Don’t take anything seriously, except food!

Recently, I got to try a new Mexican restaurant in the Southpark area.  And when I say new, I mean new to me as the restaurant opened in April 2013.

Hidden behind Crate & Barrel @ Southpark, a few feet down from CowFish, is a great Mexican restaurant worth trying…Chuy’s!  While the location has been home to a few restaurants, I remember it last as M5.  A cool little place where the Who’s Who of Charlotte could be seen.

The décor is fantastic!  From the moment you walk in, (make sure to look up at the celling as you’ll see antique cameras on display) you’re transformed into their Tex Mex & eclectic environment.  The bar, with its own “car trunk” buffet area for the Happy Hour Nacho Bar special, to the Wall of Dogs, to the main dining area with palm trees, & Elvis décor, the place certainly makes an impression on you instantly.  The large patio out back would be great during the spring & summer months too. 

And the food packs a punch!  Make sure to try some of the Big as Yo’ Face Burritos or the loaded nachos…yum!  And as the name says, be ready to eat lots!  I ordered the beans & cheese Big as Yo’ Face Burrito and could barely get ½ of it down.  You could taste the freshness of the 12-inch tortilla, made in house.  In fact, Chuy’s Food Fullosophy touts authentic food all made in house.

When you are seated, you’re brought the normal platter of chips with two dips:  salsa (Fresca with a little heat) & a buttermilk jalapeno ranch with a tang.  The salsa tastes authentic & fresh with just a little heat but for the burrito, I asked for the full hot/spicy experience….got it!  And for those of you not sure how hot to order it, check out their spice meter.  They offer 7 signature sauces made in house from mild to hot!  & of course, I asked for the Hot!  

The Nachos looked & tasted great too…with handmade fresh chips topped with just enough sauce, beans, & cheese to give you that Tex Mex flavor.  Definitely trying those next time! 

And the prices match the food…which at times in the Southpark area doesn’t happen 🙂

Can’t wait for my next visit!

 

 

 

Chuy's on Urbanspoon

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Cafe Nirvana! Under new management – Grand Opening May 3

ImageCafé Nirvana – 521 Lancaster Hwy Pineville, NC

I remember when this “Indian Fusion” restaurant opened up close to Ballantyne.  In fact, it prompted many new Indian restaurants in the area but they were the first.

Always a good atmosphere, good service, & good food.  Unfortunately, as the economy tanked, so did this place.  Revolving door with staff & the food/service suffered.  Bar…what bar…all they had available near the end was beer/wine…if you were lucky enough to go there when they had any.  And then vacant for months.

It’s been ages since I’ve been back but just couldn’t resist when I drove by recently & saw the Open sign.  I was surprised to see it empty but it was a little early for dinner, close to 6.    But the service was great as I remember it.  And the food was just the way I like it, Hot Hot Hot!    Paneer 65 was definitely a good dish, with just enough sauce and heat to set your tongue on fire.  And gone are the days when you looked at your plate & went “where’s the food?”  This dish was more than enough for two to share.  Dosa is my weakness…and Mysore dosas are the best so of course I got that.  Nicely served to a crisp brown color, stuff with spicy masala.  More than enough to feed me.  The samabar a little different than my usual taste but flavorful.  Just needs a little thinning out. 

Clearly, the new management has made the difference in this place.  It helps that the new owner already has a successful restaurant at Myrtle Beach & the new manager is ready to bring the “spice” back in the place…in food and fun.  While Café Nirvana is going through lots of changes, they are all good.  The bar is gonna be back up soon and the “fusion” in the name restaurant will be reflected in a new menu.  And a few fun activities will draw the crowds in.  The Grand Opening is May 3 so make sure to stop by and try it out.  You will not be disappointed!