La Lupita and Al Carbón
Tuesday May 15, 2012·
Al Carbón is a soon-to-be launched food truck (the truck itself is still being fabricated). While they rev their engine, the owners have fitted out the space where they cook in Canterbury as La Lupita, a “pop-up taqueria”.
For a 'temporary' fit-out, La Lupita's decor is surprisingly smart, stylish, and heaps more characterful than a lot of their contemporaries. A striking backlit photo by photographer Jason Tomas Fritz covers one wall - behind a stage for live music - and the opposite wall is covered in a relief made from wooden blocks.
So the tacos? Are freaking awesome - the best I've had in Sydney. And at three for $10.50 they're a bargain. Expect a long wait in line, but you can kill time sipping on Mexican beer (cans of Rio Bravo, bottles of Red Pig) a Jarrito, or just staring mesmerized at the rotating flame grilled skewers. If they don't have vego on the menu just ask, they will make 'em. Once you have your tacos you can garnish from bowls of toppings: chilis, coriander, salsa, guacamole, sliced radishes, etc. The night I went they had a dry salsa called chiltepi which was excellent.
The crowd was friendly and lowkey; latino families socialising and eating, alongside after work couples and curious taco hounds like myself. It reminded me of South American Night at Kensington Bowling Club but with more of a mixed crowd (at Kenso, being a gringo, I felt like an interloper). At the moment they are only open occasionally (watch La Lupita's Facebook or Al Carbón's Twitter), which is a shame - I would take the train out to Canterbury to eat there again in a heartbeat. Viva Al Carbón!