THIS IS WHERE THE “MAYOR OF MICHAEL’S” DINED WHEN HE WASN’T AT THAT MID­TOWN ME­DIA HOTSPOT

SAVEUR - - 25th Anniversar­y -

Dec­o­rated with Christ­mas lights, crepepa­per flow­ers, and a whole lot of Formica, Lupe’s East L.A. Kitchen was not a whitetable­cloth restau­rant. The nap­kins were pa­per, and they were tiny. But this fam­i­lyrun Mex­i­can joint sat a block away from

Saveur’s Soho of­fices. Back then, the menu con­sisted mostly of tacos, bur­ri­tos, and en­chi­ladas with a choice of green or red sauce and a side of rice and beans. One day, I no­ticed an up­scale ad­di­tion: Häa­gen Dazs ice-cream bars. What was this?! As I ex­plained to my lunch com­pan­ions, no one in my home­town of Abi­lene, Texas, could pro­nounce the for­eign name cor­rectly, so ev­ery­body just said “Hogs ’n’ Dogs.” So that’s what we or­dered for dessert at Lupe’s: “Hogs ’n Dogs on a stick,

por fa­vor!” Need­less to say, the Saveur gang knew all the wait­ers and cooks, and they knew us. Un­pre­ten­tious, fun, and gen­uine, Loopy’s, as we called it, re­flected the spirit of our scrappy startup com­pany. It was the per­fect spot for a skele­ton staff, on a shoestring bud­get, to grab a quick bite be­fore get­ting back to the busi­ness of pub­lish­ing a smart new food mag­a­zine. —Joe Arm­strong, found­ing pub­lish­ing di­rec­tor, 1993–1998

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