date of extravaganza: Saturday 16 Feb 2013
I’ve written about Lucky Lupitas before. It’s the tiny Mexican restaurant which sits next to Flinders Medical Centre. It takes no reservations and, on a Saturday, you can expect to start queuing for a table at 5pm (doors open at 5:30pm).
With one toddler, queuing doesn’t really work and while we’ve eaten in just the once, we’ve had take away a few times. That’s because we’re lucky and live nearby. However, we have friends, many of whom also have toddlers, who don’t live so close … so about a year ago (I kid you not!) we hatched the plan for a Lucky Lupitas extravaganza.
The guys at Lucky Lupitas were happy to help out: we could place our order a week in advance and collect before queuing started. This worked perfectly for us, because toddlers eat their dinner early!
As always, the tricky part was not ordering the food but corralling the troops. As soon as you get numbers, work out an order and a per head price, someone always has a change of heart. So there was a bit of last minute stuffing around with the order and I’d really like to thank Lucky Lupitas for bearing with me on that one.
And then the day arrived!
It was a (very) hot day so the lads had to use their muscles to shift the outdoor furniture under the tree (our patio has an old Alsynite roof and, while it’s great for keeping the rain off, my goodness it can’t half get hot and sticky under there in summer!). To maximise the amount of protein in our order (read – beef ribs) everyone brought along something to share, so we had plenty of salads, extra rice, corn chips, salsa and guacamole. One friend, who is Argentinian, brought along Brazilian pão de queijo (cheese bread) to share too. A couple of us headed off to collect the order while those left at home rustled up cutlery and paper plates. When we came back everything was spread over the table and everyone dived in. Our order was mostly Lucky Lupitas famous slow cooked smoked beef ribs (they are amazing – the meat just falls off the bone and they are huge), along with quesadillas, tacos and empanadas. Lucky Lupitas threw in a pile of their own corn chips (apparently excellent but I missed out on those somehow!). Quite a few sides came along with our order so there was extra rice, coleslaw, guacamole and salsa! Everyone raved about the ribs and given the hot day and the extras everyone brought along we probably could have just eaten ribs alone. However, I really like Lucky Lupitas quesadillas and the beef tacos were excellent, with a good spicy hit.
Naturally, we had way too much food but it did mean that everyone who wanted to got leftovers to take home and we still had some very generous leftovers in our fridge!
While the food at Lucky Lupitas is fantastic, this experience is also a lesson in customer service. There is no way that twelve adults and five children could have rocked up to Lucky Lupitas expecting to be fed. If you’ve been there, you’ll be able to imagine what kind of chaos would ensue! But thanks to the team’s flexibility (and hard work) we were able to have a fantastic, and very kid friendly, early dinner.