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Jan 31, 2011 12:41 PM

I <3 Chi Chi's

I have seen Chi Chi's being brought up a couple times over the past couple weeks. I have the BEST and most heart felt memories associated with Chi Chi's . Granted I was about 17 when they closed the doors for good. Also, the food wasn't top notch or authenic mexican what so ever, but I would LOVE to be able and go there tonight and eat.

I got addicted to the corn bread mush they had...and would love a fajita from there, doesnt seem the same anywhere else.

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  1. We (7 of us, extended fam) used to go there for Sunday brunch darned-near every weekend. I miss it, too; danged e. coli! Don Pablo's and Garcia's also left Des Moines around the same time. They were all gloppy, but good!

    1. I worked there, and even I have a fond soft spot in remembering some of the food (I usually end up not eating ANYWHERE where I've worked since I know what goes on). The 3 cheese and onion ench meal, heaven. And when you were cut early, we'd go sit at the bar, order those giant margaritas and a plate of the Texas nachos and just go to town.

      5 Replies
      1. re: rockandroller1

        It's the truth about eating where you work.. I worked at a now defunk pizza chain (3 stores) in my area and was amazed at some of thier shifty practices... I really wish I was 21 before they were close.. my bad is on cinco do mayo, so most of my birthdays were celebrated there

        There is still a Don Pablo's in the Pittsburgh area, but has went down hill tremendously... havent' been in 7 8 years

        1. re: rockandroller1

          I worked there, too, and miss the food so much! NOTHING compares to the Texas Nachos. I was also a fan of the BBQ Grilled Burrito. The BBQ sauce was killer.

          1. re: jessicheese

            I'm guessing the Texas nachos are nothing like nachos served in, well Texas. I never had them, but I did try Chi Chi's a couple of times, once the brief time they were open here in Houston, and the other in Rochester, NY. Texas nachos are individual tostados originally with cheese and sliced jalapenos, later beans, meat, and guacamole were added. I get the beans and guacamole on the side Unfortunately, the only thing I liked on their menu was the fried iced cream.

            1. re: James Cristinian

              Ironically, their standard nachos were more along the lines of your description. The Texas ones were a big pile of chips covered in chili, queso, taco meat, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream & guac. It was huge and the queso & chili mixed together naturally to form this fantastic sauce. It's how I make my nachos at home now.

              1. re: James Cristinian

                When I was going to high school in Lubbock, Texas, one of my favorite treats was one of the combo platters at Casa Ole (a chain very similar in style and intent to Chi-Chis) that included a single tostado that had been covered in shredded colby-jack cheese and pickled jalapeno slices and then run under a salamander. It was cheesy-corny goodness in its purest form.

          2. Went to Chi-Chi's as a favorite restaurant at the mall! Still think it had the best chili con queso ever....still dream about the El Grande Burro...looked for a recipe on the web the other one has it but the description said it had lettuce in the burrito...maybe that is the texture no one can match...mmmmm

            1. FYI, chi chi's "corn cake" is available as a mix you can make at home, it's in the grocery store. There are a few chi chi's branded items still out there. I think the salsa, taco seasoning, and the sweet corn cake mix.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rockandroller1

                I never knew about the corn cake mix thanks... Anymore I only see Chi Chi brand in discount stores in my area.. its a shame

              2. Chi Chi's Mexican fried ice cream. If I could, I would order that up as my meal.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Cheese Boy

                  Wow, that sounds interesting. What is the flavor? How is it prepared?

                  1. re: Tripeler

                    Balls of vanilla ice cream, coated in a coating that can be recreated with crushed frosted flakes and cinnamon. Frozen solid and deep fried for a second to crisp the coating. Put it on a shell made of tortillas fried with cinnamon & sugar and top with chocolate, honey, or strawberry sauce. Whipped cream dollops along the base and atop the ball and serve.

                    I am not exaggerating when I say that I've made thousands and thousands of these in my lifetime.

                  2. re: Cheese Boy

                    Never mind. The details are all over the Internet.
                    Here's one of the more complete accounts...