Last month when I was visiting Denio's Farmer's Market, a Roseville institution, I noticed that nearby Maron's Restaurant was shuttered and closed. Such a shame to lose such a great Mexican restaurant! However, like a phoenix rises from the ashes, a new restaurant has taken it's place... LaLupita Mexican Food. Let me tell you... this new restaurant is even better than Maron's!
As with all restaurant reviews I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: It's a little before 10 in the morning, Sunday, April 28, 2019, and I've arrived at LaLupita Mexican Food to enjoy a delicious breakfast before visiting Denio's Farmer's Market. As of this writing, LaLupita is the newest restaurant in Roseville, as it opened just the previous weekend. Since the restaurant is so new, there is no permanent sign, and only a banner announcing the name of the restaurant.
LaLupita is located on Atkinson Street, on the grounds of the long-defunct Joseph's Auction Yard, in a building that is a little worse for wear on the outside. If this building looks familiar, you may recall until recently, it was Maron's Restaurant, which I visited back in January, 2012 and published an article of my dining experience on this web site.
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, you'll be greeted with the counter, along with a white board that has the limited menu. You place your order at the counter, but like a sit-down restaurant, you sit down, and when ready, your order is brought to you, and you pay at the end of your meal. LaLupita seems to be very proud of their refried beans, as there is a sign at the counter, with a cartoon bean character, promoting the delicious refried beans the restaurant serves. The word "beans" is also part of their email address!
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, you're greeted with a white board, which serves as the menu. The restaurant doesn't have a printed menu. I asked a staff member, and I was told they plan to occasionally change the menu selections, so it's easy to make changes on a white board. This is definitely "old school," but it makes sense and it works for me.
Photo: There are actually two dining rooms, separated by the order counter, and the kitchen behind the counter. The dining rooms are spacious, clean, sparsely decorated, but recently painted. By the looks of the dining room, I'd almost think I was in Mexico.
Photo: After placing my order of "Orden de Birria," I sat down at a booth to wait for my meal to arrive, and watch the staff in action. Co-owner of the restaurant, Sylvia, takes a closer look at the menu, in a "low tech" form of quality control.
I might add that LaLupita Mexican Food is owned by Sylvia and her husband, who operate the restaurant, along with their son and daughter. Truly a unique, "mom and pop" restaurant, which is the kind I prefer...
Photo: After placing my order, I took a peek into the kitchen and saw the staff at work, preparing my meal. The daughter is the main cook, and that's a pot of menudo warming on the stove.
Photo: Meet Sylvia, co-owner of LaLupita, and my friendly server. Sylvia is a really nice person, and treated me like family. I didn't have a chance to chat with the daughter, as she was busy in the kitchen, but this husband, son, along with Sylvia, were very welcoming and friendly.
Photo: I grin, as Sylvia snaps my photo, as I know that I'm in for a treat! On this mid-Sunday morning, the restaurant was very lightly seated, but a couple hours later I took a look inside and noticed both dining rooms were pleasantly full. LaLupita is a welcome addition to the Roseville dining scene.
Photo: My "Orden de Birria," which included rice, beans and a stack of toasted corn tortillas. The Modelo beer was optional, naturally.
The birria was absolutely amazing, as it was juicy, tender and flavorful, without being spicy. In fact, this is probably the best birria that I've enjoyed north of the border. This fine Mexican diner doesn't skimp, as the portion is very ample. Birria, which is a goat stew, is a very popular dish in northern Mexico, and you'll find it in a bowl, as a thick stew, as a topping for tacos, or on a plate, such as I enjoyed today. Like menudo, there is a long preparation time, and birria is normally only available on weekends, which works, since LaLupita is only open on weekends. If you've never had the pleasure to enjoy birria, I'd recommend you stop by and enjoy.
I've never enjoyed Mexican rice prepared like this before, as it included small cubes of carrots, which added a unique taste. The rice was perfectly cooked, tasted wonderful, and complimented the meal.
LaLupita prides themselves on their refried beans, and I can understand why, as they're simply amazing. I have reason to believe they are cooked in lard, the way it's done in Mexico, which gives the beans an amazing taste and texture. If you're a member of the "health police," you might ask Sylvia, or one of the other staff members about the beans. I have a hunch if you preferred, they'd be happy to substitute "pot beans," as that's where refried beans begin. Whatever the case, I absolutely LOVED the beans!
The amazing meal was rounded out with a stack of warm, toasted corn tortillas, presented in a tortilla dish, wrapped in a towel, just like you'd fine in a Tijuana loncheria. It is interesting to note the yellow and red plastic squeeze bottles, as you'd think they have mustard and ketchup, which would be totally out of place in a Mexican diner. The yellow bottle contains green sauce, and the red sauce is in the red bottle. I tried a little of each, and they're both delicious and flavorful, and I'd rate the "heat factor" as medium-mild. If you're at all sensitive to spicy food, I'd recommend trying a drop or two before making a commitment.
Even though it was a little past 10 in the morning, I grabbed an icy cold Modelo beer from the cooler, as there is nothing in my book that goes better with fine Mexican food than a cold Mexican beer.
The only oddity I noted was that I didn't get a bowl of tortilla chips and salsa as an appetizer, as is the norm in most Mexican restaurants. I didn't bother to ask the staff, as it really didn't worry me. As an aside, near the end of my meal, I was offered another stack of corn tortillas, but I declined, as I was nearly full.
This was a delicious meal from a great restaurant! LaLupita Mexican Food is an absolutely wonderful restaurant, as the food is delicious, the staff is super friendly, the prices are reasonable, and the location is great, as it's just across the street from Denio's. On weekends, when you're in the mood for delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine, be sure to pay a visit to LaLupita Mexican Food, as they're a welcome addition to the Roseville dining scene.
LaLupita Mexican Food
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