It might not be pretty, GLOBers, but Chuy's Deluxe Enchilada with cheese and deluxe tomatillo sauce is one of the best lunches I have had in some time. All right, I think what made this Enchildada Deluxe special was my request to try the Deluxe Chicken Enchilada without the chicken--because I just wanted the green tomatillo sauce, which sounded delicious. Lunching by myself, I sat at the bar to speed up the sometimes slow service. I asked the barkeep/server if it was possible to get the Chicken Enchilada without the chicken and no Mexican rice for me please. My expert server said no problem and replaced the chicken with the veggie mix of spinach, onions, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell peppers, serranos, roasted green chiles, and corn. The server suggested two orders of the charro beans. According to Wikipedia : Frijoles charros (cowboy beans) is a traditional Mexican dish. It is named after the traditional Mexican cowboy horsemen, or charros. The beans are characterized by pinto beans stewed with onion, garlic, and bacon. Other common ingredients include chili peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, ham, sausage, pork and chorizo. The Charro beans had amazing flavors with the savory Latin tastes of chili peppers, cilantro, chorizo, onion and, garlic. WHAT A TASTE TREAT! The two enchiladas drenched in the tomatillo sauce surprised me with so many flavors highlighted by the spicy, mildy tempered heat from the green chilis. This blue ribbon meatless lunch was way too much to eat for one small GLOB Master. After years of being a c lean-your-plate kind of food lover I'm starting to get a complex about not cleaning my lunch plate properly . . . Meet me for your next meatless lunch at Chuy's GLOBer and we can share this belly bomb amalgamation of spicy green lunch time bliss.
Tex-Mex lunch serves up Austin memories
> The GLOB Master presents his impressions of Chuy's Mexican below this feature
By Bubba Scott, GLOB Correspondent
Editor's Note: Farmer Bubba Scott is a container vegetable farmer. To help support the farm, he is also a P.H.D., Professional Home Developer/Repairman
I recently received a call on my red Gaineville Lunch Out Blog emergency phone, from GLOB Master Mike about visiting a new restaurant in town that should take me back to my good ole days in Austin, Texas, when I used to go to a restaurant called Chuy's.
When Lynn was recently visiting my farm, she mentioned Chuy's to me, and I asked if it was the one from Austin, Texas. After further investigation I found out it was.
Oh my! Chuy's started in Austin in 1982 -- see other story link above -- on Barton Springs Road. That was the same year I started my home improvement business. Boy does that bring back some memories.
Barton Springs was the outdoor 'place to go' in Austin on weekends. When I lived there, I can remember taking my two daughters there for some good ole Tex-Mex cuisine and fun times. Chuy's was wildly decorated and if you've ever been to Austin, you would know Chuy's was tops in Southern hospitality. Yes, Texas is Southern to me.
When we drove up in front of the Gainesville Chuy's for lunch, I recognized the wildly decorated sign on the outside, but did they bring a little of Austin with 'em was my question.
Upon entering, I said to myself, oh yes they did. We were met with smiles and much Southern hospitality. We were greeted by our server Brittany. Again, all smiles. We were a group of four GLOB representatives: the GLOB Master, Mike; Lynn the Content Editor; Joan. a GLOB contributor, and myself. After a quick vote, we chose a booth for our lunch. We just wanted the comfort of a little extra space.
I just kept look'n around the restaurant thinking about what I left behind in Texas.
For lunch I ordered the taco salad with chicken and a side of jalapeno peppers.
Before my food arrived, Christine Brittany made sure my tea glass was filled and asked if there was anything else we needed.
We were served chips with three kinds of salsa, the Tex Mex, tomatillo, and the creamy Jalapeno.
Chuy's corn chips and their tortillas are made fresh and in three varieties: corn, blue corn and flour. Really, you can watch 'em make 'em at the tortilla creation station. Now thats some creative Southern word play that rolls off your tongue.
When my taco salad arrived, I thought, WOW! This is Austin style. Along with the taco salad came little bowls of goodies. WOW again.
