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 might 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 near me, themed with cheeky pop-culture references like “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 absolutely was, it took my 9-year-old about three minutes flat to offer me his verdict of this newly opened restaurant: “This place is fun.”
His instinct was spot-on, as my family of four proceeded to get a delicious meal with stellar service in a kitschy space that screamed “good times.”
The food? We had barely gotten settled inside our booth when our server, whose name tag indicated we should call him “Jon Snow,” stopped at our table having a basket of warm, crispy chips with bowls of salsa as well as the restaurant’s signature Creamy Jalapeno sauce. The salsa was filled with mashed chunks of tomato and onion and, although it packed an excellent level of heat, the fresh tomato flavor is what really shone through. I was impressed in the beginning bite.
The jalapeno sauce was surprisingly milder than the salsa. The creamy sauce tasted like a homemade ranch dressing pureed with cilantro and lime juice with chunks of green chilies and jalapeno. I needed to battle my kids off for a few bites, which had been shocking for something with the word “jalapeno” inside the name.
When Jon stopped to refill our chips and find out if we were able to order, he gave us the scoop on the menu, emphasizing the restaurant’s persistence for serving the freshest food with all the highest-quality ingredients. The meats are grass-fed and non-GMO, and nothing however the fried potatoes and frozen treats is ever frozen. Each of the salsas and sauces are prepared fresh daily, and diners should swap them in the market to customize their meals.
The menu is 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 off with the Appetizer Plate, which included the essential Chile Con Queso, Nachos, two Deluxe Quesadillas, several Chicken Flautas and guacamole.
The queso was quite good, with its blend of melted cheese and Green Chile Sauce and Ranchero Sauce. It had a sweet heat but wasn’t too spicy. It’s much more interesting compared to basic white cheese and jalapeno dip you find at more traditional Mexican restaurants.
Chuy’s doesn’t offer call-ahead seating or reservations, so plan accordingly. Our server was clearly very busy with a full section, but we never felt rushed. Jon was patient with the indecision, chatty however, not overwhelming, gave helpful suggestions ogywhf answered our questions such as 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 was empty. He was easily one of the better servers I’ve ever encountered.
Family dinners out really are a rare treat, so it’s important to locate a destination having a menu that attracts a picky eater’s palate in addition to satisfies a mother or father who appreciates a quality meal. Using its fun, funky vibe and food that is a solid step above ordinary, chuys lunch menu is the perfect pick to impress the masses.