Sunday, January 22, 2012
January 21, 2011: Che Chew Chew
This is a photo of the area around the bar at the place I had dinner last night with my wonderful hubby. The location: Che Guevara, a Knoxville instituion.
Apparently this restaurant has been in business in the same location with many of the SAME waitstaff for many years (maybe >20?). It was originally affiliated with the chain, La Paz, but split off numerous years back.
It is really not much too look at outside and in a strip mall of all things with a Barnes and Noble and a Toys R Us on Kingston Pike. After living in New Orleans, I have learned, however, not to discount restaurants based on the external appearance, because sometimes it means they only care about the food. This restaurant has a lot of quaint posters and generally a crazy type of decor, but it is good for conversation starters. Think Clint Eastwood meets Jesus Christ.
The place, as always, was packed but that gave us some time to enjoy a top schelf margarita. It probably took about a half hour to get to a table.
The menu there is very extensive and has all sorts of oddball dishes suggested by the model for a mexican restaurant, but definitely done the "che way." Some examples are Alaska King Crab quesadilla, cuban nachos and an Elvis burrito. If you look at the ratings on various restaurant sites, this place gets really mixed reviews. I have eaten there five times over the last 2.5 years and the food has always been good.
I had the open face pork tamale. It was not constructed in the traditional method like a rolled tamale with the meat in the center, but it had all the components in layers and was delicious.
My hubby had the Santa Fe enchilada. He has never met a Mexican restaurant or meal that he doesn't like so you know Paul was in hog heaven. He would trade our wedding rings for a green chili sauce.
We enjoyed this meal with and compliments of Paul's long time friends, Dr. Birgit Clark and Ashley Capps. Birgit had the pollo de mar and seemed to really enjoy it. Ashley had one of their famous COMBO plates.
We topped all this off with a pitcher of top shelf margaritas and a beer.
Che Guevara may NOT be the best Mexican restaurant in Knoxville, but let me tell you, we had nothing to take home for leftovers, so I think we all enjoyed it.
Price of the meal for FOUR! people WITH MARGARITAS/BEER= (drum roll) $80.
You can't beat that!
My hubby's opinion of the meal: "good friends and good food=fun!"