Two friends invited me to join them on a taco adventure, and I must thank them for helping me branch out from my regular Mexican grub haunts (Armadillo, Montey’s, El Rod, La Fiesta, Chipotle). Chubby’s Tacos opened a Raleigh location recently, a second establishment of the original in Durham. And judging by the crowd (in this nondescript strip mall) word has quickly traveled about the bangin’ salsa bar, variety, fresh ingredients and relaxed atmosphere. Check the menu here. Chubby’s has acquired beverage permits now, too, so you can partake in a beer or a margarita.
What’s so great about Chubby’s? The menu is simply priced, with items served à la carte. This is especially satisfying for me because I like variety, picking and choosing a few things to try. Fresh ingredients: salsa bar, veggies, herbs. Flavors: a variety of flavor combos, beyond the traditional.
My order: two tacos (Carne Asada—diced seasoned steak with onions & cilantro; Grilled Tilapia—citrus marinated with chipotle cream sauce and pico de gallo). Plus, I made it a meal for an additional $2 to include rice, beans and chips. LG, what do you think? This looks like Houston food… so while you might be a little jealous, I know you’ve got at least five places down the street that offer this grub.
The carne adasa taco is my standard order, so no surprises there. The combination of spicy steak with cilantro and onions is simple, but the bright cilantro and crispy onion go great with the meat. And here’s what really makes it: soft corn tortillas…far superior to the flour.
The grilled tilapia taco was nicely balanced with a delicate chipotle sauce, not too smokey, and lightly fried fish. The pico burned so good.
The beans and rice represented the standard for most restaurants, but I add a heaping spoonful of salsa to pep it up a bit and make it spicy. Rice and beans makes it feel more like a meal, but I’ll get another outrageously good taco instead next time.
On to the salsa…
From top to bottom, left to right…I will do my best to remember…1. Salsa Verde 2. Habanero (Spicy!) 3. Can’t remember, but It looks like I liked it 4. Salsa Fresca 5. Guacatillo (Avocad0-Tomatillo) 6. Roasted Pepper? This bloggie got seriously distracted by consuming the salsas, and forgot their names.
Here’s a look at the day’s special: The Chubbychanga (fried tortilla, stuffed with chicken, onions, peppers), plus a side of queso dip, chips and a classic margarita on ice.
Check it: more tacos, because Chubby’s is all about variety. That’s a Chicken Fajita (seasoned chicken with lettuce and cheese) and Al Pastor (marinated pork & pineapple with cilantro and onions). In corn tortillas!
Finish it all off with something sweet.
If you’re in search for an upgrade or just something different from your more frequented Mexican restaurants, why not try Chubby’s. It’s local, plus prices are reasonable. The ingredients are fresh. You’ll find tofu, tilapia and ahi tuna alongside traditional steak, chicken, shrimp and pork. And you can have it anyway you want it: taco, taquito, gordita, torta, burrito (the size of your head!), quesadillas, taco salads and nachos.
I have a feeling I’ll be going back this weekend. Any takers?