Create-Your-Own Combo Plates at Lupe Tortilla

I've driven by Lupe Tortilla many times while traveling under 59, but I've always been too worried about getting side-swiped by some jackass in an SUV to give the restaurant more than a passing glance. Thus far, I have relied on The Original Ninfa's for great Tex-Mex, Little Pappasito's for very good Tex-Mex and Ruchi's Taqueria when I'm drunk/unbelievably lazy.

Lupe ranks someplace in between Ninfa's and Pappasito's primarily because of the diverse options available for the Create-Your-Own Combo plate. For just under $12, you can pick any two, three or four of the following: enchiladas, tostadas, puffy tacos, burritos, flautas, tamales, chili con queso, and chalupas. All Plates come with rice and soupy but delicious refried beans.

My most recent combination: one chicken burrito, one beef soft taco, one puffy taco with grilled mahi-mahi. I got the last item through the good graces of the kitchen, as the menu only specified beef or chicken as the fillings for the Combo puffy tacos.

I'm most grateful to the flexibility of Lupe's cooks, as this last item was by far the best of the three. The fish was tender and dressed with a wonderful poblano cream sauce. I also liked that the puffy taco was just lightly fried, as nothing overwhelms grilled white fish like a tortilla shell dripping with grease.

Second place goes to the ground beef soft taco: the beef mediocre in flavor (should have gotten the fajita), but ample amounts of fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese spruced up the overall taste. The chicken burrito comes in last only because it was passable not outstanding. I still enjoyed its (over)stuffing of white meat chicken, spicy beans and thick, melted cheddar, tomatoes and sour cream.

If you suffer from perpetual indecision like me, the restaurant combination platter is a good solution. It can also save you from death by strangling after you ask your husband for the tenth time, "So, seriously though...should I get tacos or a burrito?"

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Joanna O'Leary