Eats Beat

In Arlington, a local interior-Mex restaurant has a familiar name: Chihuahua Charlie’s

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Casa Jacaranda is a traditional Mexican cafe and elaborate bakery on the tiny old downtown street of Venus.
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Casa Jacaranda is a traditional Mexican cafe and elaborate bakery on the tiny old downtown street of Venus.

Southwest Arlington has a new interior-Mexico restaurant.

But Chihuahua Charlie’s might need more time.

Grand-opening week was a trial by fire. Judging from social media comments, unhappy customers left a trail of complaints, and the website now says hours are limited “until we reach full staffing capacity and have our staff properly trained.”

If the problems can be worked out, Chihuahua Charlie’s owners Alfredo and Christy Gonzalez will bring southwest Arlington an interior-Mexico restaurant serving everything from breakfast to a variety of margaritas.

Two points: First of all, this is a local restaurant, not the Juárez chain that expanded here briefly in the 1990s.

Second, this is not Tex-Mex.

There’s no chili con carne. (That’s Texan.)

Chihuahua Charlie’s enchiladas are either poblano in a mild ranchero sauce or chicken in a mild tomatillo sauce, nothing like what’s served at Tex-Mex restaurants.

The chips and sauces — a guajillo red and a jalapeno-serrano green crema — are distinctive and good enough to stop traffic on Interstate 20.

Reports are mixed after that, but favorites seem to be the appetizers or the Cantina trio — a chicken breast with two cheeses, a cheese enchilada and a chcken flauta.

The breakfast menu offers egg dishes, chilaquiles, pancakes and dishes such as green-salsa huevos chicharrones (pork rinds).

Dallas has some elaborate interior-Mexico restaurants such as Mesa, and Fort Worth has upscale-Mex restaurants such as Mesero and Meso Maya, but southwest Arlington is more of a traditional neighborhood. Charlie’s can make friends quickly with its coconut or pineapple margaritas, though.

Chihuahua Charlie’s is in a former Asian restaurant near Little Road. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily; 5835 Interstate 20 West, 682-587-4760, chihuahuacharlies.net.



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Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.

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