Montrose Nostalgia: Cecil's and Chapultepec

My husband and I both lived in the Montrose area, probably about a mile and five years away from each other. We're now outer-loopers, but we still recall our time in the Montrose with nostalgia. As we swapped stories and discussed favorites, we realized we hadn't visited our top picks together. So, last weekend we decided to leave the burbs and hit our spots.

First stop, Cecil's Pub. Since it was located just two streets from my old place, I would often take a walk over, sometimes with my dog, and hang out with a few neighbors and regulars. I love the old building, which was kinda crotchety when I started going there. They've since survived a fire and rebuilt, in 2004. And although they've done away with the old greenish carpet, they've maintained that lived-in, comfy feel.

The bartenders are friendly and not stingy with the liquor in mixed drinks, and there's always a great selection of beers, both on tap or bottles. They don't hurt your wallet with their prices, which is great for that area. And there are a few eateries around; you can always have something delivered, and sometimes the nearby pizzeria drops off pies that were made in error. Toward the end of the week, you can buy tacos and burgers from the regular vendor that sets up just outside on the massive patio. Good buzz food.

From Cecil's we headed out for some soupy, greasy drunk food at Chapultepec Lupita, =on Richmond at Stanford Street, with the huge neon sign. They have set up several dining areas, including a sun room, all housed in an old neighborhood building. We sat toward the front, where the A/C was blowing nice and cool, and immediately got busy munching on chips and salsa--I loved the green, avocado-based one--and deciding on drinks.

There's a lengthy list of margarita and tequila choices, as well as a nice selection of beers. My husband went for a Brazilian brew, Xingu, while I stuck to my Texas guns and ordered a souped-up margarita. After going over the menu a few times, I ordered a plate that brought breakfast and dinner together: cheese-oozing enchiladas and fajita steak "a caballo," or topped with an egg. My better half ordered the beef tacos, and both our plates were rounded off with rice and refried beans.

The food was satisfying; my enchiladas were good and cheesy, albeit filled with American and not cheddar cheese, and the fajita steak was flavorful, not tough. Chapultepec is not likely to be the choice that comes to mind when I want a good plate of Tex-Mex, but for late-night eating and drinking, I'll definitely hit it again. They're open till 2 a.m. Sundays and Mondays, and all day the rest of the week. You can't beat that with a stick.

I want to hear about your old favorites, drop me line and tell me which one to visit next.

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