Memphis Hi-Lite: Chiwawa!

Chiwawa! Midtown Memphis

Chiwawa! Midtown Memphis

This restaurant is no longer in business, but enjoy the article.

Don’t expect to read about a big eyed dog here. This is also not a play on Chicago Blues (Get it? Chi = Chicago, Wawa- Blues Guitar Pedal)… Okay, that joke kind of fell flat, but there is nothing flat about this sleek, stylish Mexican eatery located at the edge of the redeveloped Midtown Memphis Overton Square area. This was a family outing so I’m discussing the lunch menu. We will definitely be making a return for a date night to see what the atmosphere is like.

LV and I had never heard of the place. We had just finished taking the children to their music lessons at the Visible Community Music School. We asked the director if there was a place that he could recommend nearby that was cool to take kids to eat. When he said Chiwawa, I immediately thought, Yo Quiero… and then I thought, “Awww, naahhhh, if I want mystery meat tacos I’ll just go to a drive through.” Instead of attempting to explain, he said, “Trust me.” That’s all it took. We stuck the guitar in the back, climbed in the car and of course Googled the location. Because that’s how we roll, navigation style, bling, bling… in a tiny van. I guess it’s not really bling, but you get the picture. We drove about 5 minutes to Madison. Since we’d eaten at several spots in the area it wasn’t hard to find and right after lunchtime, parking wasn’t bad.

The design of the restaurant was very cool. Natural light poured through the windows and the interior seemed to be pulled from the Midtown area with an eye on the qualities that make Memphis, well Memphis. There seems to be real dedication to the local sports teams and with several large, flat screen televisions, and a bar that Jon Taffer would approve of, Chiwawa! is an excellent option for a group looking to enjoy the game. With that said, I like that the atmosphere was still kid friendly. The bathrooms were clean and the seating area was spotless. All important factors in enjoying yourself. We were seated quickly and given menus and told which items were the waiter’s favorites.

Here is what you came for, pics and food choices. My son got busy and ordered from the Hot Dog menu. I forgot to say that while Chiwawa! is primarily a Mexican themed restaurant, they have a good selection of Dawgs (Perros Calientes- everything just sounds cooler in Spanish). Is it me or does everyone say Hot Dawg like they’re from Boston? maybe it’s just me. The perros menu has great names like the Dirty Diana, Sleddog, and continuing with the Memphis theme, dawgs named after various parts of town.

The Bartlett Dog...dizzam

The Bartlett Dog…dizzam

Kids Quesadilla only 5.95

Kids Quesadilla only 5.95

Our son ordered the Bartlett Dog which was bacon wrapped, had sauteed onions, peppers, pulled chicken, spicy ranch, and chopped dill pickles. Our daughter who isn’t necessarily the adventurous type ordered from the “kids” menu. Yep the “kids” menu. Look at the picture! She’s six! Talk about a great serving size for a fantastic price! (That place with the mystery meat and creepy rat/dog should be embarrassed).

LV and I ordered from the Tacos menu. I’ve been cutting back on eating a lot of meat, which doesn’t help when you go out and write food reviews (Kanye Shoulder Shrug), so I also included a salad with my order. LV had the Sunset Taco (spicy shrimp, guacamole, cilantro, pepper aiola) and I had the appropriately named Chubby Vegetarian (stop giggling). This taco tasted amazing. The panko crusted avocado was an excellent meat substitution. (Does anyone else have troubled doing the whole panko breading thing at home?). The Chubby was trimmed with cabbage, pico, candied lime, chipotle aiola, and cilantro. My salad was watermelon, onion and radish served in a martini glass and complimented the airy, open atmosphere with fresh flavors that readied my palate for the Chubby (I’m smiling as I write this… it got me ready for the chubby, lol).


Don’t knock this salad…

The Chubby and Sunset

The Chubby and Sunset

Whenever we are with the kids we always finish our meals off with dessert (los postres). If you are watching your weight the desserts are perfectly sized to share. LV and our daughter had the Churros y Chocolate and my son and I shared a Gelato over something, I can’t remember which I hate. Maybe someone can comment below and tell me what I finished this meal with. No? Hey you can’t blame me for trying.

Overall Chiwawa! was definitely a great spot to swing by for lunch. The menu prices are family friendly along with the service and ambiance (I’m tired of saying atmosphere). This is definitely another Memphis Hi-Lite and with the area beginning to develop into one of the best sections in Memphis, you should take some time to visit and then walk around the new shops that are opening in Overton Square. Tell them Chris sent you and they will look at you and say, “Who?” lol.

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