I was super excited to learn that Trinity Park was getting a locally-owned, nonfancy taqueria within walking distance. Chubby’s (748 Ninth Street) is where Xiloa used to be, and I think that it does a great job of filling in the Trinity Park taco gap. Service was fast, the food was good, and I’ll definitely be walking there a lot when I get back next fall.
An initial word on atmosphere: Chubby’s seems to be catering to the student clientele from nearby East Campus, toeing the line between generic corporate Mexican and the local shops on Roxboro, but with a hippie twist. The plastic containers are made of corn, the flatware is made of potatoes, and then there is a tofu taco with mixed veggies. (I didn’t try it—sorry).
In addition to offering the usual options that one can find at other local taquerias such as barbacoa, pastor, and asada, Chubby’s has seafood (grilled tilapia, ahi tuna, and grilled shrimp) and some vegetarian tacos (rice and bean, no lard, the aforementioned tofu taco). My tacos were pretty good. The tacos al pastor were less greasy than others I’ve had in the area, but I could not find any pineapple in them. The tilapia taco was very flavorful and the chipotle cream sauce on it added a pleasant richness. (Warning: I haven’t had many fish tacos, so all I can say is that I enjoyed them, but I don’t know how they compare to the kind you get on the West coast.) My only complaint is that each taco only came with one tortilla, so they were falling apart by the time I got them home to eat.
Chubby’s doesn’t have a salsa bar, but they have a wide variety of housemade salsas in condiment bottles lined up next to the kitchen. I tried and liked them all, and my favorites were the chile de arbol, with a creamy texture, and a guacamole-based green salsa.
Juice lovers will be pleased to learn that they offer a few juice options—today’s selections were horchata and sandia (watermelon). I don’t drink juice, but the lady in front of me sampled the sandia and thought it was good enough to order despite being on some kind of no-sugar diet.
A taco al pastor will cost you $2, a tilapia taco is $3, and the top-of-the-line extra special seafood tacos are $4. I didn’t try the gorditas, tortas, burritos, or any of the various desserts they offer, but will report back when I do. Also, soon they’ll be expanding the menu with breakfasts including huevos rancheros, migas, Mexican pastries, and breakfast burritos. PLUS, they’re applying for a liquor license so that they can serve margaritas and beer. (And you all know how we feel about that!)