Mary Lou’s: The diner that Gen-Z ordered

Located at Commons, DLF Avenue — the hippest foodie hangout in town right now — Mary Lou’s reinterprets diner classics for a younger crowd.
Mary lou's has quirky interiors.
Mary Lou’s has quirky interiors.

It’s a promising concept, paying homage to the legacy of comfort food through an innovative and nostalgic interpretation of diner classics. Think comfort, but with a twist — just what Instagram ordered. Mary Lou’s could not have chosen a better location for its outing, the Commons at DLF Avenue, the hottest new dining spot in town, which can easily give DLF CyberHub in Gurugram a run for its money (it’s another matter that both venues are from the same forward-looking folks). After all, food courts are passé — food ‘destination’ is the new game in town.

Lou lou yuzu is a refreshing mocktail at mary lou's.
Lou Lou Yuzu is a refreshing mocktail at Mary Lou’s.

The classic American diner may remind you of greasy sausages and bacon dripping with fat, limp fries soaking in oil and wilted lettuce, and overly sugary drinks to wash it all down, but this contemporary avatar could not be more different. “Hi, my name is Mary Lou./It’s time to feed you…” says the clipboard menu on its cover. As I flip through the pages, all I encounter are healthy salads, burrata (everyone’s current favourite), quinoa bowls, carrot hummus, and a string of other enticing yet healthy options. Of course, there’s the inevitable avocado on toast on the menu. Thankfully, this is not just a health food café. Look beyond the plant-based sausages and you will find what you’re looking for—calamari rings, grilled chorizo, juicy meat burgers, fish and chips, curry meal bowls, flat breads and pastas.

The mac 'n' truffle croquette (left); and the rock shrimp tempura at mary lou's.
The Mac ‘N’ Truffle Croquette (left); and the Rock Shrimp Tempura at Mary Lou’s.

To drink, I ordered the Lou Lou Yuzu, a mocktail that incorporates yuzu puree, lime juice, mint and soda. Think Virgin Mojito, but different. It was refreshing.

The truffle parmesan fries at mary lou's are a flavour bomb.
The Truffle Parmesan Fries at Mary Lou’s are a flavour bomb.

I picked a few things from the appetiser menu. The first to arrive was Mac ‘N’ Truffle Croquette. Macaroni and cheese in a croquette, served with truffle jalapeno mayo. What’s not to like in a carb bomb? Next came the Rock Shrimp Tempura. And it rocked. And then, you guessed it, the Avo-Love Toast, with slices of the sourdough toast served on the side (Mary Lou’s breads are excellent). It was competent. Although it’s a side dish, I also ordered the Truffle Parmesan Fries, the aroma of the truffle oil contrasting beautifully with the sharpness of the shredded Parmesan. This one’s a winner.

Mary lou's avo-love toast is love at first sight.
Mary Lou’s Avo-Love Toast is love at first sight.

Although I was stuffed by then, I plodded on towards the mains. I ordered two: the Grilled Seabass, which came on a bed of pearl barley in a mascarpone sauce; and the Pork Burger, which arrived in a deconstructed form. Once I’d put the bun on, I noticed the Mary Lou’s logo had been toasted on to it. Cool touch. Carnivores will love the burgers at Mary Lou’s—they’re juicy and generous on the meat (my burger was made with imported Belgian pork), the bun is a rich brioche, and the whole thing is served with a gooey cheese sauce and apple and celery slaw.

The pork burger at mary lou's is a lavish affair.
The Pork Burger at Mary Lou’s is a lavish affair.

But Mary Lou’s truly spells comfort when it comes to its desserts, so I had to force myself out of my food coma for the last course. Yes, yes, I ordered two. (Don’t worry, readers, I’ve got your back.) If you don;’t come to Mary Lou’s for anything else, just come for the Vanilla Milk Cake. This soft and moist vanilla-infused tres leches cake comes garnished with gold foil. It’ll make you feel like a million bucks. And it tastes divine. I also had Mary’s Cheesecake, which is the classic Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cake, here topped with Callebaut chocolate. It was acceptable but overshadowed by the tres leches, which has to be one of the best in the city.

Grilled seabass at mary lou's comes on a bed of pearl barley.
Grilled Seabass at Mary Lou’s comes on a bed of pearl barley.

Mary Lou’s is the sort of place you come to when you’re in the mood for some comfort food —nothing too surprising, but with deft little chef’s touches which make the quotidian dishes stand out from the competition. This modern-day diner could give Varun Tuli’s Tbsp, which is right across, some serious competition. Mary Lou’s comes from Strawberry Moon Hospitality, parent entity of restaurants Tera Vita, Kiko-Bā and Dadel, so the lineage is good. But only time will tell. Meanwhile, can I have some more of those truffle fries, please?

The tres leches cake at mary lou's is a must try.
The tres leches cake at Mary Lou’s is a must try.

Mary Lou’s, Commons DLF Avenue, Shop no. 149, New Delhi, Delhi 110017,

Overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Max: 5 stars)
1-10 for the following:
Food: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Interiors/Décor: 7/10
Vibe: 6/10
One dish we loved: Pork Burger

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