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Chuy's

smithareeny Apr 23, 2010 01:15 PM

Chuy's will open this summer at The Summit. Finally some really good Tex-Mex for us to enjoy. I can't wait to try their green chili. I hear it is the best.

www.chuys.com

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    Big Daddy RE: smithareeny Apr 23, 2010 02:11 PM

    The green chile sauce does sound good. Blue corn tortillas sounds fu, too. And it looks like they make a good margarita.
    But I have a hard time getting excited about any Tex-Mex, especially at Chuy's prices, when there's so much good real Mexican food around here.
    They don't indicate on the menu, but a relleno made with bell pepper instead of poblano would be a deal killer, too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Big Daddy
      smithareeny RE: Big Daddy Apr 23, 2010 02:33 PM

      Hatch green chili is something completely different than what is offered at the Mexican food places around here. It is actually a New Mexico chili. When I lived in Denver you would have chili roasting in front of grocery stores when the Hatch chilis were in season. Believe me, they are totally worth it.

      1. re: Big Daddy
        Jannae RE: Big Daddy Apr 24, 2010 05:47 AM

        We'll give it a go once they open. The killer for me is the location. Not a fan of the Summit.

        Any idea when they're due to open?

      2. araess RE: smithareeny Apr 23, 2010 09:01 PM

        To those who don't know, this is a discussion about Birmingham, AL.

        1. curej RE: smithareeny Apr 24, 2010 05:03 PM

          Any of y'all ever eat at the buffet at Mi Pueblo in Pelham? I love it, but my wife gets grossed out and my Mexican aunt waved us out of the place when I took her and my uncle there. She didn't like the looks of the place cleanliness-wise. I think the food tastes great, though, and seems more "authentic" (what do I know) than most of the other places around except perhaps Gordos.

          1 Reply
          1. re: curej
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            Big Daddy RE: curej Apr 25, 2010 08:12 AM

            I didn't htink it looked all that bad when I went there about a year ago. I've shopped at (but not eaten at) their sister store in Homewood on Green Springs and it's well-kept.

          2. karrill RE: smithareeny Apr 25, 2010 08:18 AM

            So envious!! We don't have Chuy's on the west coast but everytime I'm in Austin, TX, I make sure to stop and have dinner there. Yes, its a chain, but for Tex-Mex, its pretty good. I especially like the Chicken Enchiladas with Deluxe Tomatillo sauce...yum. Enjoy!!

            19 Replies
            1. re: karrill
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              hlsess RE: karrill Apr 25, 2010 10:24 AM

              this is interesting- we are going to Franklin, Tn over memorial day-baseball tourney and I was comparing a Chuy's and Cozymel's- cozymel's got much better reviews- didn't know it was comign to Summit-where/when?

              1. re: hlsess
                smithareeny RE: hlsess Apr 26, 2010 12:49 PM

                The end of the summer was when I heard.

                1. re: smithareeny
                  curej RE: smithareeny Jul 17, 2010 06:31 AM

                  Chuys opened July 6th. Going there for lunch today. Will report back.

                  1. re: curej
                    Dax RE: curej Jul 17, 2010 09:21 AM

                    I went there last Wednesday for lunch. Although it won't replace my favorite taquerias here, it is very good for what it is.

                    We sat my the rotating tortilla grill where 3 women were constantly rolling, pressing and grilling flour and corn tortillas. That alone ranks super high in my book.

                    I had the carne asada tacos, which were for them included the grilled fajita meat and some other vegetables (?). The spicier rice was good as were the more soupy pintos (not refried beans). Cheese dip was weak but the guac was awesome and made there. They also offer 3 types of salsa verde with differing heat levels, I asked for the hottest which was made with hatch chilies and it still was not too hot. I'll return.

                    Oh and it was super packed at 11:30 on a Wed with a line out the door.

                    1. re: Dax
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                      hlsess RE: Dax Jul 17, 2010 11:23 AM

                      I've heard the wait is still long - but all say it is good- one person did not like her margarita and 2 others did- Hope to try it soon-How expensive is it?

                      1. re: hlsess
                        curej RE: hlsess Jul 17, 2010 06:29 PM

                        Went for lunch today....35-40 minute wait. Couldn't do that. We'll give it a try another time. Had a disappointing (dried out) grilled chicken breast sandwich with (unripe flavorless) avocados at Cheesecake Factory. Not good at all. My son liked his chicken piccata (he has discovered capers and is in love) and my wife liked her wild mushroom mini-pizza.

