The Hungry Burro | La Lucha

La Lucha is easily lost among the eateries along Juana Osmena Street even with its light-up signage in red, boldface Helvetica. Working up an appetite after house-hunting with The Pussykat, it was a few blocks far enough to sweat through my sleeves. She insisted that we walk all the way, confident she was wearing flats, to regretfully flick beads of sweat off her brow when we reached the non-airconditioned space. The sole industrial fan was hogged by two other patrons at one table leaving us to enjoy the temperature as I would imagine it would be at taquerias in Mexico. I would highly recommend a visit at a cooler evening time. Done up roughly in a single coat of orange enamel paint, it had a no frills, we-serve-real-food-and-nothing-else attitude. No waitresses in faux-Mex ensembles here.

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Asking for specialty cold drinks, we were offered a Pineapple & Mango Agua Fresca and a Horchata. Reminiscent of those sugary “fruit juices” sold from sidewalk pushcarts, that Pineapple-Mango combo hinted at real fruit ingredients with the inclusive fruit chunks. Described by the attendant as “rice juice”, the Horchata registered the taste and consistency of sweetened skim milk with some nutty notes and the flavor of the broth in unsalted rice porridge. Pegged at PHP50 a regular dixie, it was a bit of a stretch to justify pricing with half the cups filled with ice. Refreshing nonetheless.

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My Super Burrito was stuffed with beans, rice, salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole and Pollo Asado or grilled chicken, a step-up from the Regular which would be missing the Sour Cream and Guac. The chicken was among the meat choices of Carne Asada — Steak, Carnitas — Braised Pork, Pollo — Chicken Breast, Buche — Pork Stomach, Chille Verde — Pork in Tomatillo sauce, Lengua — Beef Tongue and Al Pastor — Marinated Pork. Possibly used to the aggressive “Mexican” flavors of local restaurants, one would find this burrito pleasantly subtle with individual flavors of the ingredients melding together almost indiscernibly from the other in a beautiful little Mexican Hat Dance in your mouth.

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The PussyKat had a Regular Flour Quesadilla which only had cheese and fresh salsa, skipping the sour cream, guac and meat of the “Super Flour” one. Served as a split half-moon instead of the usual sandwich of two tortillas cut into wedges, the thin profile did not betray the substantial fillings. Having that gritty, hand-rolled texture authenticity, the tortillas had enough density and benefitted from a slight toasting on the griddle to hold up like a thin-crust pizza. Almost good enough to eat by itself.

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Orange and Jalapeno sauces were served in squeeze bottles, the former surprisingly spicier than the expectedly extremely spicy latter. Sadly, the attendants could not give us any more information on the make other than that their amo makes it himself, emphasizing that he’s the real DelaCoy and needlessly adding that he’s only twenty-nine.

Literally with an entire wall of choices, the menu printed on a tarp covering a wall, La Lucha — translated to The Fight or referring to the Mexican show wrestling, may very well mean the internal struggle to choose between burritos, tacos, quesadillas, tortas, tostadas, enchiladas, flautas and the many different permutations of each.

La Lucha is located at 225-G Elizabeth Pond, Kamputhaw, Cebu City right beside NS Pension House.

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