August means Hatch chile season, and that means Hatch chiles on the menu at Austin-based Tex-Mex restaurant chain Chuy's, which hosts its 25th annual Green Chile Festival beginning Monday, August 19. The chile dishes, plus two new cocktails, will be served at all five Austin-area locations.
Chuy's first started bringing green chiles from New Mexico's Hatch Valley in the late '80s. The restaurant now buys more than 1 million pounds every year.
"Green Chile Festival is a huge part of the culture at Chuy's," says spokesman Tommy LaRue. "It's our opportunity to showcase the one-of-a-kind flavor of the green chile, and it's the only time of the year we introduce new menu items."
The festival runs for three weeks, though September 8. During that time, Chuy's will sell limited-edition festival-themed T-shirts and do giveaways such as buttons and postcards.
A special menu includes seven new dishes and two new cocktails: Southern Niño frozen margarita made with Southern Comfort Cherry, and the Forbidden Rita, an on-the-rocks margarita made with Angry Orchard Hard Cider. The New Mexican martini, with green chile-infused tequila, returns for this year's festivities.
To the menu:
- Mama's stacked enchiladas ($8.99) layered with ground sirloin and Jack cheese and topped with spicy green chile ranchero sauce.
- Tacos al pastor ($8.29): Four mini flour tortillas filled with chile-and-pineapple-roasted pork, chopped onions and cilantro. Served with guacamole, green chile rice and refried beans.
- Green chile chicken taquitos ($8.29).
- Fajita beef Chuychanga ($9.99): Fried flour tortilla filled with fajita beef, cheese, cilantro and green chiles.
- Mexi-Cobb salad ($8.79): Fajita chicken, fresh green chiles, cheese, avocado, tomatoes, mixed greens in creamy jalapeño dressing.
- New Mexican rolls ($6.99) with chicken, green chiles, Jack cheese and cilantro wrapped up and fried.
- Chicken enchiladas ($8.79) filled with chicken, corn and cheese.
Most of the entrées are served with green chile rice and refried beans.