Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tupelo - Good enough for Elvis, good enough for me...

Last night Nick and I went to Tupelo over in Inman Square in Cambridge (yes, we ventured across the bridge).  Nick used to live right around the corner so we have been to Tupelo at least a half a dozen times and loved it each time.  So, when it came up on Groupon last year, we bought three of them.  However, since that time Nick has moved in and getting to Cambridge always seems more difficult.  We had one groupon left to use before it expired at the end of February, so last night we went and remembered exactly why we love it so much!

Disclaimer for Tupelo, though: you need to leave your diets at the door.  You need to go in ready for a fat kid dinner, but really, you are going to enjoy EVERY moment of it and it will all be worth it!

Most of the time there is a wait for a table, so we jumped on the two chairs at the bar, right next to Elvis.

Hanging with Elvis...who is wearing my ear muffs!
Tupelo has a great variety of beers, a lot that are authentic to the south, including Abita and Dixie.  This time Nick and I went for two different Dixie's, the Blackened Voodoo and the Lager.

Some Dixie's
Neither of us had tried this beer before, but both had a nice flavor.  The Blackened Voodoo had a nice spice to it and the Lager was just nice and smooth.  At some point during our dinner I ordered another beer and got a Tusker Lager, which is actually from Kenya.

This was good - not as good as the Dixie, but I wanted to try something new.  Of note though is that the bottle was super heavy.  As in I actually had to have Nick confirm because I thought I was going crazy!

They had a couple of specials, one being Frito Pie, which they describe as Frito corn chips smothered with Texas-Red beef chili, Cheddar cheese, chopped onions, sour cream, lime and cilantro.  Nick did not have to think twice, this had his name written all over it!

Frito Pie
This dish is not for the faint of heart.  There is a whole lot of good spice in this "pie."  I am now a believer that Frito's should be in all chili - the salty crunch worked so well.

I ordered the fried oysters that come with green Tabasco aioli and their house pickles. 

Whole oyster plate
To be honest, I hate all pickles, so that did not sell me on the dish, but Nick really likes them.  In fairness, the house pickles were a actually a variety of pickled products.  The oysters though, were fantastic! 
Oyster close-up
Their oysters were huge!  The batter on these had a great spicy heat to them and were not too greasy.  All of them were really juicy.  All in all, some great flavor.  They totally got my taste buds ready for the spice in the entrees.

I was a bit conflicted for the entrees, the beef brisket (a menu item) or the pork chop special.  So I asked our bartender and she really could not decide!  Left to my own devices, I went with the pork chop special because I figured I could get the brisket when I go back.

Pork chop plate...
The pork chop, which was huge, was sitting in black-eyed peas and had a pile of onion rings on top.  The black-eyed peas were delicious.  Since it was a special, I cannot recall exactly what all was in them, but it was spicy and I really could not get enough.  The onion rings, like the oysters, had a great batter and were not too greasy like some can get.  However, neither of these tasty components out shined the pork chop.  It was huge, but cooked to perfection.

Pork chop close up
I always think pork chops are an easy dish for people to screw up.  It can get really dry and hockey puck like (read: inedible) easily.  This was not the case.  Even though it was large and thick, each bit was really juicy and had a lot of flavor.  I definitely made a good choice with the pork chop special.

Nick was also conflicted about his entree order, for him it was the crawfish etouffee or the beer batter crepes.  Again, we turned to our bartender and she, without hesitation, said the etouffee.  So, he went with that. 

Crawfish Etouffee
This was basically a bowl full of goodness.  I guess Nick went for the bowls and I went for the fried!  The etouffee has so many pieces of craw fish in there.  This dish also had some heat to it.  I mean, when you took a bite, it was spicy, but then the aftertaste spice snuck up on you.  It was hot!  But again, Tupelo does a great job with their spices - its all hot, but it all added great flavor and was not at all over done.

At this point we were faced with dessert.  We were totally full, but Tupelo gets their pies from Petsi Pies, which might as well be your grandmother's kitchen.  Even better, their ice cream is from Toscanini's, which puts most grocery store brands, even the boutique ones, to shame.  The one type of pie we had not tried before was the chocolate cream so that made a really difficult decision much easier.  Then, in celebration of Elvis's birthday last weekend, Toscanini's made them chocolate, banana and peanut butter ice cream, which was not available anywhere else.  At this point, it was really a no-brainer. 

Wow - this was good!  The ice cream was amazing, with just enough banana and peanut butter flavor so that neither outdid the other.  I could have just eaten that!  The pie, of course, was delicious.  The chocolate cream and the whipped cream were both nice and smooth.  The dessert was totally worth it.

Like I said, leave the diets at the door.  Both Nick and I rolled out of there and were talking about when we could go back.  We have not really repeated any dishes and everything we have ordered has been amazing.  The restaurant has a great neighborhood feel - the people at the bar are all friendly and talk to each other, and the bartender was great and more than willing to make suggestions when asked.

Tupelo is well worth the trip across the bridge!

Tupelo on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm a big fan of Tupelo and you've reminded me that it is time for a return visit!

  2. New Diet Taps into Innovative Idea to Help Dieters LOSE 12-23 Pounds in Just 21 Days!


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