Andrea’s View: Okay, every now and again, Dave and I visit a restaurant that I really don’t care for and I really don’t know what to say. What ends up happening is that I put off writing anything for as long as I can before Dave puts down the hammer-shaped pen and makes me write something. This is one of those times.
I had a feeling the moment we walked up to the restaurant that this was going to not end well. I even remember hesitating before I opened the door and Dave asking me what was wrong. I told him nothing was wrong and we went in. The cause of the hesitation was this: too many literal warning signs placed on the front window and door. There was a sign stating that there were no public restrooms, not just that restrooms are for patrons only, but no public restrooms. There were two signs in Spanish that I could not translate, but I do recognize the word “NO” and exclamation points. I understand the need (sometimes) for a restroom sign, as this could be a problem and nuisance, however, this restaurant is in a busy strip mall with lots of fast food and big box retailers around. I doubt that this establishment has that many people wandering in just to use the restroom. It felt like the owner or their employees just don’t like dealing with people.
We walk in and a reasonably nice woman tells us to order at the counter. Dave and I look over the enormous overhead menu and she then points out a sign that states what tamales they have that day. I order a pastor (pork) taco and a red chicken tamale. Dave gives his order, and I ask if we can get drinks out of the cooler. She nods and asks us what table we would be sitting at. I picked out a table and went to put my drink down. She walked away from the counter presumably to put in our order. She walks back and says, “Hey you need to pay $11.00.” Okay, chill out, I’m not going anywhere, I just told you what table we would be at, and you didn’t give me a total right away, and surprisingly there is no sign stating when or where you pay, but I probably should have known to pay before, this all getting lost in translation and low blood sugar at this point.
I pay, and we wait for our food. And wait. And wait. Finally our tacos arrive and we devour them. They were really good. But we were still waiting for our tamales. Which is weird, because the tamales were presumably made ahead of time and just hanging out in a steam bath. So I go up to the counter and say something about the tamales. They had forgotten about the tamales. We ordered four items and they forgot two. They even looked up the ticket to see if we really did order tamales. We finally got the tamales and they were actually really good.
So, friends and readers, after all this typing, it really just comes down to this. Really bad service, really bad atmosphere and ambience, but really, really good food. Enter at your own risk.
Dave’s View: It really all comes down to vibes. Andrea can pick up on a vibe of a place much quicker than I can. Before walking into this place, Andrea stopped outside and looked at the storefront. I said, “What are you doing?” “Just looking”, she replied. I knew she was looking at one particular sign. It went sort like this: “No restrooms. Restrooms for paying customers.” I didn’t seem to care until in went into the restaurant. It’s a short width, deep place. On the left is the place to order at the counter with a menu above, which is mostly in Spanish, but you can figure out what you want to eat. On the right side is seating and there is more seating towards the back where the coveted restroom is located. Nothing spectacular on the walls, but some hats and numbers for the tables.
We ordered. I ordered a Chorizo Taco and a Pork Tamale. We received our tacos first, which seemed odd to us, because the tamales here are pre-made. You will know this because they keep a dry erase marker board on the counter to tell you what tamales they have on order for the day. So, Andrea and I eat our tacos and they are very good. The Chorizo Taco is spicy so watch it! After we eat our tacos, I’m looking at Andrea and saying to her that they had to made a mistake and sure enough, they forgot our tamales. Andrea went to the counter, the server had to recheck our ticket. She came out, apologized, and gave us our tamales. Not a big deal to me, people make mistakes, but the whole time we were in this place, the negative vibes were everywhere. Negative vibes as in rules. Look at our pictures, especially the dining room one. “Trash here”, “No smoking”, the list can go on and on. Every restaurant has to have a set of rules, I understand, but can we make them a little bit more pleasant and positive. I had so much trouble taking pictures in the place, that most of my pictures came out blurry. And no, I was not drinking this time! I thought the Taco Nazis were going to come out and confiscate my camera. Hell, there might have been a sign saying, “No pictures”, who knows?
Oh, by the way, the Pork Tamale, was extremely tasty. Tender and a kick of spice to wake you up. But what ever you do, if you’re in the Northwest side of Indianapolis and you have to go to the bathroom, for God sakes, don’t go to Tamaleria Lupitas. There are plenty of easier places to pee near by. And if you just can’t hold it and you’re standing in front of Tamaleria Lupitas, walk in, order a tamale, stick it in your mouth, then thou shall commence peeing.