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Tacos Lupita now under a new name - What is the scoop?

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Rode by Tacos Lupita in Somerville last night and noticed a new awning and a new name (I should have written it down but didn't)... anyone have the scoop here? New owners or just a new name? I hope the tortas continue to be delicious.

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  1. The last time I had the torta al pastor, it was awful. Sad because it was once one of my favorite sandwiches in the city. I hope this isn't a downhill alert. Anyone else been lately?

    3 Replies
    1. re: gourmaniac

      When was the last time you ate there? I was there a couple of weeks ago - it was the same folks, same chow.

      I thought there was mention here recently regarding the pending sale of Tacos Lupita in relation to a liquor license application.

      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        It was perhaps 2-3 months ago on a saturday for lunch. So disappointing but perhaps just an off day.

        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          You're right, Bob, but I think that thread was deleted in the end.

          I go there about once a week and it's the same people and same food as it has been for the past few years at least. There was no notice in the restaurant, that I saw, about any pending changes.

      2. I just called them and the woman said "Hello?" I asked if this was Tacos Lupita, and she said, "Yes, this is Tacos Lupita."

        So maybe they just put up a new awning?

        1. I just went.
          They sold it, the old owner was putting the neon Tacos Lupita signs in his truck.
          Same women were inside making the food.

          Aguacate Verde, which was indeed the name involved with the possible liquor license thing from before.

           
          1. I went over today too. Noticed the Aguacate Verde sign but was happy to see the same (unsmiling) faces inside. Unfortunately they weren't doing tortas today as they were out of bread. This has never happened before in my 8+ years of going there. Hopefully it wasn't a sign of things to come.

            I didn't stay for any of the other choices cuz I think the torta is where it's all happening, but rather went and had a Rapture Burger at Magoun's.

            2 Replies
            1. re: yumyum

              Tried again last night and they did have the bread for tortas. The bread is still great, the carne asada tastes the same, nice mix of beans and avocado and jalapenos on the sander. Things have definitely changed though -- the sandwich is about 2/3 the size that it used to be, the curdito on the pupusas was sloppily made and seasoned. Tacos that went by to another table looked good, the burritos might be a little bit smaller as well.

              I want to know the real scoop -- I definitely think the change of name isn't the only change here. Crap.

              1. re: yumyum

                Disposable plates and a more watery red sauce, but other than that my chorizo con huevo burrito and horchata seemed the same as before. More things to try before the verdict is in: what a chore!

            2. It looks like the menu is basically staying the same, with a couple additions.

              http://www.aguacateverderestaurant.com/

              Fantastic website, too.

              2 Replies
              1. re: rknrll

                That dude has a really big belly button.

                1. re: rknrll

                  I like the "Homemaded [sic] Flan."

                2. I'm sitting in it now. Apparently the menu HAS changed, although they do not have new menus printed up. No beef or pork on the menu anymore. major bummer.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Weiszguy

                    No beef or pork? You're kidding, right? How can they not have al pastor?

                    1. re: Weiszguy

                      This is tragic. No pork?

                      They have never been opened on Sundays, so I was okay with that. I am even almost okay with smaller portions, though how they could make the gorditas smaller was a mystery, but no pork? This is very distressing.

                      1. re: smtucker

                        Funny, it's on the menu on the new website.

                        http://www.aguacateverderestaurant.co...

                        1. re: bear

                          I think first hand research will need to be done.

                      2. re: Weiszguy

                        I was there five days ago and had both beef (torta) and pork (pupusa). Perhaps they're still having supply issues (see the bread issue above) and simply ran out?

                        Re quality, quantity, etc., the torta was a bit smaller than before but tasted as good as ever, which seems like a reasonable strategy for dealing with rising costs while selling a fantastic sandwich for *five dollars*. The pupusa was excellent too, and I thought the curtido was fine, though I suppose the difference between the best curtido I've ever had and the worst is pretty small.

                      3. granola-guy and i FINALLY went to our much loved lupita (now: aguacate verde) last night for take-out. here's the scoop:

                        STILL THE SAME:

                        the menu above the counter.

