Quick Takes: Chuy’s

We found enchiladas straight outta Texas.
Quick Takes: Chuy’s
Chuy's Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom enchiladas are drenched in green-chili/tomatillo sauce. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

It’s almost impossible to resist the charms of the Austin-based chain Chuy’s, with its Elvis tributes, roadhouse raucousness, and peppy ’80s soundtrack. Here’s the party we all envision when we fantasize about happy hour.

If you’re looking to do more than gorge on good chips and guac, though, the high spirits may be hard to sustain. You’ll need two margaritas if you want a buzz, and the salt content in the cooking might lead you to get a third. We liked the Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom enchiladas, robed in a creamy green-chili sauce, but our lips were numb by the time we were done. Not from the spice—from the salt. The refried beans tasted of lard, salt, and bean, in that order.

Tex-Mex has never been about rigor, but even so there’s an inattention to detail (depthless tortilla soup, salsaless tacos) that can leave you feeling you’re supposed to be grateful just for being allowed to crash the party.

We ended with a square of tres leches; it must have weighed tres pounds. Out we waddled into the night, licking our lips.

This article appears in our November 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Don’t miss a new restaurant again: Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly:
Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

More About Chuy's