                        1. re: curej
                          curej RE: curej Jul 18, 2010 09:18 AM

                          Showed up at 11:15 today. Still a 30 minute wait. Caramba!!!!

                          1. re: curej
                            curej RE: curej Jul 18, 2010 08:02 PM

                            Welllll......
                            We had lunch at Chuy's today. Very disappointed. I had the chicken flautas. The tortillas were flour tortillas rather than corn. They were not crisp. I expect flautas to be made with corn tortillas and be nice and crunchy. There was a tomato-chipotle sauce poured over them resulting in a soggy consistency. The chicken in the flautas was very bland, like it was steamed or something...no spice. The refried beans were (I'm pretty sure) kidney beans, not pinto beans. The rice was ok. I also had the tortilla soup as an appetizer. This was a bit better, with nice fresh cut corn and tomatoes in the soup, providing a nice crunch and fresh-taste. I prefer the version at Cocina Superior or Dos Pesos, however. My wife had a chimichanga ("Chuychanga"). The chicken filling in her dish was spicy, too hot for her taste. I might have actually preferred that. We ordered the guacamole as well. It was served in a bowl, elevated on a bed of shredded lettuce, and while good, wound up being a smaller serving than I'd expect for almost $6. My son had shrimp Baja tacos. He seemed happy with them. However, his absolute favorite thing was the creamy jalapeno dip for the chips. We wound up buying a tub of it for him to take back to college. Overall, this place is just a glorified tex-mex chain. I'm kind of amazed at how busy they are right now. Really undeserving of all the excitement. I think we already had better offerings in Birmingham...Gordos for standard tacos, Dos Pesos for puffy tacos, fish tacos, and chile rellenos, Cocina Superior for tortilla soup or chicken mole, and Cantina for fish tacos or chicken quesadillas (an interesting, different take on these there, BTW). We probably won't return to Chuys.

                            1. re: curej
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                              Big Daddy RE: curej Jul 19, 2010 08:15 AM

                              We had a good experience on Saturday for a late lunch. There doesn't seem to be a time when they're not jam-packed busy, leaving even good servers in the weeds. We went at 1:30 and had a 30-minute wait that was all of that. I've heard of two hours on weekend evenings.
                              But I had a better food experience than curej. In fact, the place gives me new-found respect for Tex-Mex food. Not Mexican, for which I remain an unabashed food snob, but Tex-Mex cross-border polination.
                              First of all, those house-made flour tortillas rock. I could have made a meal out of just those (although I requested corn and got flour -- great waitress in the weeds). My son's "kiddie" portion of three soft tacos were made with those pillowy flour tortillas. I had to finish off one for him.
                              My wife and daughter got enchiladas, which were good. I got shrimp rellenos, made with thin Anaheim chiles with a nice crunchy batter.
                              As curej said, the charro beans are much better than the refried ones. The rice -- both regular and green chile -- remind me of the Mexican rice my Daddy learned to cook from his father, a native of Guadalajara.
                              The crowds, however, are ridiculous and interfere with the service. My waitress was so busy, she not only brought the wrong tortillas, she also forgot to bring the Hatch green chile salsa I requested. The kitchen messed up my daughter's order, bringing tacos instead of enchilada (not good for a fussy 5-year-old. But our server otherwise took good care of the kids, filling "mixed" soda requests, etc.
                              I'll go back -- hopefully the crowds will subside in a bit. It helps that Chuy's is right up the street, so it's also a viable takeout option.
                              But you're right, curej, when I want authentic Mexican food I have a lot of choices where there's little to no wait.

                              1. re: Big Daddy
                                Dax RE: Big Daddy Jul 19, 2010 08:25 AM

                                I requested corn and received flour too. The waiter offered to take them back but I said forget it. I think it's pretty fair tex mex although it will not replace my standards. The chips were very good, some of the best I have had in town so far.

                              2. re: curej
                                deepfriedkudzu RE: curej Jul 19, 2010 08:40 AM

                                Curej, funny that you mentioned Dos Pesos - when I Googled it, I realized it was the same 'Two Pesos' on Pelham that I used to have lunch at almost weekly because one of my co-workers loved it. Myself, I have a thing for chile rellenos but didn't care for theirs because if I remember correctly they were based on a bell pepper, not the poblano I am more accustomed to.

