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Chihuahua Tex-Mex and Hot Sauce Battle :)

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Chihuahua's Hot Sauce Bar!

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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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Tortilla Soup (P160).

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.

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The burrito is prepared right before your eyes. (Don't the individual ingredients look really yummy?!)

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Pork Burrito (P295).

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.

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★ Steak Salad (P295).

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.

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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!

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★ Chili (P265).

The Chili, served with rice and tortilla, was great! A perfect setting for my own hot sauce battle royal:

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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),
and...

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...Mama Sita's Hot Pepper (Siling Labuyo) Sauce.

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. :(

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The winner: I like Trappey's Red Devil Cayenne Pepper Sauce with my Chili. :)

Any other recommendation on what super super hot hot sauce to try in Chihuahua?

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Classic Margarita (P195).

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).

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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
Website: www.chihuahuamexgrill.com
Facebook: Chihuahua Mexican Grill
Operating Hours: 11am until 3am (Mon-Thurs), 5am (Fri-Sat), and 12am (Sun)
Email: chihuahuamexgrill@gmail.com
Mobile: +63 916 373-7308

Related Blog Posts:
Hour Philippines | Chihuahua Mexican Grill and Margarita Bar – A Private Tasting!
Table for Three, PleaseChihuahua Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar

Check out Mexican Restos in Manila: http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/mexican/

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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...

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Comments

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i really like spicy foods and those looks great..i want to have one...

can we make a list of successful restaurants who dress their staff in black?

i'm sure this is a paid post or you just really have bad taste. every item in chihuahua sucks, and we tried A LOT just to give it a chance. Heck, i'd even eat tia maria's burrito over theirs.

I guess my taste was really bad and got affected by the hot sauces :D

Looks like Becky has bad taste- we are Chihuahua-regulars! Will make a point to try our own "hot sauce battle" like u Anton next time we go!

No Anton, don't say that. Taste is subjective and everyone's palate is different.

I've been told different things about this place, but I've yet to make it here myself. I love Mexican food, grew up on Tex Mex, but there's something I find very unappealing about serving food in those stainless steel bowls... Food cools down very quickly in those things.

First of all, Thank you Anton for this write up! :) I can't believe we didn't even know you were there! :p

To address the stainless steel bowls- this is part of our concept and our industrial look and feel, and something we observed in some awesome taco shops in Houston- and coming from someone who eats tortilla soup in those bowls almost every day- I can say that the food does stay hot, as long as it's served hot. This comment is very constructive and helpful though and I have instructed our staff and chefs to ensure that the food served in those bowls should be served piping hot and at the right temperature all the time to avoid the quick-cool-down problem in the future! :)

In the restaurant biz- feedback is key- and the honest comments of great food bloggers like Lori and Anton are always appreciated as we all strive to give the best service and serve the best food :)

Cheers!


i agree. the worst mexican in manila.

But i'm sure it was not a paid post, taste is subjective.

cant wait to try this soon!! :) although i have very little tolerance for spicy food but i love love love mexican food still! :)

p.s. i love the salsa bar touch :) reminds me of all those mexican restaurants that we've tried in CA :)

The concept is similar to chipotle

I have to say the food was good and the hot sauces excellent, but we were there on a Sunday at around 3pm and the dirty tables took a looooong while to get cleared (albeit a pet peeve of mine, too)... it baffled us, and the restroom trash bin was overflowing... funny part is the Owners were there. Oblivious to everything. :-(

We decided to give Chihuahua a try despite its mixed reviews and I agree that the stainless bowls are the worst part of the restaurant. We ordered the chili and though it was tasty, it looked like we were eating dog food from a dog bowl. Overall the food is not bad. The price is waaay too high (we spent over 1k for 2 ppl) and the quality of presentation needs a lot of work. My taco seemed to have a built in faucet with juice dripping from it non stop.

ok naman sa akin ang chihuahua. :) yung michelada lang nila ang never-again item sa akin. :)

The place looks good. I assume they used "Chihuahua" because it is a Tex-Mex restaurant. The state of Chihuahua in Mexico is at the border of Texas in the US.

I also suggest Tapatío hot sauce for any Mexican food.

i love the margarita in this place... :)

Food was okay, not super great like other mexican places but what caught my attention was when Elian asked for the email adds of all the ladies and skipped the guys in our table. Guess we weren't worthy of being part of their mailing list.

You've got to be kidding me with this food review. The food was horrible! It honestly pains me to say so because I adore Elian! After meeting him at the restaurant, he was very generous and warm and welcoming to every single one of his customers. That's why I wanted so badly for Chihuahua's food to be great which sadly, it was not. :( Mexicali is about 10X better to be perfectly frank. Chihuahua is in the same league as Ristras but because the owner of Chihuahua is such a likable and warm person, I'd say that's Chihuahua's advantage over Ristras.

Do they have have Castillo or Yucateco hot sauce? These two are my best hot sauce brand and was available then at Metro Market Market

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