the wonderful world of veena.

07 January 2014

memphis eats: chiwawa.

Last week I finally tried Chiwawa in Midtown. I know, I know, I'm a few months late on the bandwagon, as per usual. But at least I finally made it...

Chiwawa is a restaurant that sprang up in Midtown sometime last year. It's another brainchild of Taylor Berger, the owner and operator of the YoLo frozen yogurt franchise [another of my favourites]. As far as I can tell, Chiwawa is a converted industrial space of some sort, mostly wood and exposed steel. It's a small place* but has a nice feel to it, at least on a Monday afternoon for a late lunch. I've not been there for one of their Grizzlies watch parties, but I imagine those nights could be quite crowded. The building gets a lot of natural light, so it's a great spot during the day, and the outdoor patio looks like a nice spot for the evening.

[on the top you will see the Pollotillo taco, and the bottom one is the Taco de Madre]
And aside from the ambience, the food was pretty good, too. I had two tacos - the Pollotillo, which is chicken, and the Taco de Madre, which is smoked brisket. Both were really tasty and come highly recommended. I also had the Elote, which is grilled corn-on-the-cob covered in a lot of yummy deliciousness. Totally worth the mess you create when you eat it.

Chiwawa also has a full bar and offers drink specials during the week and for brunch on Sundays. I feel like they had a "Margarita Monday" offer when we were there, but none of us ordered anything, so I can't remember what the deal was.

[the Elote in all its splendour. before I made a mess, of course]
I will say this, though: I really liked the place - the food, the atmosphere, the natural light - but it's one of those places that's slightly a bit expensive for lunch, if that makes sense. It's a fixed menu, and for some reason I don't mind spending $17 [$7 tacos + $4 elote + $? soft drink + TN tax] on dinner, but it seemed a little excessive for lunch. Then again, I'm the one who decided to order two tacos and the side along with a soft drink, but surely someone out there understands what I'm saying.

Other than that, it was great, and I'm sure I will be returning there at some point in the [very near] future.

the deets:
Location: 2059 Madison Avenue. located between Memphis Pizza Cafe and Kwik Chek.
Parking: there is limited street parking available and about 8 spots in a lot just behind the restaurant. I've been there almost 2 times*, and both times I found parking easily.
Serves: Lunch and Dinner all week and Brunch on Sunday.
Specialties: all the varieties of tacos. and the Elote.
Prices: moderately expensive for lunch, but reasonable for dinner [see my above paragraph].
Methods of Payment: accepts cash and credit cards.

My stomach and I love having all these fun new restaurants in Memphis, and one of my goals is to try as many as I can in the coming months. Watch this space for more reviews.

*we attempted to go there for dinner this past Saturday, but we had a party of 10, and they did not seem prepared for such a large group. it took about 5 minutes for anyone to even tell us that it would be a wait of 25 minutes. with the small space, it would be a tight squeeze, so maybe call ahead if you have a lot of people.

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