                                The first thing that came up on the Google search for Dos Pesos was UrbanSpoon, where I found your review! (BTW, I saw your review of Treat-Your-Self. Haven't tried it yet. Like you, I also used to get frozen custard at Poppa's in Tuscaloosa and was heartbroken when they closed. The best-ever was a long-gone little stand next to the Dew Drop Inn in Mobile.)

                                Back to the Chuy's discussion: I am with you on Gordo's, Cantina, and Cocina Superior (the only place I know of in town who does a charbroiled oyster in somewhat the same style of the original, Drago's in Metairie).

                                Since the original Chuy's is in Austin, I emailed a friend of mine who lives there and he is thoroughly unimpressed with them. Of course, he lives in Austin, so he's not hurting for excellent Tex-Mex options.

                                As one who took German rather than Spanish in school, I just have to ask (with a bit of shame): how does one pronounce "Chuy's"?

                                -----
                                Dew Drop Inn Restaurant
                                1808 Old Shell Rd, Mobile, AL 36607

                                Cocina Superior
                                587 Brookwood Vlg, Birmingham, AL 35209

                                1. re: deepfriedkudzu
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                                  Big Daddy RE: deepfriedkudzu Jul 19, 2010 09:29 AM

                                  chew -EEZ

                                  1. re: Big Daddy
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                                    hlsess RE: Big Daddy Jul 19, 2010 02:21 PM

                                    When we went to Franklin, TN for a baseball tourney over Memorial Day there was a Chuy's and Cozumel's- the reviews for Chuy's were not that great so we went with Cozymel's and everyone(all 60 of us) really enjoyed it and we had out own private room!! Glad we didn't go to Chuy's-I'll try it out but I am in NO rush

                                  2. re: deepfriedkudzu
                                    curej RE: deepfriedkudzu Jul 19, 2010 04:19 PM

                                    Dos pesos uses poblanos!

                                    1. re: curej
                                      deepfriedkudzu RE: curej Jul 19, 2010 05:46 PM

                                      My apologies: either they didn't when I had my office in Pelham, or they looked an awwwwful lot like bell peppers the times that I ordered, before I moved on to something else on their menu (and yes I know the difference).

                                      1. re: deepfriedkudzu
                                        curej RE: deepfriedkudzu Jul 20, 2010 12:42 PM

                                        @DFK,
                                        Give 2Ps another try. Try the puffy tacos unless you can't abide a little grease. I haven't had bell peppers in chile rellenos at any Birmingham Tex Mex restaurant. That would really "chupa".

                                        We went to Cocina Superior last night. Still a favorite of ours for "upscale" Tex-Mex. How I wish we could get a restaurant like "Fiesta" in San Diego, or any of the Rick Bayless' joints from Chicago here in Bham. I had a dish called "Chamorros con Salsa Pasilla" at Fiesta. It was the best Mexican dish I ever ate. Caramba. Sol y Luna tries, but doesn't quite hit those marks.

                                        1. re: curej
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                                          Big Daddy RE: curej Jul 20, 2010 01:29 PM

                                          If you ever find yourself out in Liberty Park hungry for upscale Mexican, try Zona Rosa (it's owned by the same people as Mexico Lindo).

                                          -----
                                          Zona Rosa Cafe
                                          3732 River Run Dr, Birmingham, AL 35243

                                          1. re: Big Daddy
                                            curej RE: Big Daddy Jul 20, 2010 04:33 PM

                                            We've been there three times....Had inconsistent experiences. Maybe we should try it again. When do you wanna go?

                        2. re: curej
                          Jannae RE: curej Jul 29, 2010 03:20 PM

                          The husband and I went to Chur's Tuesday. We were taken straight back to a table right at the tortilla grill. I was facinated watching the ladies make the tortillas.

                          I ordered the #1 combo, my husband could not resist the sound of the #2 comco- The Elvis Presley Memorial Combo. We also ordered a dish of their queso dip. Loved the chips and cheese dip and the salsa. The food was quite good overall.

