I first discovered Chuy’s on a trip to Austin about 20 years ago in search of information on how to create and install an Emergency 911 system in Howell County. The Quill paid my salary, while Ozarks Medical Center and the Howell County Commission covered expenses.
Asking the state officials who were loading me up with information where I could get a good dinner, they first began telling me about this fancy restaurant out by the lake.
“Yeah, but where do YOU go for good Tex-Mex?” I countered.
They answered in unison, and the answer was Chuy’s.
I went to the location they told me about, to find a ramshackle house looking like something that had started out as a cabin, but then was built onto, one room at a time, for a number of years. Inside, the decor – a wall hanging consisting of three early ’50s Buick hoods, the kind with holes along the side, in Flamingo pink, Lemon yellow and Aqua – was matched in uniqueness only by the three slushy machines behind the bar, all loaded with pre-blended margaritas.
And oh, the food. First night I tried chicken enchiladas with sour cream and a heavenly chili verde sauce. I went back a second night determined to try something else to see if the food was all that good. But I ended up ordering the same thing again. It was just too good to miss.
This time, I went back to see if anything had changed. The slushy machines were now digital. The Buick hoods had gone, replaced by a series of rear fenders from 1959 Ford Galaxies, black, with taillights aglow. The chicken enchiladas with chili verde were about the same. Maybe better.