How was my Taco Salad? The first thing I realized is they put a variety of mixed greens in the salad. Before I added anything to it, I wanted to see if the veggie ingredients had their own flavors. Being a grower of greens and other vegetables I know what good produce should taste like. My salad veggies met teh taste test and had a variety of good flavors.
The grilled chicken added its own flavor. Now this was a taco salad. The jalapeno peppers were warm but not hot and all of the sauces had their own heat and flavor.
One thing I found very interesting was that I never had to ask for anything. Once they knew what I needed, it was always there. I can't say that about other places I have visited for lunch.
When we arrived for lunch close to 11:30, Chuy's was a bit empty. After about 30 minutes, I'm glad we got there early. This place filled up fast.
I'm giving Chuy's a big 10 on the food scale and want to thank Brittany for making my first visit one that calls for a re-visit.
I think of it like this. I just ate some of the best Tex-Mex food from Austin, Texas, and didn't have to take a plane trip to eat it.
When my lunch partner says Chuy's Tex-Mex, I automatically think Hatch chili peppers. They grow in one place in this world and could be one of the tastiest peppers you will ever enjoy. A recent story says it best: "Hatch chiles are a foodie dream food: They have a short season (in the late summer to early fall) and a unique flavor profile—and they're hard to get your hands on." Chuy's has a great Chili Relleno Two-Fer of two chile rellenos: fire-roasted Hatch chilis with your choice of filling battered and fried to perfection and drizzled with sour cream, with ranch sauce and tomatillo sauce on the side. The flavor and the texture of the thick-walled pepper is indeed a foodie dream. The gooey ranch sauce combined with the perfectly deep fried crunch. The customary sides of refried beans and Mexican rice are nice mediums to absorb the extra sauce and cheese. BTW were you aware the unique climate and rich soil of Hatch Valley, not found anywhere else in the world, are key to the green chile's legendary flavor? Each year Chuy's contracts with farmers in the Hatch Valley to grow over 1.75 million pounds of the freshest green chilis just for Chuy's restaurants. Carumba! That's a lot of Meatless Monday lunch orders GLOBers.
Tex-Mex, '56 Buick and Elvis at one lunch stop
All Gainesville Lunch Out Blogers should have Elayna Rexrode join them for lunch the first time they visit Chuy's Mexican restaurant.
Elayna is the Operations Director for PRO iNK, the marketing and public relations firm that has helped Chuy's establish their Tex-Mex presence in Gainesville.
Before Chuy's opened in Gainesville, Elayna spent several days in Austin to acquaint herself with the nuts and bolts, facts and figures and, most importantly, the Chuy's fascination with Elvis (see other Chuy's feature) and the unique culture that characterizes the 33 Chuy's restaurants. Although the culture is the same, no two Chuy's restaurants have the exact same décor.
NOTE TO GLOBers: Read the sign in the second dog photo.
Gainesville's Chuy’s is a Gator blue with a 1956 Buick 'loaded' with all the necessary Tex-Mex nacho ingredients to get your lunch started. Elayna and the GLOB Master discussed which was coolest – the blue Buick fins or the retro hub caps.
Mexico’s Mil Pescado from the village of Tlaquepaque in Mexico hand-carved and hand-painted the 1,000 wooden fish hanging from the Chuy’s ceiling He also delivered the fish to Gainesville and hung each one according to exacting specifications.
The Chuy's tortilla station stays busy making flour, corn and blue corn tortillas for chips, chalupas, enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos, and burritos.
Elliot, Chuy's Assistant General Manager, has been in Gainesville since planning for Chuy’s began and says the quality of a Tex-Mex restaurant is always identified first by the quality of their chips and salsa. Chuy's sports eight different salsas. Be sure to try the Creamy Jalapeno!
Oh, that's right, we were there for lunch. Giant portions, everything made fresh, I ordered the beef fajita and UF Entomology Art Director, Jane Medley, my lunch partner, ordered the Deluxe Chicken Enchilada.
"OMG I think I am in heaven, this is so good," was Jane's comment several times while enjoying her Chuy's lunch. GLOB Staffer Farmer Bubba Scott grew up in Texas and is looking forward to visiting Chuy's and making some comments soon.
There is a Chuy's menu available at the Restaurant link below this feature.
