Road Trip Hit: Chihuahua’s (Winnemucca, NV)
Posted by Caveman Cooking on July 12, 2010
When I’m on the road, there’s nothing better than stumbling into an unfamiliar town (preferably small enough to throw a Frisbee across) and finding a hidden gastronomic gem. I feel as if I’ve miraculously discovered some pirate’s buried treasure … without a map! The only difference is, I can’t wait to share this find with everyone I know. 😉
Hence, the start of a fun new series here on C3: Road Trip Hits. Taking a page from Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, this ongoing series will feature some of those little known paragons of road-trip rations.
After finding a great Mexican joint in Santa Maria on the first day of our road trip, I wasn’t sure that we’d stumble across another in the genre that would make me feel like breaking out my best Hat Dance. But, when we stumbled into Winnemucca, Nevada on our power-drive-day on the way home (10 hours, 4 states, and nearly 720 miles), the allure of Chihuahua’s Grill & Cantina (245 S. Bridge Street Winnemucca, NV 89445 775-625-4613) was just somehow too much for us to resist. I even did the rare U-turn to go back to this restaurant that seemed somewhat reminiscent of the Alamo from the outside. I think it was the fact that people were willing to sit outside in the 90°+ weather in order to get a table that had me pushing the traffic-law envelope. Fortunately, we were able to get a table inside since none of us, especially the Caveboy, does well in the heat. In fact, at the age of 3, the first time he ever walked outside into some real desert heat, he tried to beat it up … he was fightin’ mad at it! 😆 Inside, the main restaurant is separate from the bar, which also has some dining tables available.
When we sat down, the usual chips and salsa were delivered and quickly received the seal of approval from the Caveclan. We hastily backed it up with an order of guacamole which also was quickly going down our collective gullets faster than a Lindsey Lohan sainthood tribunal. It was thick and chunky, with tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro and lime juice all part of the action. We really had to show some restraint in order to have any room remaining for our meals.
Speaking of which, when it came time to order, I had to give their Chile Verde a go, since they make it with beef. In my experience, pork had always been the carne of choice when making this dish. So, I was in for a new treat. Green chiles, potatoes, onions and a unique Verde sauce all acted as a bed for the juicy, tender hunks of beef. And, oh my, was it flavorful! Served with cheese-topped refried beans, Spanish rice, and corn tortillas this was a dish I just couldn’t stop eating until it was all gone. If they would have served me seconds I, somehow, would have found the room for it!
As good as my dish was, the piece de resistance was actually the Cavegirl’s Carne Asada taco, which is pictured below. Yeah, it looks like two tacos, but it is actually one that we split into two since it was wrapped in two tortillas. Besides, despite her ravenous state, there was no way she’d ever get her mouth open wide enough to get a good bite of the overstuffed $1.90 taco. After dividing it up for her, I grabbed a piece of the marinated steak and was blown away by the incredible flavor these juicy, butter-soft chunks of beef possessed. It just may be the best Carne Asada I’ve ever tasted. I vowed that the next time we stopped in I would have to order these tacos … only, I’d have more than “one”!
The Caveboy went Americana with Chicken Strips and fries and was very happy, as was I when I saw they looked like they were made with actual chicken breast meat rather than the pressed stuff so many restaurants serve up on the kiddies’ menu. And, though the menu had several vegetarian offerings, the Cavewoman went with her usual Cheese Enchilada. I have to admit, she was the only one who wasn’t thrilled with their meal. But, she is anxious to return and try some of the other herbivore-friendly choices available.
While I wouldn’t classify this restaurant as inexpensive, it still is reasonable enough to get a family of four out the door for around $35. Add in the good food, friendly and fast service, and comfortable surroundings, and you can see why this qualifies as a Road Trip Hit. The next time you find yourself cruising through the northwestern Nevada desert on I-80 or Highway 95, and south-of-the-border grub sounds good, make a stop at Chihuahua’s for some flavor that will certainly be bigger than it’s canine namesake.
©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.