Chuy’s was just what I expected. It is a chain after all, another in a growing line of chains that now populate Country Club Plaza. And though I prefer Southwestern cuisine to TeX-Mex, I figured I should try it. And now that I have, I’ve done my duty.
Some of the food was good, and the portions are certainly substantial. If you have small children, it’s a great place to take them since there are lots of distractions. In fact, for those who remember the original Houlihan’s look with old tools, furniture and the like hanging from the ceiling, this is the Mexican version of that “style”.
Chips are brought to each table in a basket and are refilled with a mini shovel. A slushy pico de gallo comes with, though the menu also has a long list of house made salsas that diners can request, ranging in spice from mild to very hot, featuring different peppers. We tried the Hatch green chile and the tomatillo, both of which were fine, but not exciting. The Hatch green chile salsa was the perfect addition to the chile con queso that we had picked up at the Happy Hour Nacho bar, which is displayed in a portion of a car trunk. The bar features the same chips and salsa that are brought to the table, along with the queso and ground beef. It’s all free from 4-7 P.M.
We started with a bowl of tortilla soup that was chockfull of pulled chicken, corn, carrots and tortilla chips. It tasted very much like Grandma’s chicken soup, but adding more of that Hatch green chile salsa did wonders for it.
One of the Chuy specials is the Southwestern Enchiladas, stacked blue corn tortillas with pulled chicken, green chile sauce (a different green chile sauce than the Hatch) and a fried egg on top. Each entrée comes with Mexican rice or green chile rice, and refried or Charro beans. In addition to the enchiladas, which definitely tasted better than they looked, we ordered a Fajita chicken burrito smothered with red chile sauce. I had high hopes when it was placed before me, as the sauce was deep red and obviously made with chiles rather than tomatoes. But unfortunately, in addition to being too salty, I don’t think the chile powder had been throughly cooked into the sauce. However, the Charro beans that were stuffed inside the burrito and both rices were quite good.