Eliu’s Hole in the Wall
Everyone has their favorite hole in the wall restaurant, where the service is friendly, the food is filling and flavorful, and the prices are affordable. And for hungry folks in the city of Lowell, that little hole in the wall is Eliu’s Hole in the Wall.
Located on Fletcher Street in Lowell, Eliu’s Hole in the Wall is a life-long dream come true for chef-owner Eliu Olmo. He opened this postage stamp sized spot about five years ago, serving the kind of Puerto Rican cuisine he grew up eating, with many recipes handed down by his mother.
Eliu Olmo – Owner, Eliu’s Hole in the Wall: “My mom was a big cook. And when I opened this I started adding my mother’s ideas that she used to make for us. And it was just a dream and I never thought I would be where I am today.”
Eliu’s wife also couldn’t foresee what would come to be here, because before it became the hole in the wall, this spot was little more than a neighborhood eyesore.
Eliu Olmo – Owner, Eliu’s Hole in the Wall: “It’s a long story, but to make it short, I was in the pool across the street with my wife and my kids enjoying the day, we saw the for sale sign. It looked a pretty abandoned building. So my wife called it a POS hole in the wall. And I loved it. It was like Oh, I like that. I like that. Keep giving me ideas. Like I like this. I’m gonna go talk to the people there. And I crossed the street got the phone number and called them and the rest is history.”
While the hole in the wall may be small, the flavors coming out of Eliu’s kitchen are anything but, especially when it comes to Tostones.
Eliu Olmo – Owner, Eliu’s Hole in the Wall: “Tostones are fried plantains. You deep fry ‘em, crispy on the outside, nice and chewy on the inside. And you dunk them into the mayoketchup sauce.”
And while they’re great on their own, Eliu has created an entire line up of Loaded Tostones, piled up with toppings like shredded chicken, sauteed veggies, and fresh seafood.
Eliu Olmo – Owner, Eliu’s Hole in the Wall: “My favorite is the Eliu’s Tostones. It has beef, melted taco cheese, and lettuce on top. It’s almost like a crispy burger. A crispy taco. A tostone taco or something, I don’t know, I just got creative. I did it. I ended up liking it, and I said put it on the menu right away.”
When it comes to customer favorites, the loaded Pork Tostone is the number one seller.
Eliu Olmo – Owner, Eliu’s Hole in the Wall: “My most popular is the pork tostones, that was my original. I only had one, and it was such a big hit I decided to keep adding more flavors and more flavors, which I’m not done. I still have a couple of tricks up my sleeves.”
Eliu also gets creative when it comes to Empanadas, with almost a dozen different kinds, all made by hand, ideal for a quick bite.
Eliu Olmo – Owner, Eliu’s Hole in the Wall: “So filling, so easy, in and out. Let’s go, I’m done. It’s a perfect snack.”
And while you can get classic fillings like chicken, beef, or pork, the one you really need to try is the Guava Empanada.
Eliu Olmo – Owner, Eliu’s Hole in the Wall: “My mom used to make them every Sunday night after church. She always used to tell us ‘blow in them before you eat them’, because they get really hot, they’ll burn your tongue. It’s a guava paste that we melt and we put them into empanadas. She didn’t put cheese in them. I decided to put the mozzarella cheese in it just to make it more of a little Italian twist to it. And it was delicious and we just kept going with that.”
That same great guava flavor can also be enjoyed tossed with some chicken wings and tenders.
Eliu Olmo – Owner, Eliu’s Hole in the Wall: “It’s the same thing, guava, we melted it. We added a little pineapple. And it was still like blah. So we ended up spicing it up and putting some hot sauce in it, and it just went on a life on his own. It’s amazing.”
The menu at Eliu’s Hole in the Wall offers up plenty of pizza and sub shop fare too, but much of it gets a Puerto Rican twist. Like the Tripleta Pizza with roasted pork, ham, steak, and Eliu’s special sauce, a half-pound Cheeseburger topped with a fried egg, bacon, and sweet plantains, and a Steak Bomb absolutely exploding with flavor.
Eliu Olmo – Owner, Eliu’s Hole in the Wall: “The steak bomb is one of my favorites. We stir fry the peppers, onions, mushrooms. Throw the steak on top. And then instead of putting it into sub roll, we use a Puerto Rican pan de agua, and we panini press it, that makes it so different from everyone else’s.”
Another dish that’s a bit different here, the Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Calzone.
Eliu Olmo – Owner, Eliu’s Hole in the Wall: “We do our Alfredo from scratch on the spot. It’s one of our personal favorites here in the shop. And it’s been a project because we have to cook it, it’s hot, it’s hard to put it on a dough to be able to fold it without melting. But we figured it out and people love it.”
In fact, customers seem to love everything about Eliu’s. And as much as customers love Eliu’s Hole in the Wall, Eliu loves serving his customers.
Eliu Olmo – Owner, Eliu’s Hole in the Wall: “Ever since I opened this place, honestly, I don’t feel like ‘oh my god is time to go to work.’ You know, I just feel like it’s time to go. It’s fun. Definitely fun. I love coming to work. I love being around my team. You’d be amazed at the production that comes out of here. Never in my life, in a million years, I would have thought it was gonna be this busy. But know for a fact that we will always do our best to keep you satisfied.”