Drink a cup of coffee before you go to Chuy’s Mexican Restaurant. Maybe even two, because the energy in this place is través de la cruz (through the roof). This restaurant recently opened up on the Country Club Plaza, yet, unlike the Capital Grille, it only calls for tshirt-and-jeans attire. Whether it’s businessmen going out to lunch, kids dropping in for some chips and queso dip after a game or a date night for a couple, people will be coming back to Chuy’s for its well-prepared food, lively surrounding and friendly staff.
Going to Chuy’s was an overwhelming experience. Not bad — just a little much. Though it has a cheesy kind of atmosphere, like its 80s music and giant metal fake palm trees, it has great food and it’s good for any occasion (Mexican always is). When I went on a Sunday around lunch time, there weren’t many people there. But, from the people that were there (a mom and two kids, a group of middle aged friends and an older couple), I could see that Chuy’s would be able to attract a crowd ranging from young groups of friends to older couples.
For my lunch, I had steak soft tacos, which looked bland, but were surprisingly flavorful. Accompanying that were baskets of chips (we went through two), three kinds of salsas; spicy, chunky and mild, and guacamole. After I was finished, our waitress tried to persuade us to get dessert, and though she made it sound delicious, we were stuffed.
By the end of my meal, the waitress and I were on a first name basis. She and all of the staff were very kind, but on the edge of being desperate, which is probably the case for most newly opened restaurants. They also had three people greet us at the door and bus boys constantly checking our tables, so Chuy’s isn’t necessarily the place to come to for privacy.
The decor was sort of like a nicer, cleaner Salty Iguana. It was clean, inviting and had really interesting decorations. Almost too many. There were Spanish style paintings and cartoons lining the walls, large metal palm trees sprouting out of the colorful tiles and things like an Elvis head lamp that gave the place some personality. I can say that I was never bored.
Though I went in and out in a pretty short time, I left Chuy’s satisfied and full. I can see Chuy’s becoming a good pre/post-East game dinner place.