okgourmet.com    Home of Steve's Restaurant Reviews

Chef Lupe's Family Restaurant

1101 Sudderth Dr.
Ruidoso, NM
(575) 257-4687

When I went to Chef Lupe's for the first time my immediate question was whether they had stacked enchiladas, stuffed sopapillas, or other food typically associated with New Mexican cuisine. The response, though, was that Chef Lupe's does not serve New Mexican style food, but rather the recipes come from the interior of Mexico. Knowing what to expect, then, it was a lot easier to decide what to order.

I have traveled in several states of Mexico, and I have never found the enchiladas to be as flavorful as the ones served in the Southwest United States, particularly the ones made with New Mexico chile. Thus it seemed logical that some of the items listed in the "Mexican Specialties" section of the menu would be the most satisfying for this type of restaurant. This section included enchiladas and other items I generally prefer when they are New Mexican style, but for those who are looking for the "authentic" Mexican version, these would be good choices.

Green chili pork
Green chili pork

The item I chose from this section was Green Chili Pork, a dish frequently served in El Paso as chile verde. This could probably be called a stew, since the green chile is fairly mild and acts much as a vegetable mixed with the meat. It is too bad the restaurant uses the Americanized spelling "chili," since it seemed to be a very authentic dish that should have been called "green chile" or chile verde. I thought it was as good or better than most of the similar dishes served in El Paso, and it was probably better than the average one served in Mexico since most restaurants south of the border do not serve a substantial quantity of meat with this type of dish. Other than the pork having noticeable pieces of fat attached it was very good quality and tender. The green chile may have been from New Mexico since it was very fresh.

Combination plate
Combination plate with beans, red enchilada, chile relleno, rice, tamal, and beef taco

I also sampled items from the combination plate, with this type of dish usually being the best way to try a number of different items from the restaurant. Several combinations are available, and they even let customers make their own combination plate with a choice of any of the available items (although the green chile and other "Mexican Specialty" items were not included).

The dinner my dining companion ordered turned out to have the best of the items available on the combination plates-- Beef Tacos. This had high quality, flavorful beef, with shredded meat that tasted as if it had been marinated in herbs and spices. This was not typical of tacos I usually find in El Paso, which are usually ground beef, but was representative of the better restaurants both in Mexico and the Southwestern U.S.

The Red Enchilada, as I expected, did not have the flavor I usually find with New Mexico enchiladas. Since it was a more authentic Mexican style, though, it was representative of this type of enchilada (I think Mexico has chiles that are different enough from the ones in New Mexico to give a distinct flavor).

The Chile Relleno came with sauce on top, and in my opinion too much cheese to make it as good as the New Mexico style rellenos. For an "authentic" Mexican version, though, it was good.

The Tamal was good, but I would say nothing special for either Mexico or New Mexico style food. I thought it was too dry.

The clear winner of the combination plate was the taco, but in my opinion it did not surpass the green chili plate. Both were very good, and deciding which to order would depend on what you were craving at the time. I am sure that some of the other "Mexican Specialties" are also quite good (and tacos are also listed on this part of the menu).

Chef Lupe's served Mexican style aguas frescas drinks, and I also liked the fact that dinners did not include queso, sopapillas for dessert, or other Americanized adaptations that tend to drive up the price at restaurants that include them with the meals. In fact, the prices at Chef Lupe's were quite reasonable, especially considering the normal higher prices I tend to find in resort cities.

Chef Lupe's is well known as a late night hangout (it is open until about 10 p.m.), and although it serves beer it has the atmosphere of a family restaurant.

Chef Lupe's may be the only Mexican restaurant I have found in an American resort city that did not Americanize the food. This alone should make it worth trying.



Cuisine: Mexican
Cost: $$
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Beer, Wine
Additonal Location: 7401 N. US 54/70 (Alamogordo)
Special Features: Serves Breakfast, Open Late

Chile Index:

Most Recent Visit
Sep. 7, 2010

Number of Visits: 1

Best Items
Green Chili Pork, Beef Tacos

Special Ratings
Green Chili Pork:
Red Enchiladas:
Beef Tacos:
Chile Relleno: