|The Elvis and Priscilla Presley booths. [Photos by Mark Heckathorn]|
Chuy’s, the quirky Tex-Mex restaurant from Austin opened at the new Springfield Town Center Oct. 28, joining Maggiano’s Little Italy on the mall’s restaurant row facing Loisdale Road.
It’s the 59th Chuy’s since the first one opened in August in 1982 and it’s the second Chuy’s in the D.C. area; another one opened last month in Fairfax. Co-founders Mike Young and John Zapp plan to open additional restaurants in Sterling and Gainesville (and maybe Arlington) in 2015.
|Chuy's offers outdoor dining.|
|Chili Rellenos with shrimp and cheese.|
There are also two dozen tiny animal figurines hidden throughout the restaurant. Fairfax has koala bears; Springfield has cats.
|Fish "swim" over the bar. The "nacho car" is in the background.|
The restaurant’s freezer is only about the size of a home refrigerator, which means all the food, including chips, salsa, and guacamole, is made from scratch daily from fresh ingredients delivered six days a week. In fact, the only food in the freezer are French fries for the kids’ meals and ice cream. The flour, corn, and blue corn tortillas are made by hand on a traditional comal in the dining room.
|Beef and chicken fajitas with all the fixin's.|
|The hubcap room.|
My favorite dish so far is the Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom, which consists of two hand-pulled chicken and cheese enchiladas covered in spicy Boom-Boom sauce made with cheese, roasted New Mexican green chiles, tomatillos, green onions, cilantro, and lime juice. I also recommend skipping the traditional Mexican rice and ordering the green chile rice instead.
Chuy’s Springfield (6793 Springfield Mall) is open for lunch and dinner 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Happy hour drink specials along with the free nacho car with chips, salsa, queso, and ground sirloin are served 4-7 p.m. weekdays.
Mark Heckathorn is executive editor of DC on Heels.
|Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom enchiladas.|