                        beverage cases.

                        tables.

                        (looks just like the old lupita inside).

                        DIFFERENT:

                        sign on the front of building.

                        staff (it was strange to walk in and not see the 2 women we have become accustomed to).

                        warmer reception (not effusive, but certainly a little more smiley and gracious).

                        burritos: we always order veggie-they were not as big, the rice was more flavorful, the bean-to-rice ratio was off (way more rice than beans), and not as much avocado. everything tasted super fresh though and they were tasty (or at least tastier than anything else in town!). they also put our 2 burritos into 2 bags (rather than 1), and gave us each a green salsa (thank god they got rid of that nasty red one!)

                        we ONLY have ever gotten the veggie burrito's and definately see a difference. next time, if we were to instruct them re: our burrito-filling desires (1/2 beans, 1/2 rice, cheese, more avo), i think we would still believe that we were getting them from lupita!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: granolagurl

                          Are you saying they don't have the delicious smoky red salsa anymore, and only offer that putrid green stuff?

                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                            They have it, but it seems watery compared to how it was, after two recent visits.

                            The choice of salsa delivered with an order always seemed to depend on who was preparing it anyway.

                            New staff in training to be sure. I asked for a torta and got "I don't know what that is" in response.

                            I did see pork yesterday BTW.

                            1. re: Bob Dobalina

                              hee-hee! touche! (on the salsa comment).

                              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                Oh, Bob -- yes, that red salsa was to die for!

                            2. The inside scoop is that there is a new owner. Don't know much more than that. I do hope they still have that delicious red sauce. I think maybe we should tell the new owner what we liked about Tacos Lupita and hopefully they'll keep it on.
                              And be really nice to the women who make the food. They don't own the place, they just work for it, and i don't know how well they're paid or treated, but my guess is not very well. Some appreciation for what they do would be great.

                              1. We ate here a few days ago. I got beef and pork tacos- double layer of soft corn taco, small amount of meat fillings. The pork especially was very dry with almost crusty edges. Not appealing. My DC tried a chicken burrito. Not bad, per se, but not very good either. There weren't very many options for fillings- just meat, rice and beans. Maybe some will claim that's the purist way, but I find it boring. No lettuce, no sour cream, no cheese, no guacamole, which seemed odd given the new name and the big avocado creature on the awning and menu. It had been a long time since we'd been to Tacos Lupita, but we remembered enjoying it. The burrito now is $5 and after eating it, we went over to Anna's at Porter Square for a second burrito with tons of stuff in it the way we like it. Sorry, but we won't be going back when Anna's is so close. Also, there was a woman behind the counter who said she was the owner and she was directing the kitchen staff- two younger men- on every single move they made- ie, they had absolutely no idea what they were doing.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Parsnipity

                                  They definitely have crema and cheese, and I think they put avacado and lettuce on the torta, so those should be available too. Did they just not offer them, or did they refuse to give them to you? If the latter, that's no good!

                                  I was there on a Saturday a couple weeks ago. The lady that took our order was very friendly (a first--it always seemed like the TL people were cold cold cold), and she definitely was helping the guys assemble the burritos, pointing out what to put in them and the quantities. They're clearly training a new staff, but there was close oversight and no errors, so I can't complain. The good news is that it seems like the new owners are going to be very involved in managing the restaurant.

                                  1. re: emannths

                                    It's frustrated me in recent visits that the older staff, some of whom are still around, are not preparing the food while newer staff guess along.

                                    In fact, dry and crusty pork is Lupita-era accurate.

                                    My new-staff-prepared tacos last week were underfilled compared to the Lupita days.

                                  2. re: Parsnipity

                                    That's really too bad. I wonder if they fired the two women who used to work there, who made delicious food.

                                    1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                      There were at least four, working different days and times, plus a woman and a man in the evenings who might have been the owners judging from their demeanour. (Which is why I say at least four, since I tend to go at specific times of day on specific weekdays; only once or twice ever at the weekends.)

                                      As of early days under the new ownership they were all there -- but as of last week I've only seen the younger woman there on the days I've been in.

