Welcome, Chuy’s!

Looking to tickle your taste buds?

Check out Cary’s newest restaurant, Chuy’s (pronounced Chew-ies) in Parkside Town Commons, where Cary Magazine staffers enjoyed Tex-Mex food samples and a tour this week, on the eve of the restaurant’s official opening.

Mild, medium and hot — those are the options on Chuy’s nine-sauce tour, led by head kitchen trainer Brian Wolfe, the go-to guy on all things food at the Texas-founded chain, which has been around since 1982.

“Start with the Ranchero sauce,” Wolfe suggests: The mildest, this vegetarian red sauce takes 10 hours to make using fresh fire-roasted tomatoes, cilantro, and more.

Wolfe leads us from tangy tomatillo to Tex-Mex to the popular Boom-Boom cheese-based sauce, to the hot hatch green chile.

“All of our food is made from scratch,” he said, “so you can mix sauces to order as if you were making it at home. And there are only two frozen items in this whole restaurant — the French fries, and ice cream for kids.”  

A trek through the kitchen and cooler, a veritable farmers’ market of fresh produce, shows off the all-fresh process. Cheeses are hand-grated, rice is made 20 times each day, and hand-rolled tortillas are made one by one on an authentic comal; think skillet-meets-turntable.

We also sampled three Chuy’s dishes: the classic Tex-Mex platter of enchilada, rice and refried beans; the steak burrito, topped with Hatch Green Chile sauce and served with green chile rice and charro beans; and the Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom of roasted, hand-pulled chicken and cheese served with roasted New Mexican green chiles and tomatillos.

Toss in the house margarita, and we didn’t ever want to leave!

Décor & More

Holly Robbins, field marketing manager for Chuy’s, led a room-by-room tour of the restaurant. To say the décor is eclectic is an understatement.

“It’s color and music … and color,” she said, creating a kitschy vibe that harkens back to the early days of Chuy’s, when décor dollars were scarce.

The La Chihuahua Bar offers access to the sunny patio space. Customers who bring a framed picture of their own dogs get a free appetizer and a spot on the wall, not to mention free happy-hour chips and sauce at the Nacho Car, not bar, made from a converted retro Cadillac.  

Schools of wooden fish swim across the ceilings, all hand-carved and hand-painted by the same family in Mexico since 1982. The hubcap room features a ceiling full of them, and the palm tree room sets a tropical tone with hand-welded metal palm trees, some complete with coconuts.

“And here’s our Elvis shrine,” Robbins says with a flourish beside a bust of The King surrounded by flowers and guarded by two golden lions. “He’s our patron saint. We celebrate his birthday every year.”

Of course they do.

Expect the unexpected if you head this way, Western Wak-ers.  


1035 Parkside Main St., Cary

(919) 388-7455


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *