A newcomer to the Southport brunch corridor, Lulu Belle’s Pancake House advertises "Downhome Southern with a modern twist," a concept they’ve Disneyfied: the interior is awash in primary colors, servers are clothed in country plaid, and the walls are covered with whimsical farmland murals and rusty tools. During a recent Saturday-morning brunch our food arrived within six minutes of ordering—convenient if you’re in a rush, but not exactly a harbinger of time-intensive down-home cooking. The special of the day, cheesy grits, lacked the creamy decadence of the real thing, with a thin layer of cheddar cheese plastered to the top of a bland, lumpy mass. Lulu-recommended hoecakes were dense corn flapjacks only softened (and flavored) by thick layers of butter and syrup, while mushy corned beef hash contained soft potatoes and thin, limp strips of corned beef seasoned by flecks of parsley. Lulu, if you’re reading this, please slow down, embrace true southern hospitality, and let your extensive menu deliver on its promise.
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