Monday, June 2, 2014

¡Ay Chihuahua!

I am almost too embarrassed to admit that my bride and I have traveled thither and yon to satisfy our occasional craving for Mexican style food when there is a dandy eatery practically on our doorstep in South Tampa. Yesterday evening the Belle of Ballast Point and I crossed the threshold of the Chihuahua Mexican Grill and Restaurant at 4101 South MacDill Avenue for the first time, and we do not envision that to be our last time.

The effervescent Jenny who guided us to “the best seat in the house” immediately greeted us at the door. We beat the dinner crowd so we had the place to ourselves. Chips and dip appeared and Jenny took our drink order. She suggested the house Margarita, but since Chihuahua doesn't have a liquor license we decided to choose a beer...from Mexico. A Margarita without tequila just isn't a Margarita. The Bohemia beers that were served brought back pleasant memories of our trips south of the border. 

Jenny suggested that the Chili Cheese Dip from the appetizer menu would be perfect with our tortilla chips in a dog dish (Chihuahua, dog...). The melted Mexican cheese was creamy and delicious. With the dip, chips, and Bohemia beers we could almost picture ourselves back in that little cantina between Punta Bete and las ruinas de Coba.

For her entree, my bride ordered the oven baked Enchilada Dinner with three homemade corn tortillas in a delicious, bubbly enriched sauce. Judging from the moans of ecstasy coming from her side of the table, I can only assume she was more than pleased with her dinner choice. What she could not finish last night will be polished off today at work. Mexican rice and re-fried beans rounded out this dish.

I chose the Carnitas, literally "little meats," a signature dish of Mexican cuisine. It is made of pork, which has first been braised or roasted until tender, and then pan-fried or sautéed until browning occurs. I am not sure what technique is employed by Chihuahua, but that pork had some nice crispy bits, though for me the meat was just un poco on the dry side. The flavor was good and with corn tortillas, pico de gallo, sour cream, lettuce, and a side of re-fried beans this was a very filling meal.

I can't imagine anyone walking out of Chihuahua hungry after those two meals, and the prices were more than reasonable. Actually, the prices were competitive or lower than what we have experienced at other local Mexican dining spots. Our total for the evening came in at $41.72 and we added a 20% gratuity for Jenny.

¡Nos gustó mucho Chihuahua!

Chihuahua Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Chihuahua Mexican Grill on Foodio54

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