Wednesday, 08 August 2012 10:53
While you won’t find chili pepper wallpaper or sombrero-clad servers, don’t pass over Gainesville’s newest Tex-Mex establishment, Chuy’s, as less than authentic.
We were able to get up close and personal with everything that makes dining at Chuy’s a destination dining experience: Elements like the hubcap room and the storybook photos throughout the dining rooms. (Bring your Spanish-English dictionary.)
The extensive menu and south-of-the-border feel make Chuy’s an essential stop on your hunt for nourishment and entertainment.
By Jennette Holzworth
Hail to the King
The sign on the front door says that if you’ve seen one Chuy’s, you’ve only seen one Chuy’s. Each location is styled with one-of-a-kind décor that has a story of its own. But one thing remains the same: The king. Overlooking the bar (where you’ll find Happy Hour specials from 4 to 7pm weekdays) is a statue of
Elvis Presley in all his glory. He’s even on the menu. We tried Elvis’ Green Chile Fried Chicken ($10), a juicy chicken breast breaded and deep fried in Lay’s potato ships then smothered in cheese. It’s what makes the king’s hips shake.
1,300 Fish, No Pole
When Chuy’s owners were looking to decorate the Gainesville store in a creative, authentic way, they turned to Mexico. While driving through the Mexican countryside, they found a family carving wooden fish. The family’s eyes bulged a bit when they received an order for 1,300 wooden fish, and the rest is history—or at least that’s how the legend goes. You can count each of them when you stop in: Just look up!
That Nacho Car
Of all the things we thought we’d find in the rear of a vehicle, a nacho bar wasn’t on that list. But Chuy’s features a fully loaded nacho bar in the trunk of a vintage Chevrolet. If someone says nachos, we come running. When we heard about the bar (free on weekdays from 4 to 7pm) we bee-lined it. Features include refried beans, salsa and cheese.
The White Sauce
Chuy’s signature sauce, officially called creamy jalapeno, holds a tremendous blend of flavors in a surprisingly not spicy variety, contrary to what the name implies. It’s a ranchy, dilly and cheesy concoction that you can request for your nachos.
It also went well with our Chuychanga ($10), Chuy’s spin on the traditional chimichanga. It’s stuffed with tender chicken strips, peppers and more and topped with your choice of sauce. We chose the deluxe tomatillo, a mild yet tangy blend of tomatillos, green onions, cilantro and garlic combined with sour cream and herbs.
Phone Number: 352-3673-2489
Address: 3410 SW Archer Road
Hours of operation: Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-11pm
Signature Dish: Elvis Green Chile Fried Chicken
Price: $$ (out of $$$$)
Take out: Available
Specials: Happy Hour weekdays 4-7pm