Thursday, September 5, 2013

Memphis Nosh: ¡Chiwawa! Revisited (And Shopping at Maggie's Pharm)

Yesterday my friend Ashley (who left Memphis for the whole summer and so got to hear second hand about all the fun stuff I did) and I went to ¡Chiwawa! for lunch.

And yeah, it's still amazing.

But even more amazing is that they have a ton of new menu items.

And all the ones I've tried have been phenomenal.

A lot of stuff has stayed the same, but look at those new tacos!

When I went with Amanda Lee, I had the El Patito (Duck) and it was incredible, and the Taco de Madre, which was really good, but needed some texture - maybe radish? So I've been trying the new stuff slowly but surely.

But Ashley got the (so far) taco winners.

The Sunset Taco was great, nice amount of filling, on a warm flour tortilla.

Cold tortillas fill me with rage.

But the best one was the El Bagre.

So in the South, catfish is pretty prevalent.

Fried catfish in particular.

True story: I used to date someone who would only eat catfish grilled. The whole point of catfish is that it's cheap but either doesn't have much flavor or is kind of...muddy. So you bread it and fry it, or at least put something on it, so it tastes better. Nope. Just catfish, on the grill, no salt, no pepper, just fish. It was gross.


This taco has blackened catfish, salsa, cabbage, jalapenos, and chipotle aioli. So it's not fried (the breading would get weird I think) but the sauce makes it taste like fish sent straight from heaven.

The shrimp is on the left, and the catfish on the right. So pretty!

It's pretty spicy - Ashley and I both love spicy food and thought it was pretty hot, so maybe ask for it without the jalapenos. I definitely stole some of this off of her plate. 

Maybe I stole a lot of it. 

We also had the guacamole, which I've raved about before.

We had already pretty much destroyed it at this point. Again, my only criticism about Chiwawa is the chips - they're good most of the time, but then you get that rubbery squishy one every once in awhile. 

One of these days I'll share my guacamole recipe, which is similar but A LOT spicier. 

I had the empanadas, which our served described as "bangin'." I like it. 

They're kind of small looking, but it was more than enough food for me since we split the guacamole. The sauce is a spicy blue cheese and cilantro dip. I'm not gonna lie - it's weird. But the delicious yummy kind of weird. 

I cut them apart so they wouldn't be pockets of lava. They're stuffed to the brim with steak and potato, and I think I tasted some onion in there too. 

The empanadas definitely get a thumbs up - they were flaky and think, with a ton of filling, so pretty much perfect. 

Amanda Lee and I have a taco date soon, so I'm sure I'll try some more of the new ones. We may have a Chiwawa problem. 

After we finished at Chiwawa, we went to Maggie's Pharm, right next door. 

And yes, it's a punny play on the Dylan song. 

True Story #2: In college I lusted after this guy just because he looked like a young Bob Dylan. I'm only a little ashamed of that.

So Maggie's Pharm is a cool like Midtown gem - it's been in Overton Square for over 20 years according to their website, and they have a ton of neat stuff. And it's literally next door to Chiwawa.

Image via Flickr.

This is the front of the building, like you're standing on Madison - Chiwawa would be just to the right in the picture. Unfortunately, there isn't a front entrance, something I'd really like to see them add since the Square is becoming busier.

So we walked around to the back:

I'm pretty sure Ashley thought I was taking her someplace to kill her. But it's kind of a sweet little entrance, and once you're inside, you know you've come to a special place.

*via Delta Sky Mag. No I'm not joking. And I love those things - I'm terrified of flying and the distraction kind of helps. 

Yeah. The store is packed with stuff. There's a whole room that's bulk tea leaves, spices, and coffee beans, and there are homemade soaps, fun locally made jewelry and products, and cool candles and cards. 

They also carry a lot of specialty items and brands, like Pre de Provence and Crabtree & Evelyn, and it's really the best place in Overton Square (maybe the only place) to look for fun gifts and things. Plus it's cheaper than ordering tea on the internet or going all the way out to the mall, and supports local businesses. 

My mom and I first discovered Maggie's when I moved just down the street, to my first Memphis apartment, on Rembert, and have been going ever since. 

Chiwawa is at 2059 Madison Ave, and Maggie's Pharm is at 13 Florence Street (although it's LITERALLY right next door to Chiwawa - walk down to Florence, you'll pass it, just turn on Florence and go up the steps in the back). 

So who wants to go shopping with me?


  1. We must go soon! And I want to do a Maggies Pharm stop as well, since I've not gone in before.

    1. I can't make lunch on Friday. :( Next week?

  2. Can you believe I still have never been to Chiwawas?! I really need to make it there!

    1. It's so good! We go there a lot because we live right around the corner, but any time you're feeling a lunch hankering, let me know!