A Tex-Mex Chain Makes Its Way to Colorado

Chuy's has earned a cult following for its well-sourced ingredients

A chain but with fresh-made tortillas

Chuys, the Austin-based Tex-Mex chain, has finally expanded to the Rocky Mountain region, opening its first Colorado restaurant. With flavors drawn from South Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico border towns, this beloved chain has earned top marks on TripAdvisor.

Although Tex-Mex is not a new phenomenon, Chuy’s sets itself apart by using fresh ingredients and making everything from scratch. All the tortillas are handmade, and the chicken is roasted all day and hand pulled. The guacamole is made in small batches from ripe avocados (no matter the season), and their signature sauces are prepared daily. These are probably the reasons they have such a high ranking on TripAdvisor among all the restaurants in Austin.

The first Chuy’s began in an old, abandoned barbecue stop along Barton Springs Road in Austin in 1982. This is when the owners, Mike Young and John Zapp, got the idea of offering a one-of-a-kind Tex-Mex restaurant with a fun and funky vibe. Now, with 87 Chuy’s establishments around the country and more to open soon, the owners have recreated the fun and ambiance at this newest Colorado location in the Westminster Promenade. The eclectic decor includes carved and painted swimming fish above your head, hubcaps adorning the ceiling, and colorful folk art lining the walls.

Because everything is made from scratch each day, you won’t find large commercial freezers in the back. The green chiles in many of the dishes, for instance, are a perennial favorite, and the owners work with farmers in New Mexico’s Hatch Valley to grow more than 1.75 million pounds each year.

Start with a margarita, made with fresh squeezed lime juice, on the rocks or frozen ($5 during happy hour). For an appetizer, try the chile con queso, made with a homemade blend of melted cheese and green chile and ranchero sauces ($7.59).

For those who have never visited a Chuy’s, ask for the Rainbow Plate, which is a colorful collage of all 10 sauces, to sample and find a favorite.

sauce plate

Ron Stern

The Rainbow Plate, maybe not pretty but worth it

As an entrée, choose between tacos, “Big as Yo’ Face” burritos, specialties, and combination plates. The Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom enchiladas, for example, are prepared with freshly roasted chicken and cheese, Boom-Boom sauce, roasted New Mexican green chiles, tomatillos, green onions, cilantro, and lime juice ($11.99).

If you’re in the mood for something fit for The King, then go for their Elvis Presley Memorial Combo featuring three enchiladas (beef Tex-Mex, cheese ranchero, and chicken tomatillo), a ground sirloin crispy taco, and house-made tostada chips dipped in chile con queso ($12.69).

Chuy’s version of Tex-Mex has commanded a loyal following in Texas and elsewhere and has contributed to its rapid expansion out West. Diners hungry for fresh and authentic border-town flavors should visit this first Colorado location.

Chuy’s is located at 6595 W. 104th Avenue in Westminster, Colorado. Drop in Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. or Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., or give them a call at 303-469-9441.

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FTC Disclosure: This was a sponsored visit, however, all opinions herein are the author’s.