Friday, March 15, 2013

Tacos Lupita (Lynn, MA)

Tacos Combo platter
On occasion, in the course of doing my job, I am required to attend trainings, and since I actually tend to enjoy these breaks from normal work (and the overtime pay that accompanies them) I volunteer to take many of them, oftentimes in places that I wouldn't ordinarily go.  On Wednesday, I did just that, going to Lynn, MA, where I have never been and thus knew nothing about the local food scene.  Taking advantage of a widespread membership of an unrelated forum I am a member of, I solicited suggestions, and ended up at the fantastic, authentic, Tacos Lupita at 129 Munroe St.  A short walk from my training, I, of course, made it longer by taking a wrong turn, walking about a mile the wrong way, and then walking back when my backup plan (formulated when I realized I had gone the wrong way), The Earl of Sandwich, turned out to be closed.  I am so glad it was.  No matter how good the sandwiches there are (or were; it may only have been closed because I was there at about 11:20am, but it did look closed for good), they could not have compared to Tacos Lupita.

A little hole in the wall at the corner of Washington St and Munroe St, Tacos Lupita was already starting to fill up when I arrived around 11:45, and is clearly a very, very popular lunch joint.  Offering a variety of Central American foods (Mexican and Salvadoran) from pupusas to tacos to the USA pleasing burritos, this is a great option if you are in or around Lynn.  In fact, I would brave the absolute crime ridden crap hole that is most of Lynn (sorry, but it's true) just to eat these tacos. 

I ordered the taco combo meal, which offers three tacos and a side of rice and beans.  I went with each of the three main meat options (pollo/chicken, al pastor/roast pork, and carne de res/beef), and they were each fantastic.  Served with a large wedge of lime and a cup of salsa verde, these rivaled the tacos I ate in my trip to Mexico as a kid, and the rice and beans were legitimately addictive.  I started with the chicken, which was delicious, a strong flavor as if grilled over charcoal instead of simply done on a flattop, and the slightly spicy salsa verde played nicely with the fresh salsa in the taco and the acid of the lime juice I squeezed over it.  The pork, crispy and delicious, was even better, still juicy, and it also benefitted nicely from the acidic lime juice.  Lastly, the beef taco, which like the the chicken was small chunks of flattop grilled meat, was really great, with just the right amount of crust on the meat, but also managing to remain juicy, just like the pork.  Accompanying these were the aforementioned rice and beans, which were a lot different from the standard you would find in a Tex-Mex restaurant.  The beans were slightly citrusy tasting, soft but not entirely falling apart, and the rice had just a hint of saffron flavor that drove me to eat every last bite of it even when my stomach was screaming for me to just stop shoveling food into my mouth.  For a drink, I had an horchata, a traditional Salvadoran (and Spanish, Guatemalan, Mexican, etc etc etc) drink made from, in the Salvadoran case, morro seeds.  I'm not sure if this was actually morro or rice, but it was a little different than I've ever had it before (always made with rice); it was good, but not my favorite that I've had.  That said, I'm not a big fan of most aguas frescas, so this was my best option if I didn't want a Coke or other soft drink.

All in all, this was a really great lunch, which totaled $10.70 after tax, and I was beyond stuffed; by the time I ate dinner at a little after 8:00pm, I only just starting to get very hungry again.  I think vegetarians would be fine here, but I can't guarantee that as I wasn't paying that much attention to the other options on the board.


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