You can’t have everything in life I guess. I gave up on being the world’s first ballerina/private eye/scientist and I know I won’t win the lottery any time soon. But, is it so much to ask for decent, fresh Mexican food that doesn’t costs an arm and a leg? Everyone raves about Dos Taquitos, and deservedly so, but for budgetary reason, I can’t go there for a taco fix every time I want. Meanwhile, cheap Mexican restaurants are a dime a dozen, but unless you love cement-like refried beans and brown lettuce, it’s not very satisfying. With this in mind, despite hearing how awesome Chubby’s Tacos was (our pal Demandy is a fan), I was going in with very low expectations.
When we went into Chubby’s (2444 Wycliff Road, Raleigh, NC), I was first struck by how diverse the crowd was. Frat boys, hipsters, old guys in business suits, families, all there in search of the perfect taco. The menu definitely has something for everyone; barbacoa, carne asada, tilapia, even Portobello mushrooms and tofu for those non-meateaters out there. What I loved is that everything tastes fresh and the toppings definitely help. No orange shredded cheese here, instead my grilled tilapia came with a chipotle cream sauce that was light and tasty and cilantro, which I could eat a barrel of. The carne asada was just as tasty, but with a majorly spicy kick. Tony picked up one of the tacos al pastor, which had grilled pork, pineapple, and onions. I don’t mind saying, I had to sneak a bite or two (“a dog came and ate it, it came out of nowhere”).
The only disappointment with the tacos was the grilled tuna. I love tuna with a passion, so it pains me to see it overcooked. The tuna was so dry, it was the only I felt really need a splash of salsa to bring it to life. I shed a single tear for that poor grilled tuna taco.
I’m a guacamole addict, so I have to try Chubby’s take on it. In my mind though, it’s really hard to screw up guacamole, as long as you have fresh ingredients and something to smoosh them all together with, you’re good to go. However, one thing that I have seen many a Mexican restaurant screw up the poor innocent Margarita. Keep the pale imitation slushies away from me! Luckily, Chubby’s offers a good margarita on the rocks and again, at a wallet-friendly price. Tony and I split a half pitcher and felt pretty satisfied.
After a hard day, I can now see why this is the favorite haunt for so many tac0-deprived Raleighites (Raleighians? ). It’s not fancy, but you can relax and eat some good food. Just don’t touch my tacos al Pastor! Like I said, you can’t always get everything you want.