- Mike S., GLOB Master
> PRO iNK's Elayna Rexrode and Terry Van Nortwick report on trip to Chuy's home base in Austin, Texas to get a first hand glimpse of life in the Chuy's Mexican world.
With 19 Spanish and Mexican lunch stops on the Urban GLOP map, Chuy's Mexican on SW 34 th St. never disappoints with excellent, quick, service plus they have their own special link to some of the best peppers -- the Texas Hatch Anaheim Chilis. The big, thick, pepper membrane is unlike any other yummy, spicy pepper I have seen in Gainesville. Add to that the fact that the extensive Chuy's menu is loaded with veggie and meatless options. I was set for my obligatory Chuy's Chili Relleno with the fresh Anaheim pepper, fire-roasted and filled with my choice of ground sirloin, chicken, or shrimp and cheese when I noticed the daily Special was a Big Mambo Burrito. This burrito was so big it looked to me like two people could not eat this Mexican lunch prize in a lunch hour. My very friendly server suggested they could create the Big Mambo in a half size portion for me. CARUMBA! Now that was a great idea. I'm really starting to have a hard time with lunch options that are so darn big I can't finish them. I eat lunch to satisfy my palette, not to take home left overs for the rest of the week. The burrito was excellent and loaded with refried beans, cheese, my favorite pepper, and some delicious tomatillo sauce. I was in Tex-Mex lunch heaven. With the smaller burrito, it felt good OK to also indulge in the treat of a crunchy hard shell taco with refried beans, cheese topped with the Chuy's spicy, refresh salsa. With the addition of Costa Vida At the same SW Archer Rd. corner as 3 other Mexican lunch stands within walking distance of each other, Chuy's is a stand out with their full menu and awesome Hatch green chilis.
Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Chuy's. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!
- Phone Number: 373-2489
- Address: 3410 Archer Rd., Gainesville, FL
- Urban GLOB Location: Archer Road
- Web Site: Chuy's Mexican
- Latitude: 29.6274085
- Longitude: -82.3737408
ME Wednesday, 09 January 2013 10:59 Comment Link
I just wanted to say thank you for all the Great info you send out. I read the Daily GLOBl each day and it totally keeps me in touch with what is going on around in Gainesville. I was so excited to read about Elvis Day @ Chuy's, I immediately called my husband, who is a huge fan of Elvis. Needless to say he broke out his Elvis wig and glasses and we enjoyed a wonderful "Elvis Dinner" FREE at Chuy's last night along with some friends from our Motorcycle Group. PS: they even had free cake that was to die for… Thanks again…ME
Pam H. Friday, 13 July 2012 09:58 Comment Link
Went to Chuy's yesterday for lunch. I thought the building, while gaudy, was fairly interesting. Lots of bright colors and lots of things to look at. While the service was second to none, the food was merely okay. I had a fajita chicken burrito with tomatilla sauce. I wasn't really very impressed with it, and I'm a VERY dedicated fan of Mexican and Latin foods. The things I liked most were the chips, which were thin and crispy, but which broke easily while trying to dip up the salsa. I also liked the tomato salsa and the jalapeno salsa. Both were excellent. I would say, though, that those two things aren't good enough to entice me back for a second try.
PLUS: Besides the AWESOME service, good salsas and thin chips.
MINUS: Thin chips that break!
Jane Osmond Friday, 06 July 2012 18:10 Comment Link
My husband and I just moved to Gainesville from Austin. We were delighted to find Chuy's was coming to town. I've been twice for lunch since they opened and am planning a visit for dinner this week-end. The staff are trying really hard to please, the atmosphere is festive, and the food... well, you just can't beat that good Tex-Mex. So happy we have a taste from home here in the Gator Nation.
Akarow Friday, 06 July 2012 13:28 Comment Link
As a Texan, I was very excited and critical of Chuy's coming to town. Having been now 7 times since they opened, I have to say I have been pleased every time!
The food tasted just like it did back in Houston and Austin, so I was pleased. I have yet to order anything that I haven't enjoyed (and I've tried almost everything!).
