Nestled in quaint the Old City neighborhood of Queen Village, Lucky’s Last Chance is not your run of the mill burger joint. Oozing with scrappy spunk, the restaurant gives the classic retro diner a fresh, modern twist. Manager Tim Spreng describes the spot as a “punk rock burger bar.” Replete with a collage of old rock posters, colorful vintage signs, and a killer music playlist consisting of rock ‘n’ roll favorites like The Clash and Blink–182, the bar more than lives up to this description.
Lucky’s Last Chance serves modern American comfort food— burgers, mac n’ cheese, and biscuits and gravy to name a few of their staples. If you’re over 21, though, be sure to stop in for a beer, since Lucky’s Last Chance has a wide selection of unique crafts. If you’re not up to speed on your beer knowledge, though, not to worry. Their bartenders know the ins and outs of their beer list, and are quick to engage and chat with the customers. A standout was the Platform City Boy, a light, fruity, IPA.
Though the joint’s exterior is underwhelming, their food is anything but. Walking the line between progressive and classic, Lucky’s Last Chance reinvents a foray of timeless American dishes. If you’re looking for a good burger, Lucky’s Last Chance is a solid option. If you’re looking for a new, unique, artisan burger, Lucky’s Last Chance is the option.
I stopped in for a late brunch, and reviewed some of the restaurant’s best–selling brunch and lunch items. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Though it’s a bit of a hike from campus, the food was definitely worth the trip.
I first tried the PB&J burger, which is the crown jewel of Lucky’s Last Chance’s burger menu. Notably, it won the 2016 Philadelphia Burger Brawl People’s Choice award. This dish is the love child of the two most quintessential American favorites: the PB&J and the cheeseburger. Not for the faint of heart, this burger is a bold, exciting, and unexpected callback to childhood. Though the combination of peanut butter, jelly, and a burger might give you pause, the burger functioned surprisingly well as a unit. The creaminess of the peanut butter paired well with the sweet crunch of bacon and the softness of the patty. The jam tied the burger together: cool and fruity, it interacted not only with the savoriness of the American cheese, but gave the overall sandwich a fresh feel. Whimsical and nostalgic, this burger is definitely worth a try for the adventurous eater.
Next came The One–Eyed Sailor, which is a unique take on the classic “egg in the hole” breakfast, but packed with flavor. An over–easy egg (cooked firm around the edges, but gooey in the center) is nestled into a bed of Texas Toast, accompanied by a side of crispy bacon. The whole creation is topped by the restaurant’s very own cheese sauce, which brought this dish to a new level. Smooth and creamy, the sauce held together well, which is difficult for most cheese–based sauces. Its soft, liquid texture contrasted nicely with the crunch of the crispy Texas Toast, and gave the dish a wide textural range. Spicy yet savory, the cheese sauce packed an intense and flavorful punch, making it my top pick.
I then tried the biscuit and gravy, which is the safest item on the menu. Chunky sausage gravy made in–house is drizzled over a fluffy biscuit, baked right down the street at The Hungry Pigeon. A little different from a smooth, traditional gravy, Lucky’s Last Chance’s gravy is rich, and packed with loose chunks of sausage. Overall, the dish was perfectly acceptable, though was easily outshone by the more glamorous options on the menu.
Switching gears from savory to sweet, I sampled the Bananas Foster French Toast, which is a rich and indulgent take on the classic brunch staple. Dense challah bread is battered in crispy cinnamon and topped with caramelized bananas. The whole creation is garnished with fluffy Grand Marnier–infused whipped cream, giving the french toast a smoky, bourbon–y flavor. The dish covers all its bases, and is layered with undertones of maple, brown sugar, and vanilla. Decadent, sweet, and filling, the french toast will satisfy any sweet tooth.
TL;DR: “Punk rock” burgers and beer at their finest
Location: 848 S. 2nd Street
Mon–Sun 11:00 am.–2:00 a.m.