LUCKY LUPITAS HAS NOW CLOSED.
date of visit: takeaway Saturday 10 March 2012, dine in Saturday 24 March 2012
Up front, I would like to say I have no idea about Mexican food. I have not been to Mexico and I have not been to the parts of the US that are famous for their Mexican food. I don’t think I’ve ever even read a Mexican cookbook.
Lucky Lupitas seemed to take ages to open. It’s in the small group of shops on South Road by Flinders Medical Centre. It’s been a pretty dull group of shops but things are changing – Maru, a Japanese and Korean restaurant opened last year, and it looks like a Greek restaurant is on its way too. This is something of a bonus for us, because it’s all nice and close to home. We spent ages watching Lucky Lupitas turn into a restaurant and we stalked its facebook page, willing it to hurry up and open.
And open it did. I think it’s only been open now a month or two and we were down there ordering takeaway before its menu appeared on its website (thankfully, that’s been rectified). Andy popped out a Saturday night to source the food. It was probably around 7pm and apparently the restaurant was packed, with people queuing out the door, so he ordered quickly and rushed home with the food.
Unfortunately, ordering quickly was something of a mistake, as we ended up with two entrées as the total sum of our meal! For takeaway food it was beautifully presented: my chicken and mushroom quesadilla was decorated with coriander garnish and wedge of lime and Andy’s smoked chicken empanadas came with all the requisite salsas. It also tasted very good – so much so that it was inhaled before there were any photo opportunities. And then we sat around looking a bit sad and feeling a bit hungry.
Of course, we now had a menu so we could look over it and imagine what might have been.
A baby free evening gave us a window to pop in to Lucky Lupitas and try a bit more food. Unfortunately, LL doesn’t take bookings – you just have to chance it. This is not something I’m a fan of but I can see how a booking system just wouldn’t work at Lucky Lupitas.
This is not a restaurant you go to for a long, relaxing meal. It’s noisy, it’s busy, it’s packed full of people, the kitchen is open. The idea is that you head in, eat your food, drink your beer and then you head out.
We arrived just after 6pm (which is when I thought Lucky Lupitas opened – but it actually opens at 5:30pm), and walked straight into a table for two. Which is lucky, because I don’t queue. Now, I was there to try the beef ribs (Adelaide’s first and only slow cooked smoked beef ribs, apparently) so imagine my disappointment when the beef ribs (supplied by Feast Fine Foods) were already sold out! I decided to try the chicken empanadas and revisit the quesadilla. Andy, not being difficult, started with a taco and followed that with a hamburger and chips.
Order placed, beer in hand, I was pleased when our waiter came back and said that the next batch of ribs would be ready for me to have them as a main course. Hooray! Ribs with chimmichurri sauce for me!
Again, the entrées were beautifully presented and still tasted just as good. Our main courses arrived – and let me tell you, beef ribs are quite large. I never really think about how big a cow is but actually, they are quite big and their ribs are quite big. As in, pretty close to the size of my forearm*. Two monster ribs sat in front of me, smothered in chimmichurri sauce, nestled on a bed of rice with a bit of fresh, crunchy slaw on the side.
Before I even started I knew I was defeated. So I ate my way through the larger of the two ribs and then made Andy eat the other. Smoky, tender, tons of flavour.
Andy’s burger and chips looked pretty good (I was so full there was no way I was going to even ask for a bite) – in my opinion the burgers are really sensibly sized. They’re not your typical massive pub burger, laden with 100 toppings, one of which is a suspect meat patty. You will need to order the chips to go with it. But don’t worry as you won’t leave hungry.
So – the food at Lucky Lupitas is awesome. It is, however, a restaurant you need to go to with the right mind set (for example, I would never take my dad there – no matter how much he’d love those ribs he’d never queue and the noise and hustle and bustle would drive him insane). I’d also not recommend taking any really little people there – there’s no room for high chairs and there’s certainly no room for children to run amok. But as Lucky Lupitas offers take away (and there is even talk of a delivery service) you can just ring up and eat your ribs/tacos/quesadillas in the comfort of your own home.
And if you are eating in – GET THERE EARLY.
* I am not a very big person, admittedly.