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mexican

Taco Tuesdays At La Lupe

After playing with some hula hoops in south philly, M suggested we grab a bite at La Lupe. It’s totally next door to Geno’s. You can eat outside and laugh at the people waiting in line at Geno’s for crap cheesesteaks. We got one of the tables outside with this very fancy sign taped to the pole. This is a high class joint! I kid, I kid. It’s very low key. They use mexican blankets as tablecloths on the inside. It has no ambiance at all. But that’s fine by me, as it’s all about the food here.
I hadn’t even ordered a jarritos, but for whatever reason, the little italian guy, yes, I said italian, just came over and brought me one. I told him I hadn’t ordered it yet, and he said that’s ok! It’s like he read my mind! And we also found out it was taco tuesday! $1.50 tacos! It was sheer coincidence, but it made me very happy right away.
M got a shake. I believe it was banana? It was fresh and tasty!
Your complimentary chips and salsa. The chips were super crispy and non-greasy, just the way I like it. The salsa was just ok. It was a bit on the bland side and really runny.
P’s two tacos and tamale. She enjoyed both, and man, look at the size of that tamale!
I got a barbacoa and an al pastor taco, as well as my requisite rice and beans. They serve real tacos here, with corn tortillas and just cilantro and raw onions as the toppings, really, the way they should be. The barbacoa, stewed goat, was unbelievably good! It was a bit on the fatty side, but I liked it, as it made it super tender and juicy. And the al pastor was good as well, but the pineapple was from a can. But it was grilled and I liked it anyway. Rice and beans were also good.

The service isn’t that great. I mean, the italian dude is super nice and friendly, and he means well, but it is kind of hard to get water refilled here and you have to ask for silverware. And the food does not exactly come out fast. But when you’re just hanging outside on a nice evening, waiting for $1.50 tacos isn’t a terrible thing. I think it’s worth it!

La Lupe on Urbanspoon

Stop In Eugene

Eugene ended up being a good half-way stopping point for the long journey from the coast back to Bend. Plus, we had to stop so that J could watch a World Cup game. Much to my surprise, the Eugene Saturday Market was taking place, which of course had a farmer’s market along with it and a food court. Everything was locally grown and looked fabulous. There were berries everywhere.
White raspberries!

And all kinds of cherries!

But really, what everyone had, and what looked the best, were the oregon grown strawberries.

There were veggies as well, of course. Here are some beautiful cherry tomatoes of different colors. Although I know that tomatoes are actually fruit.

There were also tons of root vegetables, like these turnips and beets. Potatoes were also all over the place.

Along with some cucumbers and some onions and some even more gorgeous red torpedo onions.

This dude was selling crazy mushrooms that he grows. I wonder what other kinds of non-food mushrooms he grows? Because after all, this is Eugene, and man, hippies abound!

Dungeness crab is everywhere in Oregon, and you can even find some here.

Here, they were selling freshly homemade salsas as well as fresh corn tortillas that a lady was cooking up, right on the spot.

There were food vendors in the proper food court, which was part of the regular craft vendor part. But in the farmers market, there were also a few food vendors, including this pastie shop.

J got some fish tacos. He liked these, but was surprised by the spicy salsa that was plopped on top.

I got a little teriyaki bowl from a food court vendor called “nice rice”. My nice rice bowl was brown rice topped with teriyaki chicken and veggies. It was perfectly fine. All the produce looked amazingly fresh, and if I lived in Eugene, I would hope to get my fresh fruits and veggies here all the time!

Zocalo – Chicago

J wanted mexican food, so Brent from the hotel sent us over to Zocalo. Man, does this place have a nice vibe. It’s a beautiful and large space with dark wood. It just feels warm and inviting. The lighting is low-key and moody, but in a positive way. It just felt cool. I loved it right away. It is a tequila bar, and they have a crazy amount of tequilas. The bar is one long bar, and the entire wall behind it is tequilas. It’s impressive. I got a blood orange margarita, which was terrific. We were off to a great start.

I wanted a little starter so I got the tortilla soup. Oh this was so good. It had a nice spicy bite, with tons of tortilla strips, avocado, cream, and cheese. It was just what I wanted.

J wanted some chips and salsa, so voila! The three at the top are the normal salsas that come out with the whole round tortillas. Instead of making chips for you, they let you crack the tortilla into your own chips. Those standard three salsas were very good, and the one in the middle was shockingly spicy. But all had great flavor. Then we got into a hot sauce discussion with Hector, so he brought out two additional ones for us, which one of the chefs had made for fun. They were both firey hot, with completely different flavors from each other, as well as the spicy one from the standard three. It’s pretty amazing how different salsas can taste, and how they are all good in varying ways. The point is, they were all good.

It was tuesday night, and Zocalo offers taco tuesdays, which is $12 for all you can eat tacos. You have to get your first set of tacos with all four varieties of tacos, but after that, you can get whatever you want. It comes out with a pork, beef, chicken, and a lamb/pork combo. Ok, so seriously, these were all amazing. The pork and chicken ones were particularly excellent. I couldn’t eat more than one plate, but J got another plate with more pork and chicken tacos. They were seriously good. They’re pretty small, but are quite filling. This is a place that I wish existed in Philadelphia because I would be there all the time. It just made me happy and want to come back. You can’t beat that!

Zocalo on Urbanspoon

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