Recently, one of you lovely readers used the Skribit feature in the upper right corner of this page to suggest that I review the Green Chile Festival in Dallas. Now, unlike other similarly-named events elsewhere, this isn’t your standard festival, with expensive beer and six-dollar turkey legs; it’s just a special event put on by Chuy’s Mexican restaurant. Chuy’s is a Dallas institution located on McKinney Street just off Knox-Henderson, in one of our better-known neighborhoods (which will be covered in another blog entry in the near future).
The Green Chile Festival basically celebrates the green chile pepper, particularly the kind grown in and around Hatch, New Mexico, which is one of the things that makes New Mexican Style Mexican cuisine distinct from Tex-Mex. The Chile Fest was originally scheduled from August 25 to September 14, but <> it was so popular this year that they extended it to September 21. Among other things, Chuy’s offered commemorative T-shirts, free giveaways, and some new menu items. I sampled the Southwest enchiladas, which are unrolled and stacked like pancakes, with a fried egg on top. The dish was a little spicier than I like, but otherwise excellent. They also had some nice, tasty queso for dipping my chips in.
Anyway, that’s basically the extent of the Green Chile Fest, so let’s talk about Chuy’s itself. It’s a popular restaurant with a lot of flair, as you might be able to tell from this view of the interior of their outdoor dining room.
Here’s a view of the restaurant proper, which I was unable to take pictures inside of. Note, however, that it’s the home of the Air Conditioned Taco.
Chuy’s is rather elaborately decorated, as you can see. When I was seated in a booth in the outdoor dining area (it was a cool day for once), I saw this painted on the wall. It looks like chalk, but it isn’t; I checked. It’s pretty typical of their Green Chile Party theme.
They also had these neat campaign signs scattered around, especially outside where they could draw folks in.
Right in front of me there was an interesting piece of art. Take a look at the frame; it’s made of different colored bottle caps. Probably beer bottle caps.
Elvis himself holds a place of honor right in the middle of the outdoor seating area, and if you’ll look close you’ll see the back-end of a pink Caddy protruding from the wall. If you’re wondering, Elvis is holding a cheesy little paper campaign hat there. That’s not a permanent fixture.
As I mentioned earlier, not only is the ambience at Chuy’s great, so is the food. But don’t expect it to be as inexpensive as the food at your local hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant. But! Compared to those fancy-pants restaurants downtown where they charge $15 for a tiny salad, it’s the bee’s knees, and they don’t stint on the portions. I was filled up quite nicely, thanks. Chuy’s is also a great place to party. This time I went late in the afternoon on a weekday, which is why everything seems so dead in the pictures; however, I’ve been there at nights and it’s always hoppin’, especially on the weekends.
For more information about Chuy’s and what they have to offer, check their website at http://www.chuys.com/. I highly recommend it as a place to fuel up if you’re ever in or around the Knox-Henderson area.