Bar Abilene Southwestern Juicy Lucy Review

I had a chance to check out the Southwestern Juicy Lucy at Bar Abilene over the weekend.

As I mentioned before, Carly discovered this gem while reviewing the menu. It took a few days to get over there, but we made a point of checking it out.

We started the night with some tableside guacamole, which never disappoints at Bar Abilene. The $5 Tecate cans and $6 Pacifico bottles went down well before we realized how much we were paying for what is otherwise normally Mexican beer. No beer prices on the menu should have been a sign.

Here’s a refresher on the lucy description:

southwestern juicy lucy hand pattied with rajas and cheese topped with jack and cheddar cheese

Here’s a shot of the presentation:

Bar Abilene's Southwestern Juicy Lucy

My first thought: what’s with all the fixins? I don’t need a tomato on a Jucy Lucy. I’m looking for meat and cheese with possibly some onions on top.

I’m not sure why they think it needs a layer on cheese on top to supplement the internal cheese but I’m never going to turn down cheese, so that’s a non-issue in my book.

Here’s a side shot once I had a chance to dig into it a bit. The burger seemed a bit pinker than I’d like for a lucy, but my bigger concern was the massive amount of non-beef or cheese items between the buns:

Bar Abilene's Southwestern Juicy Lucy

Here’s a closer look at all of the onions, lettuce, and tomatoes getting in the way:

Bar Abilene's Southwestern Juicy Lucy

While I applaud any restaurant that takes a shot at a Jucy Lucy, I think Bar Abilene’s biggest issue is that they’re trying too hard. They’re trying to make they burger match the restaurant rather than letter the burger be what it’s meant to be. Skip the fixins and stick with a burger with cheese inside with raw or fried options upon request. It’s less work for the restaurant and will deliver exactly what a Jucy Lucy connoisseur has come to expect.

If you’ve never had a Jucy Lucy before, do not make this your first stop. If you’re trying to stamp your passport at every location serving a Lucy, be sure to grab a drink somewhere else before you go.

6 thoughts on “Bar Abilene Southwestern Juicy Lucy Review”

  1. I visited Bar Abilene on my tour tonight. Another group of friends warned me that the Lucys they had were “overcooked until there was no cheese inside”, and they sent them back. Maybe it was because they were new to making them?

    Well, I went tonight and had 6 Lucys around the table, and not one had *any* cheese on the inside, just peppers. We asked the waiter, and he claimed they were made with cheese in the middle. Your picture shows a bubble of cheese, which ours had non of. And at $11, it’s far pricier than the competition. I agree, avoid this.

    BTW, if you just think of this as a burger and a not a lucy, it was ok, though overpriced.

  2. I was at Bar Ab around late November 2008. Inquired about the Juicy Lucy. The waiter said that there is actually no cheese on the inside. Misleading…

  3. I completely agree and said a lot of these same thing to my friend and trusty Lucy-tasting sidekick. While I appreciate any unique spin on the Lucy (the Blue Door Pub NAILS this with their unique offerings), the inherent juicy part is the cheese in the middle, and the lack of toppings- letting the meat and cheese and [optional] onions shine. Totally agree. And thanks for the mention earlier! Your website serves as our trusty resource for the Lucy Tour 🙂

  4. Wow! I am so thrilled to see all of the comments! Now, what I’m about to say is going to surprise you given the fact that I’m the GM. I took over in July and (unfortunately) my general exposure to the Juicy Lucy is limited–I didn’t know what the “rules” were. Even after 25 years in the business, this is my first experience with the Lucy. Who’s interested in helping me change ours to make it the BEST! Yes, I want your input!!! Email me directly at and let’s chat!

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