                          The chicken flautas were very crispy, but I've got to agree with Curej over the taste of the chicken inside the flauta. Kinda bland, but a bit of a welcome change from the warmer spices in the other items on my plate. I didn't realize what a spice lightweight I've developed into!

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                    mahalan RE: smithareeny Jul 23, 2010 05:49 AM

                    I'm in the process of moving here from Dallas. In Texas, Chuy's is known for having decent margarita's and being a fun place to drink. Their Tex-Mex is pretty mediocre. I've been to ones in Houston, Austin, and Dallas and in some occassions have been the only table there. I tried to goto the one in the Summit last Tuesday night and was told there was an hour and forty-five minute wait.

                    Great for Chuy's. Bad for me. I'll wait until I get back to Dallas next weekend to get my Tex-Mex fix at Uncle Julio's, Blue Mesa, or Cantino Laredo. I'll wait to revisit the Chuy's in Summit when I can walk in and find a table without a wait.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mahalan
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                      hlsess RE: mahalan Aug 11, 2010 08:14 AM

                      I went to chuy's last night-1st time-with a group of girls- wait was long but we had connections and got a table - anyway we ordered some dip chuy something with lots of stuff in it -very good and the creamy jalapeno sauce- we filled up on that and we all split quesadillas which were very good- had the margaritas-very good- very reasonable....good service also

                    2. ted RE: smithareeny Aug 11, 2010 05:21 PM

                      Though it's been a while, I'd rather eat at Curra's in Austin, and I've been to both it and Chuy's. Agree with Chuy's as a decent spot for a drink.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: ted
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                        Big Daddy RE: ted Sep 17, 2010 11:24 AM

                        As of Thursday (9-16) Chuy's started serving food from the menu on the patio, which offers a great view of the mountains south of Birmingham. That also should cut down on some of the unreasonable waits for a table,
                        The housemade flour tortillas once again was the highlight of my trip last night to Chuy's, which is good and bad.
                        The good: They continue to be fantastic tortillas.
                        The bad: The rest of my meal was average at best. The rice has lost a lot of its flavor from earlier visits and I kicked myself last night for not ordering the charro beans because the refried beans are terrible.
                        I ordered cheese enchiladas (custom enchiladas) so I could try the famous Hatch green sauce. I was underwhelmed, and found the Tex-Mex sauce on my wife's enchiladas better (too bad she's a vegetarian, since the sauce has meat).
                        They also were out of Negra Modelo beer on Thursday at 6:30.

                        1. re: Big Daddy
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                          hlsess RE: Big Daddy Sep 17, 2010 01:43 PM

                          we tried to go last night with a group of 6- they said they would not put us on the list until half of party arrived- their seating rules are ridiculous- and no restaurant is worth a 2 hour wait but apparently many people do wait- do they shop around while they wait? We ended up at P F Chang's on patio and it was great- haven't been there in years!!

                          1. re: hlsess
                            Dax RE: hlsess Sep 18, 2010 09:25 AM

                            Lots of busy restaurants, mostly in other cities, have similar party seating rules. I know a few in Boston that would not seat you until everyone in your party was there. I don't think 1/2 your party is ridiculous. With that said, the rule for not even putting you on the LIST to be seated is plain silly

                            1. re: Dax
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                              Big Daddy RE: Dax Sep 18, 2010 03:48 PM

                              Yeah; surely during a 1 1/2-hour wait your entire party will show up. Frankly it would be preferably for one person to take one for the team and wait while the others make their way there (or throw beers at Blackwell's)

                      2. drdelicious RE: smithareeny Sep 18, 2010 07:06 AM

                        I'm in Austin, and the original Chuy's owners sold the chain to build the non-TX ones being built now... so I do believe it is a little different where y'all are at. As soon as anything in Austin gets 'corporate,' it gets a bad rap here. I think they have decent, reasonably priced Tex-Mex. There's always a wait at the ones where I live. It tends to be a 'date place' for high school kids. It's mostly a place to gather for drinks and chips and salsa and football. Their 'wait' part of the restraunt is as large as the 'dining' part. I like their guacamole, burritos, rellenos, and my favorite is the NM Hatch green-chile infused tequila in the Mexican martini. I'm no Tex-Mex expert by any means, but the food is consistent. And Hell, at least I can order in English there.... most of the real Mexican places here I have to bring a translator.

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