My husband and I recently did something we don’t normally do. We ate at the same restaurant twice in one week. As most of you know, I’ve been on a cook-at-home binge for quite some time now. But every once in a while, I need a break, and not just because I failed to plan a meal, but yeah… this time, I failed to plan a meal.
It was a Saturday in Fort Davis, and while we had several options, we decided to try a local favorite we hadn’t been to in quite some time, Lupita’s Place.
Our first visit to Lupita’s Place was the first time (my first time, not his) we camped at the Davis Mountains State Park, a number of years ago. After a night of thunder, lightning and rain that began with hail (and we were in a tent), we wanted to grab food and hit the road. We saw Lupita’s Place and decided to stop.
It was a Sunday morning, and the small restaurant was packed with locals. We ordered big breakfast burritos to-go for the long drive back to Boerne, and those burritos sustained us the whole trip.
Lupita’s Place has been in the rock building in downtown Fort Davis for seven years, but Lupita Bojorquez spent the previous eight years working in her food truck just across the highway.
Lupita comes from Delicias, Mexico, which is a large city in the state of Chihuahua. Well, “large” compared to Fort Davis and the Trans-Pecos. Northern Mexico-cuisine is some of my favorite Mexican food, and I never knew that until we moved to far West Texas.
Everything Lupita cooks is from scratch and so authentic. She has no fewer than five different varieties of dried chiles in her kitchen at any given moment… and she knows how to use them perfectly.
When I asked what her favorite meal to prepare was, she answered, “Everything!” Lupita loves preparing food from scratch and serving it to her customers. Her skills and pride show with every plate that comes from her kitchen. She is the only cook in her kitchen, so she can ensure every plate comes out to her liking.
Lupita recently started posting specials of the day on her signs out in front of her restaurant, and the specials are not items that are on the menu. Some of the daily specials have been Menudo on Saturday and Sunday, Brisket Tortas, Chicken Tacos with Homemade Avocado Salsa, Chicken Mole and more.
When my husband and I stopped in for lunch on Saturday, he had a cheeseburger basket with curly fries and I had a fantastic beef burrito with just about everything you could squeeze into the large flour tortilla. His cheeseburger was delicious, and the curly fries were homemade.
Lupita makes her fries from whole, raw potatoes when you order them… no frozen or premade french fries there. We left fully satisfied and happy… and ready to return in just a few days for the Thursday Mole special.
Mole is a Mexican specialty that has three Mexican states that claim they created it: Puebla, Oaxaca and Tlaxcala. Other regions are also known for their different types of mole sauce.
One legend of the creation of mole is from about 300 years ago in a poor convent in Puebla. The nuns prayed as they hurried to prepare for a visit from the archbishop, and killed one of their old turkeys. They cooked the old turkey with bits of chile peppers, spices, stale bread, nuts and chocolate, hoping to season the meat. Some stories say that the nuns accidentally knocked the chocolate and spices into the pot but had no time to fix it. The archbishop loved it.
Mole sauces usually have more than 20 ingredients with flavored from bittersweet to spicy, and the consistency can be thin or thick. They are typically brown and taste of chile peppers and chocolate.
Making a good mole is time consuming, and Lupita’s mole was outstanding. If you see the special on her signboard, do yourself a favor and stop for it. It was truly delicious.
Lupita’s Place is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week. Located at 411 N. State Street. Credit cards not accepted.
(not Lupita’s but one I’ve successfully made)
5 Pasilla, Ancho or Guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
5-1/2 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped (I used bittersweet chocolate)
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 corn tortillas, torn to pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the mole sauce, soak the chiles in 1-1/4 cups water for 15 minutes. Drain well and discard the soaking liquid.
Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. In a blender, combine chiles, chocolate, chicken broth, peanut butter, sugar, oregano and tostadas and blend until very smooth. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Add to your favorite roasted chicken, use it in place of your favorite red or green enchilada sauce, enjoy it with mashed potatoes or rice. Serve with warm tortillas.