Monthly Archives: February 2011

Casa Lupita-White Bear Lake

Hard to spot sign. Look on south side of Hwy 96, in strip mall, next to abandoned gas station.

I must attribute the visit to this restaurant purely to Groupon because there is no way I would have noticed it by driving by on the road, despite the location on a busy four lane. The deal was $8 for $16 worth of food at Casa Lupita (though the restaurant website says New Casa Lupita)- White Bear

Small seating area and deli-style service

Lake (not St. Paul, like you’ll find listed some places on the web).  It was very hard for us to find. My

GPS directed us to Hwy 96 east of Cty Rd 61, and I see google maps also has the wrong location in some spots. The restaurant is located on Cty Rd 96 half-way between Hwy 35E and Cty 61 on the south side of the road, in a strip mall corner, next to an out-of-business gas station. Sounds like mouthful of a description but you’ll need the details to find it because there is only a small white sign with thin red letters.

Menu items range from $1.50 for a veggie taco ($0.99 tacos on Tuesday) to $8.79 for a House Specialty Plate  which includes one of three meats, rice, beans and tortillas.The restaurant is set up for deli-style counter service where you can see your meat, salsa, toppings options before you order and then they are assembled and prepared for you. The dining area is very small  (and a little dirty) so I’m guessing the place gets mostly take out business. According to the website, the restaurant, which opened in 2001, serves authentic recipes from the Castellanos family’s hometown of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. I believe that this is the same family who owned the upscale D’Castellanos Mexican Restaurant that was in White Bear Lake and closed in 2007. My husband and I ate there once and he did not like it, while I thought it was good but expensive.

My husband decided on a chicken burrito with black beans, while I had green chicken enchiladas. We also ordered some chips (about $2) to help fill us up (deli-style Mexican restaurants typically do NOT serve complimentary chips and salsa). I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of green salsa (it is by far my favorite type of salsa) and I must admit I found this sauce surprisingly bland. Usually green salsa has a nice tart tang but this was neither sour nor sweet, instead the creamy mildness made me feel like it wasn’t fresh and lost its flavor sitting too long in the steam table. It was not bad, just different from usual green salsa and

Enchilada combination plate, burrito, chips with salsa

maybe more widely appealing to those who don’t like the typical tang of tomatillo sauce. The two enchiladas were served with traditional Mexican tomato rice and I chose black beans instead of refried ones.  The burrito was not an overloaded Chipotle-style (which is great from a calorie standpoint) but my husband thought it lacked in flavor. Possibly it was just his choice of toppings because he said the burrito was very dry.

Overall, not a bad place to stop for a quick bite (if you can find it) when you want Mexican food, especially take-out, but want to stay away from a chain. Serving sizes are filling and prices are reasonable. While, for us, it lacked “wow” flavor and was hard to find, I can’t complain about paying $8 for a meal for two, courtesy of Groupon. However, I don’t think we will stop again.

I definitely give the restaurant kudos for doing the Groupon thing because over 1127 people purchased the Groupon and I’m guessing many of the purchasers (like us) would not normally stop at this somewhat hidden location.

(New) Casa Lupita Mexican Restaurant
1350 Highway 96 E
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Phone: 651-762-2948
Fax: 651-331-2422
Email: NewCasaLupita@q.com
http://www.newcasalupita.com/
 
Hours:  Mon – Sat, 11 am – 8:30 pm
Special deals: $0.99 tacos on Tuesday
No reservations
Take-out available
 
Rating: Worth a stop if in area. Not a repeat eatery.
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Filed under Food, Restaurant reviews