Lupita's doesn't measure up | Eat Arkansas

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lupita's doesn't measure up

Posted By on Sat, Aug 3, 2013 at 2:05 PM

image

Of all the various cuisines that are available in Little Rock, my wife loves Mexican the most. Our most recent experience with Mexican was less than stellar, so I felt like I owed it to her to try again and see if we could find a Mexican joint that would fulfill her cravings. To that end, we headed up Cantrell Road to Lupita's, a small, blink-and-you-miss-it Mexican joint that seemed at first glance to be just the sort of place we were looking for. After eating there, all I can say is...I'm sorry, Jess, better luck next time.

A meal at Lupita's starts with a basket of chips and three separate dips: a smoky chipotle salsa that we found thin but passable, a habanero salsa dotted with avocado and cilantro that was quite nice, and a bowl of the thinnest, most tasteless queso into which I've ever dipped a chip. It's perhaps unfair to complain about something that comes to the table at no charge, but I promise that a six year old could make better queso with a jar of Cheez Whiz and a microwave.

The menu is divided into two sections, a "traditional" Mexican section and an "American" section. From the Mexican half, we ordered a chicken chimichanga (a dish more of the American Southwest than anywhere) and a hard shell taco (again, not all that authentic). From the American side, we went for the most American food of all: a foot long hot dog covered in chili, cheese, onions, mustard, slaw and jalapenos. My hope was that the mixed menu would be so good that I'd have a place to grab a burger or BLT when the wife wanted chalupas — and we could both be happy. No such luck.

The chimichanga was attractive in appearance, with a crisp, golden brown exterior covered with a cheese sauce that was world's better than the thin stuff we started with. On the inside, however, things fell apart, with wads of spongy, pre-cooked chicken swimming in a tasteless mix of beans and onions. Flavors were muted, uninspired, and completely limp. The hard taco was much the same, with some flaccid ground beef sitting listlessly in a stale, oily shell with only a smattering of iceberg lettuce and some pre-shredded cheese as companions. In a town where slow-cooked tacos al pastor and cabeza are available for around a buck, charging three dollars for this sub-Taco Bell taco was an insult.

The foot long turned out to be the highlight of the meal, although it didn't have to try very hard to do so. A couple of well-grilled dogs were nestled on a toasted bun and then piled high with chili, slaw, peppers, and onions. The dogs were tasty, and the chili was pleasantly spiced — a nice change from the bland food we had otherwise. The dish can't quit be considered a success, though, since the piles of coleslaw layered on top overwhelmed everything else, making the bun a soggy, inedible mess before we were more than four bites in.

With the multitude of great Mexican options across the city, I don't really see how a place like Lupita's can open up with such apathetic food, nor do I see a reason why the Mexican-craving masses should waste their time and money here. Cheaper and tastier options are available, whether it's authentic cuisine you're looking for or something more like Tex-Mex. Lupita's was a disappointment, which makes me 0-2 for Mexican of late.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Michael Roberts

Readers also liked…

  • A sneak preview of Fourquarter Bar in Argenta

    A look at Fourquarter Bar in Argenta, brought to you by the folks behind Midtown Billiards. Beer, barbecue and killer cocktails abound!
    • Feb 23, 2016
  • Coming Monday: Little Rock Black Restaurant Week

    MoTown Monday is Ceci's Chicken and Waffles. Tasty Tuesday is Sims BBQ and Brewster's Soul Food Cafe. Wing Wednesday is Chicken King and Chicken Wangs. Soul Food Thursday is Lindsey's BBQ and Hospitality House and Food Truck Festival Friday is @station801. It's the first Black Restaurant Week.
    • Mar 8, 2017

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Blogroll

Slideshows

  • Arkansas Times' photographer Brian Chilson was at Midtown today to check on progress being made towards their grand opening scheduled for July 7.
    [content-1]The owner, Maggie Hinson, will be handing out markers so patrons can "mark their territory" on the walls of the new location.
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation