What should we know about Tacos Lupillo?
Just a month on from opening, Tacos Lupillo has built a strong following off the back of overwhelmingly positive Mexican expat reviews, and a snaking queue leading from an unmarked pink door that can’t but catch the eye of anyone passing by. Tacos were the family trade of chef and owner Jose Guadalupe Zamudio back in Mexico, and now he’s sought to bring those true-to-home flavours to this unlikely Inchicore outlet.
What should we have?
A smart plan for when to visit, if the evening and weekend crowds that gather here continue. Tacos Lupillo has taken off at furious pace, and if you time things badly you could be a long while waiting to get your order in, You’ll also have next to no chance of snagging one of the four small seating spaces inside, although Cleary’s, the old-fashioned boozer beside, has smartly agreed to allow Lupillo patrons bring their food in – it hasn’t been this lively in years.
There’s starters of a sort in the form of nachos, quesadillas and baked potatoes, though the tiny, two-manned kitchen is so frantic you shouldn’t expect to get things in any order other than when they’re good to go. We tried the regular nachos and aside from the cheese, which seemed more standard issue squeezey sauce than the melted cheddar the menu claims, these were great: proper crunchy homemade chips buried beneath mounds of moreish guac and tangy sour cream, with a welcome blast of heat from pickled jalapenos.
Not on the board but also available is a bowl of beef consommé, like a spicy oxtail soup with strands of super-tender beef swimming throughout. If you take just one tip from us today, do not miss this. From the grandmotherly figure who descends the back staircase with two bowls at a time, to the intense umami hit that blasted through the January cold, this is the dish that best sums up Tacos Lupillo’s homely appeal.
The main event involves your choice of six fillings in any of six dishes, from burritos and alambre bowls to sandwich-like tortas and fried tortilla volcanes. Given the name, we had to go in for the tacos – it’s the dish that’s most often attracted the expat stamps of approval too – with al pastor. The house special marinade gives the pork a deep flavour that’s well balanced with sliced red onion and coriander, though we found the optional house salsas were needed to avoid everything feeling a little too dry.
Gringas are flour tortillas draped over a cheese and onion-laden filling fried on the grill, before being wrapped and seared themselves, and it's one of Lupillo’s standouts. The minced beef barbacoa had succulence to spare, and was superb laden with more of that salsa. It’s a substantial portion too; any one of these dishes would be more than enough of a meal for most right-minded diners.
Why should I go?
Against some solid options for Mexican food scattered throughout the city, Tacos Lupillo stands out first and foremost for its bare bones authenticity - this is a menu that knows there are no frills needed when the basics are this good. Don’t be surprised to see this place land a bigger outlet before long.
53 Sarsfield Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8