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Everyone Loves Chuy’s: Here’s Why

By Mae Bruce, A&E Editor

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Chuy’s, a popular restaurant based in Austin, has become a staple for Tex-Mex cuisine all across the nation. Established on Barton Springs Road almost 40 years ago, it has grown and spread its influence across 19 states and continues to provide a fun dining experience for its visitors. Whether you’re visiting Austin or have lived here all your life, it’s hard to ignore the glowing neon sign that beckons you to come back again and again.

When walking into Chuy’s, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the decorations and atmosphere of the restaurant. An Elvis shrine graces the waiting area, and the walls are all painted bright colors, ranging from orange to red to yellow. The whole restaurant is fun, each room with its own unique Austin quirks, and that’s what sets the restaurant apart from other Tex-Mex chains. The seats, colors, and even the music gives off a retro vibe, with the classic ‘80s hits playing in the background of your meal. The atmosphere can be a little overwhelming at times due to its popularity; the noise levels inside can be loud and the spacing feels cramped. Regardless, everything about Chuy’s atmosphere exemplifies fun.

I decided to order a range of dishes to get a feel for exactly what Chuy’s has to offer. I ended up ordering the Vegetarian Combo, the Chicken Combo, and the Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom enchiladas. The Vegetarian Combo came with a veggie enchilada and a chile relleno (stuffed pepper). The relleno was spicy and oozing cheese, practically melting in your mouth, although the breading was thick and took away some of the hotness of the pepper. The enchilada was flavorful and filled with a variety of tender vegetables. The blue corn tortilla set the enchilada apart. Chuy’s makes their own tortillas, and they were one of my favorite parts of all the dishes I ordered. They were fluffy, thick, and left you wanting more. The Vegetarian Combo was well done, and I would recommend it to anyone searching for a meat-free option.

The Chicken Combo has a chicken chalupa (almost like a flat taco, where all the ingredients are on top of a corn tortilla) and a soft chicken taco. I had never had a chalupa before and was quite curious as to what Chuy’s spin on it would involve. Luckily, they didn’t disappoint. The chalupa was easy to eat with your hands, just like eating a pizza. The tortilla once again tasted homemade, which enhanced the dish. One drawback was that it did feel like the chalupa was overloaded, with too much lettuce and beans, but it was fun to eat. The soft chicken taco wasn’t impressive, but I still enjoyed it. The flour tortilla was once again great, and the chicken was cooked well. I did end up having to add some queso to give the taco a little more flavor, so I’d suggest adding a sauce of your own if you order this dish, maybe creamy jalapeno or ranchero. Overall, I’d recommend this to someone who doesn’t enjoy spicy food and wouldn’t be opposed to eating everything with their hands.

Finally, I ordered the Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom enchilada, which is one of Chuy’s signature dishes. I love enchiladas, and this one’s fun name immediately drew me in. The enchilada is a chicken enchilada with ‘Boom-Boom’ sauce, and the sauce is definitely a highlight of the dish. It was spicy without being overwhelming, and it covered the enchilada but not to the extent that it distracted from the entree. I have to say that this was probably the best part of the enchilada overall, since the chicken inside the enchilada was a little undercooked and quite chewy. It was probably human error more than anything else, which was quite disappointing since I was really looking forward to this one. I’d still recommend this dish to someone who likes spice and enjoys something that tastes more unique than anything else.

For our entire meal — three dishes, a bowl of queso, and three drinks — the price came out to be about $45, which is quite affordable. The dishes I ordered ranged from about $8 to $10, and if you were going to Chuy’s for a quick lunch or dinner, the price really isn’t too expensive.

I will say that the thing I enjoy most about Chuy’s is the homey feel of the place. Our server was friendly and casual, and made sure to check up on us whenever she could. I didn’t have to wait very long for food at all, maybe about 10 minutes, and the wait to be seated wasn’t even five, which is quite rare for Chuy’s. Everything about Chuy’s, from the brightly colored booths and chairs, to the Austin-like decor and the fun Chuy’s shirts that all the employees wore, created a fun and unique eating experience. Chuy’s has been a part of the genuine Austin dinner scene for as long as anyone can remember, and if you enjoy Tex-Mex, Chuy’s is the place for you.

Overall Rating: four out of five stars (I really enjoyed it)

Chuy’s

11680 N. Research Blvd. | Austin, TX

P (512) 342-0011 | F (512) 342-2394

Sun – Thurs 11am to 10:00pm | Fri – Sat 11am to 11:00pm

https://www.chuys.com/

About the Writer
Mae Bruce, A&E Editor
 I enjoy listening to music, singing, and writing. I have two cats and a tortoise that I love the most. I strongly believe in ghosts and spend most of my free time watching true crime documentaries. I can't wait to pursue a career in journalism.
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