’s Weekly Restaurant Review: Gullo’s Fresh Produce & Classic Bake Shop

Gullo’s is located on Flournoy Lucas Road in Shreveport

Each week, the Shreveport-Bossier Journal’s always-hungry reporter visits a different restaurant and tells you about the experience.

By: ANON E. MUSS, Journal Restaurant Reviewer

Even though it’s been in the same Shreveport location (724 E. Flournoy Lucas Road) for some 50 years (according to one of the employees), I had only eaten once at Gullo’s Fresh Produce & Classic Bake Shop. And that was a long time ago, at the invitation of a friend.

So, as I pulled into the gravel parking lot at 11:30 on a Friday morning, I felt like it was my first visit. A friend met me, and this was his first visit.

I thought 11:30 would beat the lunch rush. I was wrong. The line of people waiting to order was from the counter to the door — approximately 10 people. I was reminded of the Yogi Berra line: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

There were three people taking orders, so the line moved fairly quick. A nice lady took our order, gave us a number to put on our table, and said someone would bring us our drinks (Water and a sweet tea — my friend said his tea was not very sweet.)

The tables — I counted 35 seats in two dining rooms — are covered with red and white-squared tablecloths. I thought they gave the place something of a picnic feel, without having a picnic outside in the 100-degree heat.

Our drinks were served promptly. However, it was about 18 minutes until we received our appetizer. I ordered a Crab Cake ($13) to be shared. Unfortunately, I misread the menu, and thought it said Crab Cakes—plural. So, we had to share one crab cake, which came dripped in butter sauce and with arugula, red onions, and pickled okra on the side of the plate.

The crab cake was a nice-size, and fluffy with crab meat. However, my friend and I both agreed that the taste was bland. It really lacked any flavor at all.

It was only another couple of minutes before the entrees were brought to our table. That made ordering an appetizer — listed on the menu under “Starters  —pointless. The idea of an appetizer is to hold you over until the main course.

Unfortunately, both of our orders were wrong. I had asked for the Classic Burger ($11), which does not come with cheese unless you add it on for $1. I did not. However, when she arrived, the server said, “I have a cheeseburger.” She took back the cheeseburger and brought me the hamburger I ordered within 2-3 minutes.

It wasn’t until my friend took a bite of his food that he discovered it was not as ordered. He requested the grilled chicken sandwich ($12) with pickles and lettuce only. In addition to pickles and lettuce, his sandwich had tomato, onions, and what he thought was honey mustard.

For his side, my friend chose a garden salad. It consisted of lettuce, avocado, and onions (he held the tomatoes). To be a side, the salad was served in a fairly deep bowl. But my friend said the bowl was warm. As he pointed out, you don’t want cold food served in a warm bowl. Being an optimist, he said at least he knew the bowl had recently come out of the dishwasher.

I chose French Fries for my side. I was disappointed. They were cold and flat.

However, I was not disappointed in the burger. The patty was thick and had that “hamburger” taste.

But we both agreed the star of the show was the sourdough bun on which my burger and his sandwich were served. It was outstanding.

The wait staff was friendly. However, only once did someone ask if we needed anything, and that was early during our meal. I didn’t need a water refill then, but I needed one later. However, no one offered, and I spent the last 20 minutes with a dry mouth.

We passed on desert, of which individual cookies and slices of cakes and pies were on display. My friend pointed out that they did not look like they were made at the restaurant—the desserts were in plastic containers with labels, which reminded me of what you see in a hospital cafeteria.

We finished our meal at 12:30 — one hour after arrival. So, if you only have an hour for lunch, Gullo’s might be a stretch. And remember, we went at 11:30am.

The total for our meal was $54.71 excluding tax and tip. A bit pricey for lunch, though we did order an appetizer.

Based on my experience, Gullo’s gets three forks. I would go there again but would not go out of my way.

I would offer one specific suggestion to the owners. Please get a website. I like to look at a restaurant’s menu before I go, to get an idea of what the place has and what I might like. The best I could find was a Facebook page, which has several small menu icons. In 2023, there isn’t an excuse for every business —especially a restaurant — not to have a website.

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forks Three

1 Fork: Would rather eat a box of dirt
2 Forks: Will return, but only if someone else is buying
3 Forks: Will return and look forward to it
4 Forks: Will return and go out of my way to do so

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