Monday, July 31, 2006

Lupita's Tacos

Oh the taco. The ubiquitous folded grab bag of savory treasures and earthly delights made so much a part of the collective American table. Those readers partial to the Choco-Taco, the dessert of choice at Taco Bell® will forgive my limiting adjective, “savory,” in the prior sentence (please save the barrage of emails for other controversies). But, perhaps because the taco has been mainstreamed to the point where such a thing as the Choco-Taco exists, it can be very difficult to find a tasty authentic taco – especially in the Burbs and most especially in the Burbs in the Northeast.

Recently Cindy Price wrote a piece for The New York Times on “Chasing the Taco Up the California Coast.” It’s a great story. Price rips up the coastline finding outrageously sumptuous tacos filled with exotic cuts of meats and fresh herbs in tiny shacks and on trucks parked across Highway One with the mists of the Pacific adding flavor to authentic Mexican favorites. She even bumps into David Crosby who with twinkling eyes blesses his choice for the best tacos on this green Earth. Love that piece.

Price used a West Coast blogger to find these great spots (and she gives credit which is very nice and, friends, the “mainstream media” is a bit slow to recognize blogs (except, curiously, their own)). Now, both Price and her blogging sherpa (www.tacohunt.blogspot.com) did a great job and I’d like to be able to offer similar quality here, but let’s face it folks, finding great tacos in Westchester County, New York, well, it ain’t Cali.

Don’t despair – wait, don’t jump (to another site), no need for tacoxic shock, there are some great tacos to be had right round the Burbs. Deep in the back of a tiny storefront deli at the end of Mamaroneck Avenue there is kitchen that is making authentic Mexican tacos with warm corn and flour tortillas filled with plump fresh pork, chili marinated beef, chorizo, chicken or lamb and topped with crisp onion and fragrant chopped cilantro. At Lupita’s Deli, the carnitas (pork) tacos are loaded with soft juicy meat rich with a melting layer pork fat. The chorizo (Mexican sausage) is deeply spiced and kicks with just the right amount of heat. And a friendlier, more welcoming (and forgiving of the Spanish language-impaired) host and hostess you will not find.

Along with the tacos, a variety of burritos, tortas, enchiladas, huevos (eggs), soups and entrees (the pollo guisado – stewed chicken – was mild and tender) are served. On Sundays they have specials including baked lamb, beef tripe, seafood soup and consome de babacoa (lamb soup). Oh, and they also sell groceries including packaged Mexican herbs, canned iguana soup and cold mango and tamarind drinks.

As you stand outside Lupitas munching on your taco with steaming adobada (chili marinated beef), sip a refreshing mouthful of tamarind soda and smell the salt water spraying in from the nearby harbor then close your eyes and imagine yourself for a moment on the Pacific coast, feet in dry SoCal dirt and heat on your face. You will have achieved, if but for a moment, a true experience of taco. And that ain’t so bad for the Burbs.


Lupita's Deli
Mamaroneck Avenue (just off the Boston Post Road)
914-381-5003

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do you think about the other Meixcan joints that White Plains has to offer? Have you tried the ones around W Post Rd and S Lex Ave? Veracruz is pretty good spot for lunch in my opinion.

LIz Johnson said...

And what about New Ro? Do you get there often?

My favorite taqueria in the area is actually in Spring Valley, though: Guadalajara. Across from the International Food Mart.

WesFoodie said...

Liz,

Thanks for the tip on Guadalajara.

In New Rochelle, I've liked El Michoacano and the Little Mexican. Others swear by La Herradura - but I have yet to be won over.