For a lot of people, beer food means nachos and jalapeno poppers. But Stuyvie Bearns Esteva and Noelle Marie Antolin, the owners of Lúpulo Craft Beer House, are challenging that notion.
Their restaurant, which opened last month, is both a haven for beer fanatics, and a Latin fusion restaurant. We asked Esteva and Antolin about how it works.
Good Times: How obsessed are you with beer?
STUYVIE BEARNS ESTEVA: I’m very obsessed with beer. Noelle and I have been waiting for about seven years for someone to open a place like this. We both decided that maybe it was time to jump into the game.
You have something called a Papa Baked Potato Sandwich on your menu. What on earth is that?
ESTEVA: That was Noelle’s creation. I thought she was pretty crazy. It’s basically a baked potato in a sandwich. It’s delicious, and very moist.
NOELLE MARIE ANTOLIN: You have baked, sliced pieces of potato that are seasoned with garlic powder and salt and pepper and olive oil, piled on with green onions and cheddar cheese and sour cream, and then grilled to perfection. Oh yeah, and bacon as well. It’s definitely good beer food.
What’s an out-of-the-ordinary beer you’d suggest?
ESTEVA: We have sour beers, something that a lot of people have never tasted. They’re beers that have a tartness to them, which can vary from being mildly tart to almost vinegar tart. It’s traditionally from Belgium. A lot of American brewers are making sour beers now. A lot of people when they have their first sour beer will think there’s something wrong with it, but as their taste develops then all the sudden it can’t be sour enough. It’s the big rage in the beer world right now.
What about a recommendation from the Latin fusion menu?
ANTOLIN: Albondigas En Almendra. It’s a traditional Spanish tapas. It’s not cream-based, it’s almond-based, like a creamy almond saffron sauce. It’s really rich. The base is bread that’s fried in olive oil. In Spanish cuisine, a lot of times you used fried bread as a thickener, so that adds a ton of flavor. Then we’re also infusing tons of sherry wine, and we’re trying to play with infusing beer into our food.
Lúpulo Craft Beer House is at 233 Cathcart St., Santa Cruz, 454.8306.