LUPE TORTILLA TARGETS DALLAS FOR BIG EXPANSION
Updated: Jun 27, 2019
by Andrew Chalk
There is a new Tex-Mex chain in town. No, wait, don’t switch off because you have heard this so many times before. This one is one of the best around at what they do. Lupe Tortilla first opened in Addicks, TX in 1983. Thirty six years and nearly 20 locations later, having conquered Houston, San Antonio, and Austin they are headed to Dallas. By the time you read this the first location will have opened in Las Colinas with sites to follow in Addison and other parts of the metroplex.
The management are brothers Judson and Peter Holt who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and took over their father’s original site to build the chain. They bring a friendly, welcoming demeanor to each restaurant backed up by an efficient food delivery process.The decor is the predictable pseudo hacienda and primary colors. Each restaurant has a scratch kitchen. Salsas and flour and corn tortillas are made in-house. Guacamole is even made table-side. They try to source higher quality ingredients than the competition, visiting suppliers regularly. The kitchen at the Las Colinas location has a large glass window on one side so you can even see the preparation process in action!
We went to a media event in preview week so things were still being smoothed out (staff told us they came in every day for training, starting with videos). We had a set menu but I managed to take a look at the full menu and was part impressed and part surprised by its size. Items are arranged in the usual categories with 10+ appetizers, 7 carne asadas, 9 grilled ‘especiales’, a dozen seafood items, a page of tacos, enchiladas, flautas, and burritos and the list goes on. The upside is that there is something for everyone, the downside is that the kitchen has to be on tip-top form to deliver.
The summary is that Lupe Tortilla may be the go-to place for Tex-Mex when it opens in your neighborhood. Me, I’m certainly going back.
We started with a flight of three margaritas from the bar: Original, Top Shelf, and Mango. I sipped on these while waitress Anna made guacamole table-side. The addition of jalapeño adds an interesting kick.
Next up, fajitas featuring spicy chipotle smoked ribs that would put many barbecue establishments to shame. In the picture are lime-pepper marinated skirt steak and chicken fajitas, spicy chipotle smoked ribs and bacon-wrapped pepper shrimp, roasted red pepper butter and flour and corn tortillas.
Last, but not least, dessert. Here are tres leches cake and flan.