                                      1. re: chickendhansak

                                        Went this week...pupusas were good, and they served the green and red smoky sauces...but the pork on the tacos was horribly dry...and the chicken was meh. Very, very sad.

                                  3. Indeed, very sad, especially about the pork because the burrito Al Pastor, with the red sauce, used to be truly a thing of beauty.

                                    1. Went in for some tacos and a mulita last night -- totally different staff, and they seemed swamped and confused. Nothing was substantively different about the food, but it wasn't made with the same care and attention and balance as it used to be. The al pastor seemed kind of undercrisped, the mulita filling wasn't well distributed, and the tacos were a bit sloppy. Also, the mix of onions and cilantro was way heavy on the onions and too light on the cilantro.

                                      I'm hoping they're just having some struggles transitioning to new staff -- but I am already missing the familiar (unsmiling) faces.

                                      12 Replies
                                      1. re: dtremit

                                        I ate there for lunch today and didn't enjoy my tacos al pastor.. probably give it one more chance, and then its off the "special gems of places" list

                                        1. re: grant.cook

                                          Okay, but where do we go now for papusas? Any recommendations in the general area?

                                          1. re: Weiszguy

                                            If you don't mind travelling to Waltham, the pupusas at Mi Tierra in Waltham are good. The ones at Paisano's are also decent.

                                            The gordita I had at El Potro in Union Sq. was fresh and delicious, so it might be worth giving their pupusas a try.

                                            -----
                                            Mi Tierra Restaurant
                                            585 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453

                                            El Potro
                                            61 Union Sq, Somerville, MA 02143

                                            1. re: bear

                                              I hear very good things about El Potro, and I had some tasty group take-out from there, but I remain loyal to Cantina Mexicana because I'm loyal. And their food is pretty good.

                                              -----
                                              El Potro
                                              61 Union Sq, Somerville, MA 02143

                                              1. re: bear

                                                Antojitos in Waltham also advertises as making papusas too - haven't been in there yet, but need to check out their $1 tacos soon.

                                                -----
                                                Antojitos Cafe
                                                489 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453

                                              2. re: Weiszguy

                                                I generally hunt them down when over in East Boston.. there's a place at the end of Maverick St. if I recall that's pretty good..

                                                1. re: grant.cook

                                                  There's always Cafeteria y Pupuseria Karen on Meridian St in East Boston.

                                                2. re: Weiszguy

                                                  Taco Loco in Somerville (44 Broadway, close-ish to Sullivan Sq.) has pupusas, as does El Potro in Union Square.

                                                  Was at Taco Loco today and saw that the downstairs seating area is blocked off with a soda fridge. Don't know if that has been reported already.

                                                  There's also Montecristo and probably a couple of other places in that area, eg. Maya Sol.

                                                  And after lodging Tony's Foodland in my brain some time ago (most likely from tips here form itaunas) I finally checked it out. It's a few blocks away from Taco Loco. It was more Brazilian than I was expecting. Seemed sort of a cross between Salvadoran and Brazilian which makes sense given neighborhood demographics. Don't recall all that much in the way of Peruvian. Definitely a store I'd return to (with a full tempting butcher counter) but not that hot for Mexican. Okay little produce section, with little bags of collards chiffonade, Brazil-style. Small warming unit with a few salgadinhos.

                                                  Fresh loroco, speaking of pupusas, in little bags near the register.

                                                  -----
                                                  Maya Sol
                                                  179 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

                                                  Montecristo Restaurant
                                                  146 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

                                                  El Potro
                                                  61 Union Sq, Somerville, MA 02143

                                                  Taco Loco
                                                  301 Lancaster St, Leominster, MA 01453

                                                  1. re: deglazer

                                                    Right! Maya Sol! I've eaten there a few times and it's unadventurous but reasonably satisfying.

