Maybe it was the lime green snakeskin vinyl bench as well as the schools of wooden fish suspended from the ceiling of the lobby of Chuy’s Tex-Mex restaurant on Gunbarrel Road that did it. Or it could have been the Elvis tributes dotting the room, including a real shrine and paintings on the walls of celebrities dressed as Elvis from different periods of his life. Or perhaps it was the display of, themed with cheeky pop-culture references such as “Finding Chuy” (with a fish), “Chattanooga Chuy” (with a vintage locomotive) or “PikaChuy: Gotta Eat ’em All” (with a fish popping out of a Pok√© Ball). Whatever it absolutely was, it took my 9-year-old around three minutes flat to provide me his verdict of this newly opened restaurant: “This place is fun.”

His instinct was spot-on, as our kids of four proceeded to get a delicious meal with stellar service in a kitschy space that screamed “good times.”

The food? We had barely gotten settled in our booth when our server, whose name tag indicated we should call him “Jon Snow,” stopped at our table having a basket of warm, crispy chips with bowls of salsa and also the restaurant’s signature Creamy Jalapeno sauce. The salsa was packed with mashed chunks of tomato and onion and, while it packed a great quantity of heat, the fresh tomato flavor is what really shone through. I was impressed in the beginning bite.

The jalapeno sauce was surprisingly milder than the salsa. The creamy sauce tasted such as a homemade ranch dressing pureed with cilantro and lime juice with chunks of green chilies and jalapeno. I had to fight the kids off for a few bites, which was shocking for something using the word “jalapeno” in the name.

When Jon stopped to refill our chips and find out if we were able to order, he gave us the scoop on the menu, emphasizing the restaurant’s dedication to serving the freshest food with all the highest-quality ingredients. The meats are grass-fed and non-GMO, and absolutely nothing but the french-fried potatoes and ice cream is ever frozen. All of the salsas and sauces are prepared fresh daily, and diners should swap them to customize the meals they eat.

The menu is really as extensive, with appetizers ($7-$10), salads and soups ($5-$10), burritos ($9-$11), enchiladas ($9-$11), house specialties ($9-$10.50), tacos ($8.50-$10.50), fajitas ($13.50-$14.50) and combination plates ($7-$11.50).

To sample a wider variety of items, we started off with the Appetizer Plate, which included the basic Chile Con Queso, Nachos, two Deluxe Quesadillas, several Chicken Flautas and guacamole.

The queso was quite good, using its blend of melted cheese and Green Chile Sauce and Ranchero Sauce. It had a sweet heat but wasn’t too spicy. It’s far more interesting compared to the basic white cheese and jalapeno dip you find at more conventional Mexican restaurants.

Chuy’s doesn’t offer call-ahead seating or reservations, so plan accordingly. Our server was clearly very busy using a full section, but we never felt rushed. Jon was patient with our indecision, chatty however, not overwhelming, gave helpful suggestions ogywhf answered each of our questions just like a man who genuinely knew every item on the menu. He was kind and attentive to our own squirrelly kids, and refilled my husband’s drink every time before it was empty. He was easily one of the better servers I’ve ever encountered.

Family dinners out really are a rare treat, so it’s important to locate a destination having a menu that appeals to a picky eater’s palate along with satisfies a parent or gaurdian who appreciates a quality meal. With its fun, funky vibe and food which is a solid step above ordinary, chuys deals is the ideal pick to please the masses.

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