Enter: Chiwawa, the buzzy new spot on Madison in the former, long shuttered Chicago Pizza Factory. Oh yes, they will have “adult” sno-cones with tequila and whiskey. They’ll also have boozy popsicles and cheap and tasty street foods and small plates (all between $3 and $8) by Chef Crash Hethcox, formerly of Revival Southern food truck, and Travis Tungseth. They’ll be plating a variety of hotdogs and brats (including some veggie dogs!), french fries and sweet-and-spicy ketchup, elote (grilled corn covered with spicy mayonnaise and sprinkled with cotija cheese), quesadillas, tacos, homemade chips and salsa, and their signature “Juantons,” a chicken and cheese mix stuffed into wonton wrappers and fried.
After reading this Memphis Flyer profile of Chiwawa, I had to go check it out.
First thing’s first..the Margarita Chiwawa..is awesome. It’s got something special that makes it very very tasty. You can order these by the glass or by the pitcher. I like mine with salt of course. There is a separate drink menu, and Chiwawa prides itself in having Michael Hughes (Joe’s Wines & Liquors) as their local drink consultant.
The bar is well stocked, and the bartender that day was Courtney, who did an amazing job of serving us. Thanks Courtney!
Onto the meal. Everything you order is a la carte, and comes in small plate form. Clockwise in the photo above I ordered: Taco del Sol (no egg), the Queso Chiwawa, Elote, and the Chiwawa Frito.
- The Taco del Sol was flavorful with sweet and russet potatoes, chorizo, queso, and salsa roja. (The tacos are $3/$4 each, so keep that in mind when you order.)
- The Queso was super tasty, topped with chorizo, and the house chips are warm, crispy, and have a hint of lime. These may just be the best chips in Memphis.
- Hands down my favorite part of the meal was the Elote. This grilled corn with cream and a chile-lime seasoning was so yummy! Make sure you have napkins for this one.
- The Chiwawa Frito is not your standard corndog. It’s huge, and is wrapped in jalapeño batter.
The “adult sno cones” were not being offered yet because it was still chilly outside, but those will be coming soon. Also, there is not a host/hostess so once you enter the restaurant, you choose where you sit. If you’re looking for a great patio to enjoy your meal with friends, this is the place. Don’t forget your shades.
I had a chance to ask Taylor Berger a few questions about opening this spot in midst of the revitalization of Overton Square, and he said:
Since opening YoLo in 2011 I’ve been able to watch as Overton Square has grown to become a gathering spot for all Memphians, not just Midtowners. The energy here is amazing and it’s just getting better every day.”
Check out Chiwawa for yourself:
2059 Madison Ave
Memphis, TN 38104
Mon-Thu, Sun 11 am – 11 pm
Fri-Sat 11 am – 2 am
View the menu online.