So, after visiting the doctor’s office, a celebration was in order and we decided to go out for a mid-afternoon or early dinner… Our choice of restaurants was a new casual dining venue that recently opened in Knoxville!
This is Knoxville’s version of Chuy’s, a Tex-Mex Restaurant chain that was founded in Austin Texas back in 1982. There are now40 colorful Chuy’s locations in 8 eight states stretching from Texas to Florida. Four more will be open by this summer.
The bright colors and flashy décor continues once you enter the dining rooms… These metal palm trees are a signature design item.
I don’t quite understand the connection, but all Chuy’s restaurants have an Elvis Shrine located at the front of the restaurant and their are "Elvis" entrees on the menu. On Elvis' birthday each January 8th, most locations throw a big party and an Elvis impersonator entertains the patrons. Perhaps more appropriately, Chuy’s also stages a Green Chile Fest each year in honor of Hatch New Mexico’s green chile harvest. (But I too am an Elvis fan...)
This is another view of our dining room… It was bright, clean and colorful with lots of photos and art on the walls.
Chuy’s commitment is to provide unique, authentic Mexican food to its customers using only the freshest of ingredients. All dishes are made from scratch each day…including their special drinks such as Chuy’s margaritas and the Texas Martini’s.
As with most Tex-Mex or Mexican restaurants, we were started out with a basket of fresh tostada chips and a dish of spicy salsa. The chips were thinner than is normal for this type of restaurant, they were quite salty but they weren't oily. They were actually very nice, with their light texture actually adding to their overall flavor and enjoyment...
One of our favorite appetizers in a Tex-Mex restaurant is the Chile Con Queso with sausage. Chuy’s version is called Queso Compuesto. ($6.99) It uses ground sirloin instead of sausage and it is usually topped with guacamole… Without the usual pork sausage, the grease was minimized and that was a good thing! Since I’m not into guacamole, we had them bring it on the side for Laurie’s use. We really liked this appetizer!
There are only 9 appetizers on Chuy’s menu. They range in price from $5.89 for guacamole on up to $9.59 for the appetizer plate. Once we viewed the size of our meals, we realized that in truth, no appetizers were needed with an entrée at this restaurant!
Laurie ordered a Chuychanga. ($9.29) This fried flour tortilla was filled with oven-roasted chicken, cilantro and green chiles, and then it was garnished with sour cream plus her choice of sauce. The waiter suggested the Tomatillo sauce, a nice mild accompaniment, but she also asked for some Hatch Green Chile sauce just in case the first choice was too mild. Laurie really liked her Chuychanga, noting that it was loaded with chunks of fresh pulled chicken!
Note: Laurie’s tortilla was almost as big as her head! The food here at Chuy’s is huge…
…and you thought that her tortilla was big! This was my “Big as Yo’ Face” Chuy’s Seasoned Ground Sirloin Burrito with the Tex-Mex Red Sauce. ($8.59) This thing was easily as big as my entire sizable noggin! It was loaded with meat and I even noticed a few beans… This was an excellent burrito…except that I should have asked for some hot sauce on the side. The Tex-Mex Red Sauce was nice but it lacked the heat that I like…
Three other Big as Yo’ Face burritos are also on the menu. These range from Beans and Cheese ($7.99) to Fajita Chicken or Beef ($9.89)
This was another dining room…unused during the slow part of the afternoon. Note the hubcaps on the ceiling. They are another signature design feature used in all Chuy’s restaurants.
FYI… Chuy’s offers 7 different sauces to complement their food. There are the mild Ranchero, Tomatillo and Delux Tomatillo sauces, the mid-range Tex-Mex and Creamy Jalapeno varieties and then there are the allegedly hot or spicy Hatch Green Chile and Green Chile sauces.
Laurie shot this photo of the bar area at Chuy’s as we left the restaurant. It is even more colorful than the dining areas!
The primary items on Chuy’s menu include 4 types of Tacos, ($7.99 - $9.89). The House Specialties…included Laurie’s Chuychanga…but also lists 4 different Chile Rellenos ($9.29 - $9.99); a Steak Burrito ($9.99); Chicken Flautas ($8.29), and; Elvis Green Chile Fried Chicken. ($9.79) There are also 7 different Enchilada entrees, with nothing priced above $9.99, plus a number of Combination offerings. Even the Elvis Presley Memorial Combo with Cheese Tex-Mex enchiladas, chicken flautas, a ground sirloin taco plus tostada chips dipped in chile con queso…costs only $10.69.
I didn’t expect much when I went to Chuy’s but the food was very good and the prices very reasonable. In addition, it’s like a party setting inside and out! Chuy’s in Knoxville Tennessee is open daily and its located at 9235 Kingston Pike. Phone: 865-670-4141. Chuy’s website is found at www.chuys.com.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by and sharing our Tex-Mex dinner with us!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave