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I swear I’m not a Yelper: new area restaurants offer unique dining experiences

Isaiah Tarwater, Staff Designer

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Chuy’s

Chuy’s, Olathe’s latest Tex-Mex restaurant, puts a unique spin on Mexican food. They may be in the same location as the Joe’s Crab Shack that was there before, but Chuy’s is a breed all its own.

As you walk to the front door of the restaurant, the first thing you notice, along with the taco-shaped door handles, are the bright colors of the building itself. Instantly creating a feel-good atmosphere, the interior decor is like nothing seen in an eatery before. The longer you look at the walls, the more you start to notice, from an Elvis shrine inside the entryway to the inch-tall angels hidden in each room.

As you enter the dining area, a divide in theme is easily noticed — one area with tall steel palm trees, another decorated head to toe in vintage car parts.

The first Chuy’s opened in Austin, Texas, in 1982, and the decorator, Jose Cuervo, has pledged to make each new branch unique, an idea stemming back to their first restaurant, before they had enough money to traditionally decorate.

According to their website, chuys.com, “If you’ve seen one Chuy’s, you’ve seen one Chuy’s,” a philosophy they live by, swearing to make each of their restaurants special.

Immediately as you look at the menu, you notice it isn’t too bulky or overwhelming, a mistake many restaurants make. Everyone knows that a fresh, hand-made tortilla is the basis to any Tex-Mex meal. Chuy’s takes pride in their handmade tortillas — the first to bring blue corn to Texas, hand-rolled all day, every day, behind glass at the front of the open kitchen.

In a restaurant based in fresh food, the only freezer you’ll find is smaller than most at home, only holding their kid’s meal ice cream. While there, I had the privilege to taste the chicken enchiladas, made with fresh cheese, hand-pulled chicken, fresh-squeezed lime juice and their famous New Mexican green chilies. This was one of the best enchiladas I’ve ever eaten; the fresh tortilla added a smooth baseline for a tender, juicy, shredded chicken breast. The chicken is the perfect pairing for their house pico de gallo, mixed with the tomatillos in the enchilada. Overall, this seemingly ‘mom and pop’ chain is a perfect meal for a Friday night date or a Tuesday night meal with your family.

 

 

Eat Fit Go

Eat Fit Go is a healthy fast food alternative, new to the Olathe area. It may seem like a regular fresh food option, but Eat Fit Go is a new genus of restaurant.

In the building, there are no ovens, no stove tops — only microwaves and industrial refrigerators. Every morning, a truck brings fresh meats and vegetables from the distribution center downtown. These are packaged and seasoned into individual meals. The meals are then put into the refrigerators, awaiting a purchaser.

Upon entering, you can see four microwaves lining the wall, set with modern stainless steel tables and chairs. They are accompanied by an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling refrigerators.

The purchase process begins with a trip to the refrigerators, where you choose your meal, drink and side. Once chosen, you take your food to the counter where you decide to eat in-store with their microwaves or in the comfort of your own home.

While there, I enjoyed consuming the turkey chili, vegetarian mac, the peanut butter protein balls and cheese and zoodles ­­­— zucchini noodles — with turkey meatballs.

Junior Haley Specht said the protein balls “would be a great afterschool snack or would be good to have at work and throw in the fridge.”

The vegetarian mac was sub-par, lacking the seasonings needed in a meatless dish.

“The veggie mac would be a lot better if it had a butt-load [126 US gallons] of cheese drizzled on top,” Specht said.

The zoodles with turkey meatballs were well-made with a fair amount of flavor, and the tender meatballs were rather good for a microwave meal. The turkey chili was the pinnacle of my existence; its sauce contained the savory flavors needed but did not suppress the sweetness of the roasted tomatoes. The sauce complements the turkey beautifully.

As a whole, Eat Fit Go is the perfect place to eat for a health-nut with a hectic schedule.

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I swear I’m not a Yelper: new area restaurants offer unique dining experiences