In a recent trip to Greenville, SC only about an hour from our home in Asheville, NC we sought out and found a newly opened Tex-Mex chain restaurant..... Chuy's is a staple in Austin Texas where we spent about a decade and although it wasn't our first encounter with Fajitas it was one of the better memories.
How does this translate to a chain. We have learned in the last 8 years of owning a restaurant WHY ... chains insist on sending pre prepared food. CONSISTENCY.... cooking is part art and part science, whether you are preparing for your family, guests, or a 100 person catering.
Depending on who is following or NOT following the recipes, it is likely that it won't be exactly the same twice. This is why restaurant chains, although many start out preparing from scratch end up bagging it !
SO...Chuy's is OVER THE TOP, they actually spent millions recreating their original restaurant in Austin that was a mish mash of add-ons using scrap tile and building supplies. The place is covered in knick-knacks, probably costs them big $$$ to keep dusted.
Well now to the fajitas.... we ordered the traditional steak and chicken combo
Presentation- A- for guests C- for restaurant owner, lots of plates, fajita hot plate with wood bottom, salad dish with all the fixins, separate bowl of rice in a cute skillet, separate tortilla holder
Taste- C- Everything, I mean Everything was over salted to the point of being inedible, I didn't give it an F, because I am betting that the prep cook either used the wrong salt (kosher in lieu of iodized) or just didn't follow the recipe at all.
Value- A- $14.99 for the 1/2 order and it could have fed us both with the side of queso and guacamole that we ordered separately to try. these were about 3 oz bowls and ran between $3-$4 each. Our entire bill for two was $38.50 with a soda and two entrees.
And the quest continues, tonight is another local joint that is highly ranked in google.... I believe part of a small privately owned chain. More later.