I like my Mexican food hot and spicy, and that's exactly what Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb offer. They have just created the perfect hangout with good Tex-Mex food (and Margarita to match!) :)
Since Ines and Elian wrote the coffee table book, Manila's Best Kept Restaurant Secrets, and created the annual MBKRS Awards, this place received a lot of attention -- and expectations were indeed high for the authors.
The resto looks down-to-earth and has a canteen-type feel, a place where you can go just as you are on a weekday.
Take note, though: on weekends, it transforms into a salsa and late-night bar hangout.
The managers and waiters are very friendly and ready to assist you with your order.
(I just have this pet peeve about service people dressed in all-black uniforms. Black is the color of death and is usually associated with bad luck for a restaurant.)
First, you choose your main meat: Steak, Chicken or Pork.
Second, you choose what form you want it in: 3 pcs. of tacos, a classic wrapped burrito, a naked burrito in a bowl or on top of a salad. It is all line priced at P295.
The upsells are cleverly integrated in the 4-step ordering process. Your Chihuahua experience is not complete without ordering a side dish and drinks.
We ordered the Tortilla Soup, a Mexican version of Minestrone, as our side dish. It was all right except that it cooled down fast because they used a stainless steel bowl -- a poor way of serving the soup just to conform to the overall theme.
The burrito is prepared right before your eyes. (Don't the individual ingredients look really yummy?!)
The burrito tasted good but it was poorly wrapped in foil. It was lighter and less packed than expected. I would go for Órale's burrito anytime.
You can request to taste the Charlie Sheen Crazy Sauce, which won their Hot Sauce Battle Royale. I liked the sauce -- it was not too spicy at the start, had a roasted-pepper flavor, and delivered a nasty kick in the end.
We loved the steak in salad version. The steak (which was good USDA grade beef) was grilled well and the vegetables were nice and crisp. If you want light and healthy Mexican fare, this is for you.
The salad went well with their salsa bar, where you can get unlimited servings of jalapeño peppers, limes, pico de gallo, habanero salsa, tomatillo salsa, and chipotle salsa. Sarap and nice idea!
The Chili, served with rice and tortilla, was great! A perfect setting for my own hot sauce battle royal:
I asked the manager to recommend hot but flavorful sauces, and he recommended:
Frank's RedHot Chili Lime,
Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce,
Lea & Perrins' Hot Pepper Sauce,
Trappey's Red Devil Cayenne Pepper Sauce,
Chihuahua's Charlie Sheen's Crazy Sauce,
Chihuahua's Secret Sauce (No Name Yet),
I was expecting it to be super hot but it was just spicy for me. :)
I wanted to request Dave's Insanity Jersey Death (which is rumored to be the nastiest hot sauce around) but it was located in the owner's private stash section. :(
Any other recommendation on what super super hot hot sauce to try in Chihuahua?
I loved Chihuahua's Margarita, a.k.a. Chihuarita, with its spiced salt and real Mexican Tequila. It was not sweet (like the common ones out there) and it was not that strong for me (but my wife found it too strong for her taste).
Chihuahua provides a nice, laid-back setting for feasting on customized Tex-Mex Food, staging your own Hot Sauce Battle Royal, and enjoying Margaritas with loved ones and friends. :)
If you're on the lookout for a good Mexican place to try, check out Chihuahua. I just think their burritos can be improved by packing it in with more ingredients (to make it worth its price) and wrapping it better. Budget P500/person.
Chihuahua Mexican Grill and Margarita Bar
7838 Makati Avenue (across A-Venue), Makati
Facebook: Chihuahua Mexican Grill
Operating Hours: 11am until 3am (Mon-Thurs), 5am (Fri-Sat), and 12am (Sun)
Mobile: +63 916 373-7308
Related Blog Posts:
Hour Philippines | Chihuahua Mexican Grill and Margarita Bar – A Private Tasting!
Table for Three, Please | Chihuahua Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar
Check out Mexican Restos in Manila: http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/mexican/
Live an Awesome Life,
Full Disclosure: We paid for our meals. We know the owners from the MBKRS Awards but we are not connected in any other way.
★ Happily recommended :)
P.S. I forgot to ask if Chihuahua was named after their dog, or because it was a place in Mexico that they've been to...