Ultimate Orlando was recently invited to a media preview for Chuy’s newest Central Florida location. For those that are unfamiliar with Chuy’s it is an Austin, Texas, based restaurant chain that was started in 1982. They are known for their eclectic decorating and their fresh, tasty, and affordably priced Mexican food. The first Chuy’s Central Florida location was opened in Kissimmee on 2013 and was followed in 2014 by a location on I-Drive. Their newest location is located in Wally Park at 6688 South Semoran Blvd, north of Orlando International Airport.
As is typical of a Chuy’s restaurant the décor consists of Elvis, hubcaps, cars and dogs. But, while there are common elements between each Chuy’s location, each is also unique and very interesting. In fact, they have a saying – “If you’ve seen one Chuy’s, you’ve seen one Chuy’s”. As is also typical of a Chuy’s restaurant the food was fresh and delicious!
Their made from scratch specialties include stuffed chile rellenos, their famous “Big As Yo’ Face” burritos and, my favorite, the “Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom” chicken enchiladas. All flour and corn tortillas are made from scratch and brought fresh to your table and all sauces are prepared fresh daily.
We had a sauce and margarita tasting before our meal in their bar and it was emphasized to us that sauces are made daily and if the batch isn’t up to par it is discarded and started over from fresh. This is a restaurant that is clearly dedicated to serving its customers the best and freshest in ingredients.
Of the sauces we sampled my favorites were the Tex-Mex, which is like a chili con carne, the creamy jalapeño, and the tomatillo sauce. The hatch green chile sauce and the green chili sauce were both also good and had quite a kick to them.
Also available to us before the dinner seating was Chuy’s nacho bar. This bar is complimentary during Happy Hour which is Monday to Friday from 4pm to 7pm. The bar consists of fresh chips, salsa fresca, queso cheese, refried beans and ground beef. Their salsa fresca is very good and it is also made daily with serrano peppers.
After the sauce and nacho bar sampling we moved from the bar into the dining room and were seated in the hub cap room. We could also have opted for the outside patio or the larger main room where you can watch the tortillas being made. The hub cap room is decorated in hub caps from classic cars and hidden amongst the decorations is a ‘ray gun’ that we did not find until we were leaving.
We started off our dinner with an appetizer plate and an extra side of queso compesto.
Everything on the appetizer plate was quite delicious but my favorites were the chicken flautas and the deluxe quesadillas. The plate is sized perfectly to share for three or four people. As I’ve mentioned above my favorite dish at Chuy’s is the “Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom” chicken enchiladas and that is my usual go-to dish. This time, however, I decided to go with the Baja Tacos with fish instead of shrimp.
The fish was lightly battered and fried tilapia and went very well with the cilantro, red cabbage and creamy jalapeño sauce. I had it with the green chile rice and the charro beans. I would definitely order this meal again, even though it won’t take the place of “Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom” in my heart.
My dining companions ordered the chile rellenos and the “Elvis Presley Memorial Combo”. Both of those looked really good as well and they were quite pleased with their food. None of us left hungry or dissatisfied in any fashion and I can reasonably say that if you are a fan of Tex-Mex food and haven’t tried Chuy’s you should definitely give them a shot! I know that I’ll be returning to their Wally Park location.
Disclosure: Dinner was provided by the restaurant and the reporter was not compensated in any other way.
For more information on Chuy’s, including locations and complete menu, please visit their website at www.chuys.com.
David Jodeit lives and works in Central Florida.