I didn't expect to visit another Mexican restaurant so soon, but my husband wanted to join the experiment, so we went to Casa Lupe in Yuba City on Saturday for lunch.
This is a pretty popular place. Some friends of mine have declared it their favorite restaurant, but I have never been. It is locally owned, and is fairly nice, sort of like a Marie Callender's a la Mexico might be. Scores: 1-5, 5 being highest
4) atmosphere. nice, Mexican music over the speakers. But again, motor noises in the background were a little loud.
4) Service. This was full service, and even though it was pretty crowded (right at noon) we were seated right away. The wait staff were prompt with menus and drinks. The food took 14 minutes to arrive, not bad, but could be better, for a lunch. She offered more salsa and chips when we went low.
5) Stove hot, yes, quite nicely.
4) Chips, hot and crisp, not greasy, but thick. OK, so some people probably like them thick. But they tear up my mouth when they are too thick. I like them on the thin side. And they could have been a little saltier.
3) Salsa. This is a hard one, but even though the flavor was nice and the ingredients were fresh and crisp, it was more like gazpacho. The juice was so thin, it was hard to scoop it with chips. When my husband asked, they did bring out some of the hotter salsa, which was very good and HOT, but I wonder that they didn't offer it at first?
3) Shredded beef burrito. This was almost a 4. The beef was shredded, no chunks, and some onions were cooked in there too. Nice flavor, but a little mild for me. It was moist at first, but then seemed like it could have used more juice. But I think that is the way shredded beef does. They had melted cheese on top, which at first seemed nice, but truthfully, it didn't add much flavor and just made it harder to cut it to eat. The little lettuce and tomato garnish did make the plate more attractive.
2) refries. They were an odd pink color and bland. Not bad, but could have been better with some judicious seasoning.
3) rice. again, a little bland. They benefitted from dumping salsa in.
4) clean. The restaurant was very clean and attractive. Pastel "Mexican" color walls and artwork, but the bathroom was obviously not redone when the restaurant was. Sort of shabby and worn at the edges. The locks in the steel stall doors were gone and I almost cut my finger sticking it through to try to open up the door.
4) value. For this meal, I paid $8.50. $3 more than Betty's, but more food, which I really didn't need and shouldn't have eaten.
Up near the front they had a cute little tortilla maker. She would put in a wad of dough and it would fall down into the glass case; little turners would flip it as the trays rotated the tortilla down to the bottom and then up a conveyer belt to a basket. It made me want one!
Upshot is... it's a perfectly nice place to eat, but not that "special" restaurant you'd want to show off how great it is.
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