                                                    -----
                                                    Maya Sol
                                                    179 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

                                                    1. re: deglazer

                                                      It may have changed since, but Tony Morales in various partnerships was involved in Taco Loco, Tapatio, and opened Maya Sol. They are aimed at slightly different demographics, with variations on a similar menu. After it reopened after the fire, Tapatio was making pupusas and they make in-house gorditas (not my favorite) which you can ask for. Of the three that would be my selection for pupusas, but its probably the same product. I enjoy Montecristo for Salvadoran plates (I go to them and Tapatio probably equally) and unlike the other three they generally make meats to order rather than reheating, but their curtido is a far cry from what Lupita served so it wouldn't be my pick for pupusas. If you want tacos with pork, I would go to La Mexicana, though, although Tapatio often has roast pork shoulder.

                                                      Los Amigos Market has the best overall Salvadoran offerings. Tony's Foodland is a bit more pan-latin, but with a Brazilian butcher and money transfers. Tony is Tony's foodland and the Brazilian butcher complements Gauchao which is his, he also had a hand in Amigo's but may or may not. As far as Mexican oriented food you can find some cheeses and maybe chorizos which can be substituted for mexican, but for spices and chiles DeMoulas or La Internacional (Guatemalan) are better. La Sultana Market across from where the Star Mkt used to sit is better for Peruvian and other South American offerings, but they have also found a Brazilian butcher profitable (as did the "Broadway Portuguese American market" -- sense a trend here). Its fairly limited, but I like the unusual produce section at La Sultana and you can get pre-seasoned pork belly cut nicely for chicharron (the seasoning actually is a bit more Brazilian although not out of place in Columbia ... for El Salvador it would only be made with salt and maybe pepper).

                                                      -----
                                                      Maya Sol
                                                      179 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

                                                      Montecristo Restaurant
                                                      146 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

                                                      Taco Loco
                                                      301 Lancaster St, Leominster, MA 01453

                                                      1. re: itaunas

                                                        Wow -- that was an incredibly thorough presentation! Thanks!

                                                    2. re: Weiszguy

                                                      sorry i didn't see this earlier.montecristo, also in somville, has terrific pupusas revueltas, and they freeze well.
                                                      itaunas turned us onto it a few yrs ago; standard inventory item for us now :-}

                                                      -----
                                                      Montecristo Restaurant
                                                      146 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

                                                3. I just wanted to update that I've been back to Aguacate Verde a few times now, and I definitely still enjoy it. Different owners and different people behind the counters now. Very similar menu, and the torta lengua (tounge sandwich) is as good as ever. My DC loved her carne asada torta. My only real complaint is the more watery (but still hot) red and green sauces. Chips are nothing special, but the pico de gallo, however, was excellent. They have a few different drinks now (including cashew juice, which tasted like it was from concentrate, but still good), and will be starting to sell homemade flan for dessert soon, along with t-shirts with their new (and very cute) logo.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: lipoff

                                                    I went yesterday for lunch with a Dominicana, a Honduran and a gringa who spent the last year in Costa Rica. None of us really liked our food nearly as much as under the previous owner (and there's also a complicated back story that makes us sour on the new owner). The Al pastor burrito I had was bland, even with the red sauce, which used to be the most delicious thing I had ever tasted. No longer. I ate half, saved the other half for lunch and then tossed it after all and ate something else for lunch. Their food no longer calls to me!

                                                    1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                                      What's the back story? We have time, if you do. :)

                                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                        Can't say, alas -- it related to a client matter!

                                                  2. Continuing documentation of the decline. I had the chorizo con huevo burrito there recently after several months of avoiding a place I previously ate at at least once a week. While the beans (which were never their strong point, I think) were much the same as before, everything else was just sad. The chorizo and egg in the burrito amounted to about a spoonful and while the familiar taste was there, the portion was so meagre that it didn't really provide a consistent taste throughout. It was bigger than it used to be, but poorly wrapped and dominated by bland rice, overcooked to the point that the grains were breaking down into mush. The crema is gone, and the tortilla showed no signs of griddling. And no red sauce either.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: chickendhansak

                                                      Life without that red sauce is hardly worth living.

