When I think of Mexican food, I think of crunchy taco, delicious burrito and huge glasses of margarita. In my mind, I paint a fun colorful picture of people eating, drinking and dancing. This was exactly the vibe that I got the moment I set foot inside Chihuahua, a new Mexican restaurant along busy Makati avenue.
I was warmly greeted by owners Ines Cabarrus, Elian Habayeb and my dear friend Spanky who have arranged this fun get-together with fellow bloggers. We walked up towards the counter and the first thing I've noticed was that one wall was filled with bottles of hot sauce. These are all from the collection of the owners! I love staring at the colorful bottles, some even have a funny name. I wonder how my collections of Donald Duck and Hello Kitty items as well as my Starbucks City Mugs would look like if I display them up as well? :P
Truly a gracious host, Ines offered some drinks the moment we arrived -- I got a cup of Kool-Aid while Paul got some Lemonade. Taking a sip of the Kool-Aid juice brought back wonderful childhood memories but sadly, I find it a tad too sweet for my taste. Luckily, Paul was happy to swap drinks with me where in I enjoyed his Lemonade more.
For starters, we had a bowl of Nacho Grande (Php. 245), I was surprised that it came in a big stainless bowl filled with crunchy tortilla chips, topped with chili con carne, tomatoes, guacamole, cheese, special cheese sauce, jalapeño and sour cream. It's fully loaded and perfect to share with friends. Paul and I shared this with our favorite double date couple Richard and Irene. We noticed that the cheese sauce was a bit spicy that it's pretty tolerable when taken with the crunchy chips but as it hits the soggy ones, the spicy level intensifies. Still, the chips were delicious and perhaps next time I'll order the Chips and Queso with additional order of Guacamole and Sour Cream to make sure no chips gets soggy throughout the meal. Definitely a must-try!
Eating in a stainless steel bowl is also something new to me. I use a lot of stainless steel bowls when baking and cooking but never have I never ate a meal in one. It surely takes some time getting used to, I forgot to ask the owners why they thought of serving their food in these types of bowls as opposed to the usual plastic baskets used by other Mexican restaurants in town. I'll make a mental note to ask either Elian or Ines about it next time.
After enjoying our appetizer, we were led towards the counter for us to order our meal. The menu was pretty simple, it had a 4-step process to make your ordering a breeze.
First: Choose your meat: Steak, Chicken, Pork or Veggies.
I was initially looking for seafood, I hope they'd consider to add some seafood like shrimp and fish next time.
Second: Choose how your want your meat wrapped?
Soft-shelled taco, burrito, burrito bowl or salad.
Third: Order some add-ons!
Mexican rice, Chili, Nacho Grande, Chips and Queso and Tortilla Soup.
Lastly: Get your drink!
They surely have a wide array of drinks to choose from!
The fun part everything is worth P295 until step 2 and you just add as you go as you reach steps 3 and 4.
Let me share with you what Paul and I got that evening:
Pork Taco (Php. 295) it was a bit too watery for me. I wish they strained the meat more as sauce was running down my hands as I took a bite after the other. Irene and I also noticed the absence of cheese which is normally a must in every taco. This version had pork flakes, lettuce diced tomatoes and sour cream.
Steak Burrito (Php. 295) is perfect for my manly-man husband who just loveeessss meat. He enjoyed this immensely as he can't stop saying how tender and flavorful the meat was. The rice was delicious and it was well-packed without him making a mess. Next time, I'm taking his lead and I'm getting myself a steak burrito too... or maybe a steak burrito bowl instead.
For those who wants additional salsa, check out Chihuahua's salsa bar. This reminded us of all those Mexican restaurants that we've visited in California where we enjoyed visiting the salsa bar for our basket of tortilla chips. Here's a wide-array of salsa at different spicy levels.
I love Mexican Rice (Php. 90) and I enjoyed adding a few pieces of steak taken from Paul's burrito to go with my rice. The rice was delicious and fluffy. It's cool that they serve it with a piece of tortilla chips on top.
Since I can only take tomatoes in moderation and not a single piece of corn, I had to sit out on the Tortilla Soup (Php. 160) while I watch my dining companions enjoy every slurp. Paul told me that the broth was very delicious and it was filled with tomatoes, corn and chopped tortilla. We found out that the broth was cook for hours which I guess attributed to the full flavor of the soup. His only complain was that it hardly stayed piping hot for a long time perhaps because it was also served in a stainless bowl just like the other dishes. Thus I highly suggest you drink the soup right away and don't let it sit out all throughout your meal.
Chihuahua is a fun place to hang out with friends while enjoying their Nacho Grande, a glass or two of Margarita and their hefty serving of Steak Burrito! For the spicy lovers, why not take on the challenge and try some of the hot sauce bottles displayed on the wall! Just be sure to get those that are not from the owner's stash, ok?
*photo credit: Paul Ang
Visit Chihuahua at 7838 Makati Ave (across A-Venue Mall) in Makati City. Call them at 897-0087.