Maybe it was the lime green snakeskin vinyl bench and the schools of wooden fish suspended from the ceiling of the lobby of Chuy’s Tex-Mex restaurant on Gunbarrel Road that did it. Or it could have been the Elvis tributes dotting the room, including a genuine shrine and paintings on the walls of celebrities dressed as Elvis from different periods of his life. Or maybe it was the display of chuys restaurant, themed with cheeky pop-culture references including “Finding Chuy” (with a fish), “Chattanooga Chuy” (with a vintage locomotive) or “PikaChuy: Gotta Eat ’em All” (with a fish popping out of a Poké Ball). Whatever it had been, it took my 9-year-old about three minutes flat to give me his verdict of this newly opened restaurant: “This place is fun.”
His instinct was spot-on, as our family of four proceeded to possess a delicious meal with stellar service in a kitschy space that screamed “happy times.”
The food? We had barely gotten settled in our booth when our server, whose name tag indicated we should call him “Jon Snow,” stopped at our table using a basket of warm, crispy chips with bowls of salsa and also the restaurant’s signature Creamy Jalapeno sauce. The salsa was filled with mashed chunks of tomato and onion and, even though it packed a great quantity of heat, the fresh tomato flavor is the thing that really shone through. I had been impressed at first bite.
The jalapeno sauce was surprisingly milder compared to the salsa. The creamy sauce tasted such as a homemade ranch dressing pureed with cilantro and lime juice with chunks of green chilies and jalapeno. I had to combat the kids off for several bites, which was shocking for something with the word “jalapeno” in the name.
When Jon stopped to refill our chips and find out whenever we were prepared to order, he gave us the scoop on the menu, emphasizing the restaurant’s commitment to serving the freshest food with the highest-quality ingredients. The meats are grass-fed and non-GMO, surely nothing but the french-fried potatoes and frozen treats is ever frozen. All of the salsas and sauces are prepared fresh daily, and diners ought to swap them to customize their meals.
The menu is just as extensive, with appetizers ($7-$10), salads and soups ($5-$10), burritos ($9-$11), enchiladas ($9-$11), house specialties ($9-$10.50), tacos ($8.50-$10.50), fajitas ($13.50-$14.50) and combination plates ($7-$11.50).
To sample a wider variety of items, we started with the Appetizer Plate, which included the basic Chile Con Queso, Nachos, two Deluxe Quesadillas, several Chicken Flautas and guacamole.
The queso was quite good, using its blend of melted cheese and Green Chile Sauce and Ranchero Sauce. It enjoyed a sweet heat but wasn’t too spicy. It’s far more interesting compared to the basic white cheese and jalapeno dip you find at more conventional Mexican restaurants.
Chuy’s doesn’t offer call-ahead seating or reservations, so plan accordingly. Our server was clearly very busy having a full section, but we never felt rushed. Jon was patient with our indecision, chatty however, not overwhelming, gave helpful suggestions ogywhf answered all of our questions like a man who genuinely knew every item on the menu. He was kind and attentive to our own squirrelly kids, and refilled my husband’s drink every time before it absolutely was empty. He was easily among the best servers I’ve ever encountered.
Family dinners out certainly are a rare treat, so it’s important to locate a destination using a menu that attracts a picky eater’s palate as well as satisfies a parent who appreciates an excellent meal. Using its fun, funky vibe and food that is a solid step above ordinary, chuys near me is the ideal pick to impress the masses.