Lucha Tigre is a new Latin / Asian fusion eatery on Chapel Hill’s Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard*, tucked into the Foster’s/Flyleaf stripmall. (Well, I’m saying it’s new, because whenever I mention it, I’m told that it used to be the Flying Burrito, but honestly every restaurant here is new to me.) Inside, the place is styled with modern red, white and black paintings, and lit with those wonderful hipster essentials, paper lanterns and strings of Christmas tree lights.
The menu creatively blends Asian and Latin staples, for tasty tapas like Thai Chicken Empanadas. Several vegetarian options, too, although so far Chapel Hill and Carrboro have been pretty good about offering vegetarian options besides a token salad. Tapas are stylishly plated, and it’s pretty much impossible not to share them, another reason Lucha Tigre is a sweet date spot.
Brunch offerings vary, but have included a pork belly biscuit for Southern-Asian flair and huevos rancheros. And the brunch menu always includes mimosas and bloody Marys my hipster brunch essentials. Perfect for a late-morning catchup with friends. They have recently raised the price of the all-you-can-drink mimosas which is probably not because last time Alicia and I drank their profit margin. It is probably just a coincidence.
There’s a pretty impressive bar, with a collection of sake and tequila — what else would you expect in Asian/Latin fusion spot? Cocktails might be a little steeper than the student pubs of Chapel Hill, but inexpensive for Brooklyn transplants. (I keep getting $4 cocktails, expecting mixer with a hint of booze, and then when I take a sip, I remember that I am not in New York City anymore. In other news, I don’t hate everything in North Carolina.). PBR and unusual drink specials complete the hipster vibe, and it’s almost jarring to step out into a sprawling parking lot instead of running for the G train home.
* MLK Boulevard is not to be confused with Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, or MLK Parkway. Those do not go anywhere near Lucha Tigre. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is the one that is also called Airport Road, and Route 86, because road naming in North Carolina is payback for Reconstruction.