Sometimes you’re not on your game.
When I left Lupita’s No. 2 last week, I felt good about having just completed a thorough investigation of this charming South Side taqueria. Turns out, not really. Tacos were missed.
One whiff of the bat was the American taco, which, at Lupita’s No. 2, looks to be papa a la Mexicana covered in liquid cheese. This taco isn’t listed on the menu. Instead it’s handwritten on a sign at the register that I didn’t notice till it was too late.
Then there was the Tlaquepaque-style barbacoa tacos. I’m just noticing this item as I review the picture of the menu I took. Seems to be a plate of four barbacoa tacos covered in a brown salsa.
I must return to Lupita’s to try these tacos — the first seemingly a Lupita’s invention, the second seemingly an actual style found in Mexico. But don’t worry; this visit wasn’t a complete waste. New discoveries were made!
The albañil was foreign to me and is basically bean and chorizo with chile. So, a spicy bean and chorizo. I liked that this taco wasn’t messy, which can be the case with lower-quality chorizo. Instead, the beans and chorizo melded and held together well. And because we didn’t fully understand the waitress’ explanation of the albañil taco, we actually ordered a bean and chorizo on its own. Fail!
I was delighted to find the “patties & egg” taco. Usually, sausage and egg takes the form of pre-cooked sausage links you would throw on a grill. This sausage is of the Jimmy Dean breakfast variety you would normally shape into patties. The taste of this taco is about what you’d expect when combining breakfast sausage with egg. Not sure why more taquerias don’t serve this taco. This was ordered on a corn tortilla, which was good — soft with decent corn flavor.
The bean and bacon was watery, buttery, and overall slightly above average. The chilaquiles was another solid taco — not as cheesy, but with crispy chips and fresh diced onion and tomatoes in well-done scrambled egg. The “wini & egg” was your average weenie and egg; salty with good flavor, but definitely in need of the green sauce.
These were all very respectable tacos with about average tortillas. Some were on the crispy side and felt like they had been cooked with fat of some kind or cooked on the same greasy surface as some of the fillings. Depends on how you like your tortillas.
Lupita’s is one of those places I have a soft spot for, admittedly. Most of the menu is hand-painted on the facade. The side door to the kitchen is wide open so you can sneak and peak at the action as you walk around to the front. Off to the side is a walk-up window for to-go orders.
Inside, it’s like walking into a hobbit’s home. The ceiling is low. We sat in tiny one-seater booths along the window. They give you a menu, but half of the items are on the wall in picture form. For example, the Dragus plate (sounded very D&D) is a chalupa, a crispy taco, two enchiladas, rice, beans and tortillas.
But let’s not forget the American and Tlaquepaque-style barbacoa tacos. They will soon be had.
Lupita’s No. 2, 544 New Laredo Highway, (210) 921-1090
— Worth traveling across town for
— Average S.A. taqueria. Some hits, some misses
— Mostly misses
— Benjamin Olivo
What do you think? Is there a taco I should have ordered, but didn’t? Have any taco news, issues or concerns? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.