Girls About Town: Chuy’s Tex-Mex at Hamilton Town Center
Writers / Rachel Quade & Chalene Braun
Undoubtedly you’ve seen or heard about the newest restaurant at Hamilton Town Center. Everybody is trying to get to Chuy’s for some Tex-Mex food. The question is…does Chuy’s live up to the hype?
Straight from Austin, Texas, this chain restaurant brings a funky new Tex-Mex addition to the typical Mexican restaurants here in Central Indiana.
From the moment you walk in, you’ll imagine you’re visiting the Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio. With its vibrant colors and whimsical Mexican artwork, Chuy’s just feels like a fiesta! And that certainly caught your Girls About Town’s attention. Whether it’s the Nacho Car Bar on the immediate left, the main dining area with its forest of palm trees created and hand-painted by an artist from Belize, or the quaint outside patio with Tejano music playing in the background, you’ll want to sit back, relax, and order up some margaritas.
Surprise, surprise: we started in the bar. We loved the Elvis-inspired 1950s car (yes, it is actually a car) stuffed full of tortilla chips and salsas. Its self-serve style makes it easy to scoop up extra chips…and nobody will know. Even better, from 4-7 p.m. daily, the Nacho Car Bar really revs up during happy hour, serving ground beef, refried beans, warm chili con queso and an abundance of salsas and chips for an unparalleled nacho experience you won’t find anywhere else…and it’s free! The walls are decorated with colorful art and framed pictures of cute dogs; you can even bring in your own poochie pic for display. TVs surround the room as well, so diners are sure not to miss their favorite sporting event. Our waiter automatically brought us the Salsa Fresca and then happily explained all the other seven different sauces available to go with dinners and our ultra-thin tortilla chips. They’re all spice-meter ranked on the menu, from mild to medium to hot, so you know what you’re getting into before they dish it out. Both of us really enjoyed trying the different sauces and ultimately settled in with our favorites, with Rachel preferring the Creamy Jalapeño, and Chalene preferring the Salsa Fresca. It’s made fresh every hour and is amazing…like the kind you probably make at home.
When we opened the menu to order some beverages, we were taken aback by the selection and ingenuity of margarita styles. We were impressed with their freshness. Every margarita here is made with fresh-squeezed lime juice, and premium tequilas are in no short supply. You’ll love Chuy’s Famous Ritas, served on the rocks, frozen, strawberry, or “swirl and dot.” You can also try the not-to-miss Texas Martini, made to order with the tequila of your choice—”all shook up, not stirred”—and served with jalapeño-stuffed olives.
As fun and impressive as the decor, bar, and margaritas are, la estrella real is the food. (That’s the “real star,” for all you gringos.) Food is taken seriously here! From the onsite comal machine whipping out fresh hand-rolled tortillas behind a glass wall, to the homemade daily salsas frescas, you’ll love it all. The food here is so fresh they don’t even have a freezer in the kitchen. It’s all made from scratch daily, and you can definitely taste the difference. This place is Tex-Mex heaven! The Appetizer Plate, chock-full of everything from guacamole to flautas and quesadillas, was awesome and more than filled us, but that didn’t stop us from over-indulging with some off-the-hook entrees. The fajitas made with real beef skirt steak and whole chicken breasts are marinated for 24 hours in a signature blend of Shiner Bock beer, serrano peppers, lime juice and special spices. The Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom enchiladas are a Chuy’s original with the chicken roasted daily and hand-pulled for an exceptional enchilada that’s topped with green chile chipotle sauce. Do not miss trying this dish!
Hailing from their Texas roots and velvet artwork at the original Chuy’s location is another original creation, Elvis Green Chile Fried Chicken. This delicious deep-fried chicken breast has been coated with Lay’s Potato Chips, then smothered in green chile sauce and cheddar cheese. What a big hunk o’ love.
So, we come back to the question…does Chuy’s live up to the hype? Absolutely. It is the perfect place to dine if you’re shopping at Hamilton Town Center, on your way to a concert, or just out to have a good time with friends. If there’s a wait, just head into the bar for a margarita. Don’t miss this spot. Chuy’s is where it’s at. As always, Cheers! Oops—make that ¡SALUD!