advertisement

Outrageous, kitschy, wacky, weird, fun, and "Austin"-tatious are the playful adjectives that litter the reviews of this local Tex-Mex tradition. For most Austinites, the main attraction here is the exuberant, good-humored atmosphere. Tacky Elvis memorabilia, hubcaps clustered in a shiny mass on the ceiling, Christmas lights, fish tanks, and cheesy velvet paintings make this place feel like a party is perpetually taking place. The food is consistently dependable, if not fabulous, and the servings are more than generous. For one of the better dishes, try the carne guisada burrito. Zesty jalapeno ranch dip with tortilla chips makes for a good start. Because Chuy's is so popular and doesn't take reservations, prepare for a long wait for a table. Time will pass more quickly if you sit in the bar and order a cold metal bucket of iced-down bottled beer for your party to share. Be careful not to nosh away your appetite at the free nacho bar, or you won’t have room for a big hot plate of bubbling enchiladas, Spanish rice, and refried beans. The original Chuy's is on Barton Springs Rd., on the way to Zilker Park from downtown. Newer Chuy's locations can be found all over Austin, but this one is still my favorite. You may know Chuy's from President George W. Bush's twin daughters' arrest for underage alcohol-related escapades back in 2001…which reminds me, Chuy's margaritas are killer good.