Chuy’s Tex-Mex may be a chain restaurant, but the food is fresh and homemade. And they make homemade tortillas and tortilla chips all day long!
As I look back on earlier blog posts I noticed way too many of my pictures look like I took them without my contacts in. I was in a rush to eat, so I just snapped a shot. The picture quality on my old cell phone was also just adequate. Sadly I didn’t realize my fail until I was ready to write the posts. You would think that would have been a hint from the beginning, but obviously not since I continued in that same pattern. For a little while I used the PicMonkey photo editing tool, but on some I think I made it worse, and I gave up and just used the original photos. I know that I need a good camera. I was really hoping that Santa would bring me one, but no such luck. In the meantime, I’m continuing to use my cell phone, and this one takes fantastic pictures when they are focused properly. As I was switching blog platforms from Blogger to WordPress over the past few weeks, I made a list of restaurants to revisit for better pictures. That list is a lot longer than I would like, but it gives me the chance to try different items and edit the posts at the same time.
When my parents were here over Christmas, we went out looking for a dining room set. We hit a few furniture stores in Tulsa, and then it was time for lunch. My parents like Mexican food, and Chuy’s was on my list for better pictures, so off we went.
Chuy’s started in Austin, TX and now has locations from New Mexico up to Indiana and down to Florida. There is a location in Norman, but sadly nothing in Stillwater. My first visit was to the Norman location was with Mary, and of course I just happened to be wearing an OSU shirt–I swear that happens every time I eat in Norman. We saw 2 OU football players as soon as we walked in the door and they didn’t look too happy to see OSU fans in their town. But oh well, that’s just too bad.
This was my first visit to the Tulsa location. All the Chuy’s restaurants have the same decor. The building is full of bright, bold colors and unique decorations, and they play great Mexican music throughout. There’s a good-sized waiting area with a host stand as you walk in, and during peak periods there will be a wait to be seated. The bar and large bar dining area is to the right, and the main dining room takes up the remainder of the space.
One of the most unique things about Chuy’s? They make their own handmade tortillas. Yes, a lot of places do that…but I don’t know of anywhere else where they make them practically right in front of you all day.
Chips and salsa come to the table first. You automatically get the regular salsa, but they also have 7 other sauces you can choose from. I learned from Mary that you also always ask for the creamy jalapeno
The chips are delicious. Light and crispy, lightly salted and served warm. It’s really easy to mindlessly eat mounds of chips. My mom is much better at self-control than my dad and I are. We didn’t go crazy though, and only ate one basket. The creamy jalapeno is outstanding, and not at all spicy like I originally thought it might be. The regular salsa was much too spicy for my dad, so we asked for something milder, and our server brought the table sauce
This sauce was very good with lots of flavor, but mild. I’d like to try some of the other sauces next time.
Another thing I love about Chuy’s are the cocktails. I couldn’t decide between a margarita or a Texas Martini, but you don’t get the cool shaker with the margarita, so of course Texas Martini it was. You choose your tequila, and then also choose Patron, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau. I told the server to surprise me, because that was too much work to make all those decisions.
This martini is powerful, and you have to sip it slowly. I do wish you could take the shaker. Actually you can, if you buy the bigger, more expensive one. I don’t need a shaker that badly.
My dad went with the veggie enchiladas, which is what I had last visit
I tried a bite, and it was just as good as I remembered. My dad really liked it as well. It did have a little kick from the serrano chiles, but not too bad. He used some of the table salsa, and that helped to cool it down.
My mom had the veggie combo
I tried a bite of her chile relleno, and it was fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever had one before, but I am definitely a fan. My mom doesn’t like a lot of cheese, but this one was not overwhelming. It was lightly fried, and the chile still held its texture and bite. The veggie enchilada comes topped with ranchero sauce, but my mom very rarely puts sauce on anything so she skipped that part.
Since I got a better picture of the veggie enchiladas from my dad’s plate, it gave me the perfect opportunity to try something new. I’ve read and heard that you shouldn’t order the specials in a restaurant; it usually means they’re trying to use up product that’s been sitting around or trying to move product that isn’t selling well. But I think that depends on the restaurant and the specials. All of the food at Chuy’s is made from scratch every day, and their daily specials are the same each week. I decided to go with the green chile pork tamales, the Wednesday special
The tamales were excellent. The pork was very tender and extremely flavorful from the chiles, and you could tell that the tamales are homemade. The rice had good flavor, but I only had a few bites. The server warned me that the tamales would be a little spicy, and she wasn’t kidding. Because of that I got the additional chile sauce on the side and did a mixture of the hatch and the red. Yes, that sauce had a good kick as waell, but I cooled it down by adding a little bit of the sour cream. The sauce had a wonderful depth of flavor without being heavy.
We had all ordered borracho beans, but the kitchen made a mistake with my plate, and put refried beans. The server quickly realized the error, and brought me a side of the borracho beans. I’m usually in the middle on refried beans. When they are made well, they are outstanding, but unfortunately you don’t get that at many restaurants. These refried beans were very good, and had a nice texture.
I was disappointed in these borracho beans. They weren’t bad by any stretch, but I’ve definitely had better. The beans were cooked too long for my liking, so they were very mushy. Also, I like borracho beans that are mainly beans; this one was almost like a bean soup. On the positive side, the broth was extremely flavorful.
Chuy’s is my favorite chain Mexican restaurant. The food is fresh, everything is delicious, and how could I possibly give up the creamy jalapeno sauce?! Yes, of course I will continue to eat here.