                                                    2. update:

                                                      i reviewed aquacate verde here on chowhound on june 2, 2011. on this date i wrote:

                                                      "burritos: we always order veggie-they were not as big, the rice was more flavorful, the bean-to-rice ratio was off (way more rice than beans), and not as much avocado. everything tasted super fresh though and they were tasty (or at least tastier than anything else in town!)
                                                      [...]
                                                      if we were to instruct them re: our burrito-filling desires (1/2 beans, 1/2 rice, cheese, more avo), i think we would still believe that we were getting them from lupita!"

                                                      i would like to update this review (updated: 11/11/11):

                                                      as time has passed, aquacate verde becomes less and less "lupita-like" and more-and-more like all the other subpar boston taquerias. the last 2 times we have ordered our beloved veggie burritos, we have been sorely disappointed. these visits are documented below:

                                                      1) i ordered a veggie burrito. the owner informed me that they were out of avocados (what, doesn't this place have the word "avocado" in it's name? seriously, run down to shaws real quick and buy some!). the burrito was simply made of beans, rice, and cheese. it was bland, bland, and (did i mention this already?) bland. blech!

                                                      after this disheartening encounter, i accepted that you "can't go home" and vowed to never go there again.

                                                      2) my husband came home from the gym last night with a veggie burrito from aquacate verde (i hadn't told him of my new vow of aquacate "celebacy"). this time, the veggie burrito had:
                                                      a) beans (bland, not good);
                                                      b) rice (blah);
                                                      c) 1 small piece of avocado (small!);
                                                      and,
                                                      d) NO CHEESE!
                                                      ugh, it was awful! and to top it off, on the side came a small salsa that was a really FUNKY color and when my husband went to open it, it popped (like it was pressurized! it had obviously gone bad).

                                                      boo! this california gurl is deeply saddened by the loss of a great taqueria. lupita=RIP.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: granolagurl

                                                        what a helpful post for, i think, an awful lot of people (Lupita's had quite the CH fanbase.) Thnx so much.

                                                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                          Ha! I was about to post to ask if granolagurl was actually you, then I saw you had responded. Your writing styles are very similar! And I agree, it was a helpful review.

                                                        2. re: granolagurl

                                                          That's not really a veggie burrito, is it? It's more like a non-meat carburrito. How unfortunate. At least at Anna's you get lots of grilled veggies.

                                                          1. re: granolagurl

                                                            I agree with you, except that I think on my recent experience it is unfair to the other "subpar Boston taquerias" to compare them to Aguacate Verde.

                                                            Anna's veggie burrito is good and they have avocado these days too, but you do have to pay a supplement for it.

                                                            -----
                                                            Aguacate Verde
                                                            13 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02143

                                                          2. I went to Tacos Lupita once and didn't become a fan. We went tonight and my undercritical DCs liked it. I had a chorizo mulita, which was delicious but very small for $4. I'd have to eat a dozen to be fully, which doesn't make it a bargain.

                                                            1. As I mentioned on the December opening/closing thread: the signage from the former Tacos Lupita, née Aguacate Verde, seems to be mostly gone, and the place was dark and closed during lunch yesterday. Doesn't look good.

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                It looked like they were open during dinner last night (lights on, etc). Weren't their old signs overlayed onto the Tacos Lupita ones? I wonder if they're getting them replaced (or if they got them replaced recently, if there was a problem with them).

                                                                It seems odd that they'd take the signage down before shuttering the place properly.

                                                                1. re: emannths

                                                                  Weird -- they used to have an Aguacate Verde sign out front that's now gone, but it's true, they may just have taken it down before putting in a more permanent sign. They were definitely closed at noon on a weekday, but I won't assume they're gone yet.

                                                                  1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                    I ate there on Tuesday, around 8, and we were one of three tables (the third was waiting for carryout.) They didn't look like they were about to close for any longer than the night.

                                                                    1. re: KWagle

                                                                      Drove by tonight - all the neon was on, lights on.

                                                                      1. re: KWagle

                                                                        Any comments on the food? Every time I go it is worse.

                                                                        1. re: chickendhansak

                                                                          I have avoided it because of all the negative comments.

                                                                2. there's a vacant storefront in Gloucester (used to be a pizza place) that has a sign in the window that says Tacos Lupita is coming- it's on Washington St, not far from Main St.