The newest restaurant to hit East Front Street is now serving up delicious carnival style goodness to Trenton residents. Lucky’s Lunchbox, the second branch of the original Clark, NJ location, has found a second home in the heart of the capital city.
The tattoo-loving co-owners Damian Walsh and Natalie Deo, who also co-own Tattoo Asylum in Edison, NJ and Tattoo Asylum II in Lawrence, NJ, decided it was time to open up another shop, this time, focused on another passion of theirs – food.
And Lucky’s Lunchbox is not serving just any food – they’re serving large portions of mouthwatering, indulgent food reminiscent of a classic state fair or carnival. Except now, you don’t have to go out of your way to find a food truck. All your cravings can be met locally at Lucky’s Lunchbox.
“Basically, we wanted to do gourmet burgers, hotdogs and kind of take carnival food and make it gourmet. That’s why you see fried pickles, corn dogs, cheese burger potato skins and all that kind of stuff,” said Deo. “It’s really just all kinds of foods that we really like to eat – just crazy kinds of food for when you’re in the mood…and you want something different.”
According to Deo, her and her husband first had the idea for the original Lucky’s over two years ago when eating at a favorite restaurant of theirs, Black Cat. There, the restaurant had similar grub and magical milkshakes that the couple enjoyed. While eating, Walsh came to a conclusion. “We were eating there, and he’s just looking around and he looks at me and he goes, ‘you know, we could so do something like this in our area,’ and I was like, ‘yeah!'” said Deo. “So, we kind of took what their idea was, and we made it into our own.”
That visit sparked the duo to begin diving into their own ideas about what types of foods they would like to see on a dream menu. Together, the couple created a personalized menu consisting of delectable foods fit to fulfill any food craving.
“Originally, it was all based on things that we ate ourselves,” said Deo. “Anything on our menu to the barbecue burger, or the mushroom burger, or even the hot dogs like the Tex Mex dogs, or the southern dogs – these were things that we just came up with, things that we like to eat on our burgers and hotdogs or our chicken sandwiches.”
She continued, “We were trying to think of things that we enjoy eating that we think others would like to eat, and that was how we came up with it.”
The owners of Lucky’s Lunchbox take pride in their “gourmet fast-food.” From their savory deep-fried hotdogs and their homemade batter for deep-frying pickles, to their carefully prepared fried chicken and their massive appetizers, which they call “shares”, Lucky’s Lunchbox aims to serve up the greasy food you crave, with the quality you deserve.
Deo said, “Everything’s made fresh, and that’s what I think makes us stand out from a lot of other places.”
After opening their Trenton location on March 15, just in time for St. Patrick’s day, Lucky’s Lunchbox has kept a steady lunch crowd. In fact, after only a month in, the restaurant has been “lucky” enough to see some regular customers.
“One of the things about being in this business that makes the job so much easier are your regulars, and that you get to know them and you get to know their lives, and you get to know what they like to eat and drink. That makes a huge benefit to a busy, hectic day of running around on your feet – that you get to see your regulars and you get to interact with them,” said Deo. “So, I think it’s awesome that the city of Trenton has embraced us and we’ve already have regulars that come in.”
As Lucky’s Lunchbox continues to build a presence in the Trenton community at 13 E Front Street, they hope to expand their hours. Currently, the restaurant is open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on weekdays and closed for the weekends. However, as the city begins to open further with more COVID-19 vaccinations rolling out, Lucky’s Lunchbox plans to open longer and expand their milkshake menu, to give all of Trenton a chance to taste their carnival style creations.
“I like to hear that this is a community that supports each other because, especially in times like these, during the pandemic, it helps,” said Deo. “We want everybody to thrive and we want everybody to get back out there and be able to experience normalcy again, and whether that means getting a shake or eating your favorite burger or fried chicken sandwich, we hope that the city embraces that.”