Yes, it is busy and waiters/waitresses are still learning, but the food is certainly worth the wait. The chips and salsa are always flowing and they are darn good by themselves. :)
If you like chile rellenos, Chuy’s are EXCELLENT! They are very crispy on the outside, but the coating is not thicker than the pepper – you actually see that it is indeed a pepper (Anaheim to be exact) that is revealed because the peppers are thick-walled, and so you get a great pepper flavor along with the filling. I also had the veggie enchilada and thought it was very good, but I was so taken with the relleno that I can’t remember all the details. So, I will be going back for the veggie enchilada another time. The one thing I do remember is that I liked the selection of veggies that were used and they were cooked perfectly.
Jules Monday, 02 July 2012 12:16 Comment Link
We had dinner last week at Chuy's, and I must agree with Heidi R.
It was extremely mediocre.
Our waitress was spaced out-granted it was the first night- but our bar order- which we asked for 3 times- finally arrived 40 minutes later. We were through eating, and the Margarita was so-so. I did not even drink it.
Chips are good, salsa just o.k,
My Chalupa was the only 'fresh' item on the plate.
The only item with shredded lettuce.
All the rest were over sauced items that all tasted the same. Even the taco was boring.
So I would not return, not with La Fiesta and El Indio at the ready. Also, WAY too loud.
Heidi R. Monday, 02 July 2012 09:49 Comment Link
Underwhelming. I had been very excited for this restaurant to open up, because I love New Mexican food. While this is about as close to New Mexican food as you'll find in Gainesville, the quality is pretty sub-par. Ordered the Chuy's special, which is advertised as being made with "blue corn tortillas." In New Mexico, items made with blue corn tortillas are actually made with tortillas made out of blue corn, rather than regular corn with maybe a tiny bit of blue added (gray corn tortillas?). The tomatillo sauce was decent, but there was not enough to keep it from being a very dry dish. The waitress forgot to put in our order of guacamole, so after reporting this, it arrived after our dinner (and we were charged). However, the guacamole was some of the worst I have ever had - super bland. It appeared to be plain mashed avocado with a tiny bit of chopped tomato and no spices at all! Yuck. They do have nice chips,and a good system for distributing them on a regular basis; wish they were better at keeping up the salsa (which was just okay). We did enjoy the sopapillas (they were a bit dense, though). Service seemed a bit confused (neighboring table had dairy in items when he had ordered no dairy, so it wasn't just us; also, we were brought food that was supposed to be for another table on 2 occasions), however, it was the first week, so hopefully they will get their act together. There did seem to be a lot of management people milling around inquiring about service. Finally, just a heads up, they seem to really push their "creamy jalapeno" sauce, which seems to be nothing more than ranch dressing.
I might try this restaurant again at some point down the line, but definitely would never order the guacamole or Chuy's Special again. Overall I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars.
FRED WATKINS Tuesday, 26 June 2012 14:08 Comment Link
WOW.HAD LUNCH AT CHUY'S TODAY, THE ELVIS SPECIAL, AND IT WAS GREAT. THE FIRST 100 CUSTOMERS GOT A FREE TSHIRT I HAD ENOUGH FOOD WHERE I HAD EXTRA TO BRING HOME. .MY WAITRESS EMILY P MADE MY MEAL FUN-FUN-FUN. WHAT USE TO BE THE TOOJAYS SUN ROOM IS NOW A BAR. ON A SCALE OF 10,THEY EARNED A 10.LOOKING FORWARD TO MORE VISITS.
Bubba Scott Tuesday, 26 June 2012 10:18 Comment Link
When Lynn Dirk told me Chuy's was coming to Gainesville, I just had to check it out on the web and see if it's the one which was started in good ole Austin Texas. YES IT IS! It was started in 1982 the same time I started my home improvement business. While liveing in Austin, I spent a lot of time at Barton Springs, the 'go to summer fun spot' and Chuy's was the restaurant I visited when I wanted good Mexican food. I'm look'n forward to checking out the food and seeing if they brought a little Ausin with them. As for another Mexican restaurant? There's always room for one good one.
Jon Rose Monday, 25 June 2012 09:48 Comment Link
The food sure looks good but, my god, is that the uglist building in the entire city. Another Mexican restaurant is just what Hogtown needs.