Memphis Eats: Chiwawa

In the last few years there have been a ton of interesting restaurants opening in Memphis.  Normally weekday lunches are confined to a packed lunch or a nearby location downtown near where I work. Since we had the time today some coworkers and I decided to head out to Chiwawa in Midtown, a new restaurant that has an interesting concept and take on Mexican food.

I’ve actually been dying to go to Chiwawa because I live in the area only a few minutes walk away. I drive past the place every day so I watched the construction and opening process for the restaurant. I love that they revitalized this space and are so focused on being part of the Midtown area.

chiwawa-memphis-restaurant
chiwawa-memphis

It was great to finally go inside and test out the menu (which is a very cool design, btw). I loved the fun typography and colors used on the menu.

chiwawa-memphis-menu

It’s a casual Mexican restaurant & bar and the concept seemed rather… intriguing. Tacos and hotdogs at the same restaurant? This I must see and experience!

We split chips and guacamole as an appetizer. The plate of chips felt rather massive for an appetizer.

chiwawa-chips-and-salsa

The chips are house made and seasoned rather well. I couldn’t decide if I liked them on the first bite but after a few I loved them. The guac was super fresh and chunky – just the way it should be.

I ordered two tacos for my lunch. Since there was a ton of variety I decided to try out two different taco options.

Taco al Pastor – Smoked Pork, Grilled Pineapple, Pickled Onion, Cilantro, 901 Mexi-Que Sauce.

chiwawa-pork-taco-pastor

Taco de Pollo – Smoked Chicken, Salsa Verde, Slaw Chiwawa, Cotija

chiwawa-chicken-taco

It was a rather appetizing plate. I love that you can mix and match your order with whatever tacos and side items you want. At $3 a taco it definitely encourages ordering more!

chiwawa-tacos

I enjoyed the tacos well enough, but I feel like I’ve had better tacos at local Mexican places (and food trucks). There was nothing wrong with these combinations they just didn’t do it for me today. I should have ordered the fish taco because I love to try fish tacos at every place I go!

Favorite food item: Chips and Guacamole.

Least favorite food item: Taco al Pastor. Pork taco. Wasn’t a huge fan of the Mexi-Que sauce on a taco. I know we live in Memphis but the barbecue flavor didn’t work for me in this setting.

Favorite non-food thing: The prices on the menu include tax so you don’t have to factor that in. That’s one thing that is always really helpful to see. It makes calculating your final total with tip really easy.

Least favorite non-food thing: It did feel a bit awkward to be in a restaurant where the waiter joked about not being able to pronounce the menu items that were in Spanish. That’s a whole different conversation for a different day.

Final thoughts: I’ll definitely eat there again. They’ve got a lot of cool food options I want to try like their juan-tons (a mexican twist on traditional wontons) and elote. I also need to try a hotdog and an alcoholic popsicle… Ok their menu actually holds a lot of promise for future visits.

Until next time!

Update: I’ve eaten there multiple times and had food to go!. Sometimes I’ve passed on Chiwawa during super busy weekend times since I enjoy it but not enough to wait. They have a killer patio which is really nice during warmer weather.

Curious about the restaurant that sells hot dogs and tacos? Go visit!

Chiwawa on Urbanspoon