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 an actual shrine and paintings on the walls of celebrities dressed as Elvis from different periods of his life. Or perhaps it was the display of chuys restaurant, themed with cheeky pop-culture references such as “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 provide me his verdict of this newly opened restaurant: “This place is fun.”
His instinct was spot-on, as our kids of four proceeded to have 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 need to call him “Jon Snow,” stopped at our table using a basket of warm, crispy chips with bowls of salsa and the restaurant’s signature Creamy Jalapeno sauce. The salsa was filled with mashed chunks of tomato and onion and, although it packed a great amount of heat, the fresh tomato flavor is exactly what really shone through. I was impressed initially bite.
The jalapeno sauce was surprisingly milder compared to 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 battle the kids off for several bites, that was shocking for something with the word “jalapeno” in the name.
When Jon stopped to refill our chips and see if we were able to order, he gave us the scoop on the menu, emphasizing the restaurant’s dedication to serving the freshest food with all the highest-quality ingredients. The meats are grass-fed and non-GMO, and nothing nevertheless the french-fried potatoes and ice cream is ever frozen. All of the salsas and sauces are prepared fresh daily, and diners are encouraged to swap them in the market to customize their meals.
The menu is really 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 number 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, using its combination of melted cheese and Green Chile Sauce and Ranchero Sauce. It had a sweet heat but wasn’t too spicy. It’s a lot more interesting than the basic white cheese and jalapeno dip you locate 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 each of 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 best servers I’ve ever encountered.
Family dinners out really are a rare treat, so it’s important to discover a destination using a menu that attracts a picky eater’s palate in addition to satisfies a parent who appreciates an excellent meal. Featuring its fun, funky vibe and food that is a solid step above ordinary, chuys menu prices is the best pick to impress the masses.