Restaurants / Openings

A Houston Tex-Mex Obsession Finally Makes Its Way to Dallas: Why Lupe Tortilla’s Migration North is a Huge Deal

BY // 03.20.18

“OH. MY. GOSH!”

Yes. Those were the first words that verbally leapt out of my mouth the second I opened an emailed press release this morning that officially announced the opening of Dallas’ first Lupe Tortilla early next year.

For those who know me, I have been obsessed with the Houston-based Tex-Mex staple (it opened in 1983) since first trying it a year ago, while on a visit to our sister city to the south. Admittedly, I’m a little late to the party on this one, according to most Houstonians. Nevertheless, I couldn’t stop talking about Lupe’s for weeks after that first experience.

Still, any time I meet someone new who lives in Houston — or an old friend who just came back from a visit there — one of my first questions is, “Did you have Lupe’s?!” The response is often varied: some totally get the obsession; others think it’s weird that I have latched on to this kind of mass-market restaurant chain.

So, here’s what is weird about this little obsession of mine: Lupe Tortilla is no five-star, Michelin-rated destination for gourmands. It’s more like a Chili’s-meets-Mi Cocina. It’s a chain. It’s not fancy. And it isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, a fabulously designed restaurant, led by a big-name chef, of the kind we normally feature in our high-style magazine.

Lupe Tortilla, Houston

But, there is so much to love. Case in point: I don’t eat flour tortillas — I always thought they were dry, bland, and unappetizing. But then came Lupe’s, with those buttery homemade tortillas. (I will spare you the love letter I could write to the family behind Lupe’s for inventing a flour tortilla I will actually eat.)

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I’m not even that big of a Tex-Mex addict. But then came the beef fajitas at Lupe’s, grilled to tender, flavorful (addicting) perfection, with its lime-and-pepper kick.

During that first Lupe’s experience, I think I consumed maybe three or four tortillas, my body weight in fajita meat, and what seemed like a gallon of queso. (By all means, call me a glutton.)

Now, during visits to Houston for work or to visit old friends, I always make a stop at Lupe’s on my way home, ordering large quantities of fajitas and tortillas to drive back with me to Dallas.

I’ve even been apologized to in the form of Lupe’s: Yes, my boyfriend once had a large order of Lupe’s brought in from Houston as a surprise way to remedy a small tiff. (He clearly knows the way to my heart.)

So, here’s the deal: When Lupe Tortilla opens in Addison next year, I will be making a prompt reservation. I will wait in line. I will do whatever it takes. I don’t care if I have to drive all the way to Addison to get it. Who’s with me?

Lupe Tortilla, 4535 Belt Line Road, Addison, opening in early 2019, lupetortilla.com

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