March-April 2019 | Food & Drink

In the Mood for Mexican

Here are 10 offerings that highlight the crunchy, cheesy, citrusy, picante deliciousness of Mexican dishes and the food inspired by them

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Photo by Deb Lindsey.

Chiles Rellenos with Tex-Mex Sauce at Chuy’s

The Rockville branch of Chuy’s, the Austin, Texas-based Tex-Mex chain with more than 90 outlets nationwide, feels like a mom-and-pop business. You’re greeted warmly, the staff is well-informed and gracious, and the food is mighty tasty. “We make everything fresh except the french fries, the ketchup and the push-pops,” says the location’s general manager, Michael Weser, “including all of our corn and flour tortillas. If there are any left over, we throw them out and start over the next day.”

The Chuy’s dish that gets our top vote is chiles rellenos, a New Mexican specialty of stuffed fire-roasted-then-peeled Anaheim chili peppers. Although they are offered with a variety of fillings (including chicken or ground sirloin), we prefer those stuffed simply with Monterey Jack cheese before being dipped in buttermilk, coated with seasoned flour and deep-fried to encase each pepper in a thin, crispy shell. You can choose from seven house-made sauces as a topping (they’ll do a free sampling and explanation of all if you ask), but go for the Tex-Mex sauce, which is actually a combination of two sauces: one a beefy, cumin-laced chili con carne, and the other a purée of rehydrated dried green chile peppers. Cut into the center, then let the cheese ooze out and mingle with the sauces.

Chuy’s, 12266 Rockville Pike, Rockville; 301-603-2941;