For months now Midtown has been teased by rumors of a new hip spot in town - a taco and hot dog bar that was finally going to take over the old Chicago Pizza building that had sat ruined and empty for as long as I could remember. There was lots of buzz building up around the restaurant - articles in the Memphis Flyer and Memphis Business Journal most recently.
So on Friday when it was decidedly patio weather and Jake and I ventured out for lunch, fate stepped in and allowed us to try out this new restaurant - Chiwawa. See, we were going to go to Bosco's but the patio was full so we decided to walk down to another place... maybe Memphis Pizza Cafe or Bayou? But on the way down we noticed a welcoming sign - people on the patio at Chiwawa! And so we decided to give it a go.
First off, we figured out pretty quickly that we had stumbled upon their opening day. And that was important to remember as we went through the lunch. The patio tables were clearly freshly assembled, with wood shavings still on the table, no staining of the table, and needing a sanding in a major way. Seeing as their benches are finished, stained, and sealed, I can imagine that they probably just hadn't gotten there yet.
The menu is really well designed. It is visually pleasing and also represents the brand well- totally hipster cool. The type of food is decidedly eclectic. The chef, Crash of Revival Food Truck fame, definitely put his mark on the offerings, with tacos featuring toppings like pineapple and hot dogs with avocado.
I was very excited to try the elote, which is a mexican street corn that we make at home and love. I ordered that and the Juan Tons, which are a wonton purse with chicken and cream cheese served with a sauce to dip on the plate. Jake went with the Chiwawa Dog, which is an all-beef hot dog wrapped in bacon.
It is worth mentioning at this point that by the time we had ordered we had three different people acting as our waiter. It made for quite the confusion and it did take some time to get our order. We also were told that the taco order came with two tacos but the table next to us was told the taco order was one taco. For $4, that is either a great deal for two tacos or a bad deal for one.
When our food finally came out, we were told that they were out of the corn and that it would be taken off our bill. Totally understandable but they didn't ask if I wanted anything else - I had ordered the Juan tons since I got the corn and by itself it wasn't enough food. I should have asked for a menu and just ordered something because I left hungry.
The Juan Tons:
The Chiwawa Dog:
The food was ridiculously good. Jake loved his dog and my Juan tons, though not much food, were really tasty. I am excited to go back and try other things. A table next to us got the guac and cheese dip and both looked good. One of the things that looked fun were the alcoholic sno-cones and paletas.
Service continued to be majorly a miss throughout the meal. A table two down from us actually waited an hour for their food, one person at their table got his food but no one else, and finally they had to go back to work so they had to leave. It took us a good 30 minutes to get our check and pay (partly because they never took off the corn so we had to get them to fix the bill).
With that being said, like I stated it was their first day. I firmly believe that they will learn from their hiccups and get their system down. Their food is good, the space is fun, Overton Square is hopping, based on the crowds at Local/Boscos lately there is a demand, and once they get their beer license they will have a healthy nightlife.
We'll be going back, but we might give them a few weeks to figure everything out!
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