Looking for take-out to hit up movie night in
The woman behind the counter never put down the cell phone while taking our order. She then walked outside to sit on a street-side table and continued her conversation. We sat, waited, waited, and then waited some more. Where’s our food? There were only two occupied tables inside and one occupied table outside. Not a busy night.
Another customer came in to order from the counter and waited, looking around for help for a few minutes. The woman on the cell phone finally decided to enter the building to take her order. Seeing a bag on the back counter, we approached the counter to ask if it was our food. Yep. The kitchen produced food in a timely manner, but the woman was outside on the cell phone, and the kitchen and wait staff apparently doesn’t cover when the counter help is out. We missed the first part of the movie.
I ordered the Quesadilla Texana, a folded flour tortilla with cheese, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. As far as quesadillas go, this quesadilla was fine, but standard. I’m at a taqueria, so not expecting fancy twists and turns. The dish fit the bill.
I also ordered Ensalada de Nopales, thinking that a little cactus and greens would balance out the cheese of the quesadilla. I wasn’t expecting a “big salad,” but that’s what the salad was – big. The cactus was succulent and tangy, but the huge bed of iceberg lettuce underneath was overwhelming, as were the half-inch to inch-thick, roughly cut cucumbers and radishes, and half dozen wedges of lime tucked into the bed of lettuce. The cucumbers and radish were too large to be enjoyed on a fork, and who wants an inch of radish anyway? (I wish I had turned that radish over for the photo. It was obscene.) The lime rinds imparted a bitter taste to the lettuce. I ate the cactus and tossed the rest.
My partner ordered Enchiladas Suizas, three rolled tortillas stuffed with melted mozzarella cheese, and covered with suiza sauce. I would describe this dish as cheese stuffed tortillas drowned in cheese soup – cheese overload. When you don’t eat meat, many times your only option is cheese. Cheese is a great thing, but in large quantities makes you feel heavy and gross, and that's just how we felt from our meal that evening – and into the next day.
The enchiladas came with rice and beans. I stuck my fork into both, but only ate a bite each, as real Mexican restaurants almost always use lard in the beans and meat stock in the rice. Does La Lupe? I don’t know. I wasn’t expecting the side of beans and rice, and didn’t realize they were included until we got home, so didn’t ask. I do know that the beans had burned bits of beans, and the rice was standard fare.
Meat eaters may fare better at La Lupe, and taquerias in general, but we were cheesed out and left feeling gross after our takeout experience. Probably should have ordered the vegetable burrito, but the service that night was just too poor and the food unimpressive to go back and give La Lupe another try.
La Lupe, 1201 S. 9th St., Philadelphia, PA