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.