I was hijacked.
There was a plan for dinner. And we were only taking one car into the city to make the parking situation a little easier. So, I was at the mercy…and it turns out, it was a lovely deviation.
Lucha Tigre has come up in conversations before. It’s been considered, and left behind as other choices were made. Today was the day! And what a meal!
Why, yes. Let’s go celebrate the Irish holiday together by eating at a Latin-Asian Fusion hotspot in Chapel Hill.
And so we did. Here are a few of the tasty-delights that we encountered.
1. Chicken Tostadas
From the menu: Crispy Wontons, Guajillo Chicken, Lettuce, Beans, and Crema
Oh, these were so pretty. And piled high with chicken. I thought I was going to be able to pick it up and just munch-out, but I wasn’t successful. I suppose my mouth just isn’t big enough (some may disagree).
The crema helped ease the deep flavors of the chicken and beans. And the wontons provided a really satisfying crunch – even if I couldn’t keep it all in my mouth. Had to use the fork. Made it last longer. It was good.
2. Asian Pulled Pork Empanada
From the menu: Bulgogi Chicken, Roasted Poblano Corn, Red Curry Chicken, Shiitake & Queso, Asian Pulled Pork
So…I love empanadas. My family made them for celebrations and holidays growing up. So, they’ve always been around for as long as I can remember. And then I started making them. And they were okay. And then my Aunt came to the States for a visit – and she revealed the secret to a killer filling. And now, I make pretty darn tasty empanadas.
I’ve even thought about opening my own little lunch joint, but I digress…
If I wasn’t so intrigued by the menu and struggling with the goal to taste as many things on it as possible in one visit, I would have just ordered one of each. Five empanadas would have done me in – but I would have committed to see it through to the end.
It was process of elimination.
No mushrooms, thanks.
Oh, and no Bulgogi…
We’re already getting chicken…oh, and corn too.
Well, then – Asian pulled pork it is.
Really nice balance between crust and filling. I think I’m still wrapping my mind around the Asian flavors in a meat pocket that I’m used to tasting much differently. But that’s okay. Food can be challenging and still very good. The salsa-sauce on the side was a WIN too. Paired nicely with the richness of the filling.
3. Fresh Shrimp Summer Rolls
From the menu: Mint, Cilantro, Lettuce, Vermicelli, Peanut Sauce
Sigh. I have a serious weakness for food that I can eat with my fingers. And I am a BIG fan of various meat pocket fatty-nibbles. I mean, did you read about how much I LOVE empanadas?! (See #2 above.)
Well, I LOVE summer rolls too.
I very much prefer them to egg rolls or spring rolls. It’s like a salad TO GO. And a salad that you get to dip in peanut sauce. I mean, what is there NOT to like?!
I prefer chicken. Tofu is good too. But these guys had (very) plump shrimp, which is also an admirable filling. The fresh spices (mint and cilantro) provided a fuller flavor than if it had been just lettuce (which I’ve had before).
And the peanut sauce was ON POINT. I could just take a whole jar of that home – and stick a straw in it. It was thick and rich – and sticky. Very good.
From the menu: Corn on the Cob, Mayo, Cheese, Spices
So, even if I hadn’t just gone on and on (and on) about the meat pocket yummy-goodness, I would tell you to go to Lucha Tigre as soon as possible for their elotes.
That’s it. Go. Order. Eat.
And there’s no judgement if you need to order another one. Seriously.
The sweet, and the salty and the spicy. The juiciness of the corn nibblets on the cob.
OH. MY. GOODNESS.
Go. Order. Eat.
5. Pollo Saltado
From the menu: Peruvian Stir-Fry of Chicken, Tomatoes, Onions, Cilantro. Served Over French Fries with Rice and Salad
And then, the entree came.
And I didn’t realize that I had any real responsibility in helping to eat it, because I had just PIGGED OUT on meat pockets and corn on the cob.
Oh, boy. My belly.
Confession: I only had a little of this dish. For obvious reasons (see #1 through #4 above), I was pretty full, and hadn’t planned on saving a decent amount of space for noshing on the the goodness on this plate as well.
Will it be weird if I told you I went for the rice first?
As a Latina, I can tell you rice is very important. The women in my family make AMAZING rice. I haven’t gotten there yet. I need to practice more. And I know that Asian cuisine places a high regard on rice as well. So, I was interested in that first, unsullied taste.
It was good. But the real star on the plate was the chicken, colored a deep-red with what I can only assume was paprika, paired with the french fries.
So much yum.
But again, I only had a couple of bites before I had to throw in the towel (and thank goodness, I have a small take-home container filled to revisit tomorrow at lunch).
So, plenty of reasons to make a date night out of it. Or grab your pals – the ones who are okay with sharing food – and plan to tuck-in. It’ll be a mini-food fest.
And I didn’t EVEN make it to the drinks…
What kind of pretend-Irish girl am I?!
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-An Old Irish Blessing