If you have ever visited Lubbock for a Texas Tech football game or family weekend, or if you have been a student at Texas Tech and bled scarlet and black for a semester, then you have probably heard of Chimy’s.
Chimy’s Cerveceria is THE local hangout for college students during the school semesters. It has everything a college student desires such as cheese fries, nachos, quesadillas, and of course, margaritas.
In fact, in Lubbock, Chimy’s is best known for their margaritas. It is the reason students go to Chimy’s.
However, are the margaritas really worth it?
Margaritas are like a good dog video. It is consistent and never ceases to entertain. Every time we think that we cannot possibly watch another video of a puppy smiling into a camera, we are always sucked back into the loving void of good boys doing good boy things.
That is what a Margarita is like. No matter where you go, you can always count on a little tequila, triple sec, and lime juice to make a day a little brighter.
When I heard that my go-to local college bar happens to have THE best margaritas in town...
I was a little hesitant.
How is a $5 (during happy hour) tequila slush with a day old lime wedge supposed to be the best in Lubbock?
Irritated by the number of times I’ve heard someone say that Chimy’s has the best margaritas. I decided to test it out for myself.
I decided to go with my sister, who is somewhat of a Chimy’s professional (if this profession ever existed).
After waiting in line for forty-five minutes, we arrive inside to wait another ten minutes to order drinks.
The atmosphere has everything you'd expect from a very dive bar feel with lots of random things on the walls and ceilings. The booths are mostly situated around the walls with no real dining floor, but rather random spaces with tables.
The setup felt almost designed to be perfect for groups of college kids just wanting to grab a table without having to socialize with other customers. I felt like the owners want the customer to feel like it is a college bar. Especially, when your only choice of seating is between a sixteen-year-old booth that is probably stickier than a roll of duct tape or a wooden table that would make a rotting shipwreck jealous.
The whole establishment shouts college, semi-decent drink specials, and greasy food.
My sister and I decide to order a variety of drinks to test out the different favorites. We order a frozen house margarita (the crowd favorite), a cucumber Chilton, a Lexus (a top-shelf margarita), and a DP shootout (another crowd favorite).
We started with the DP shootout, ironically a drink that has actually zero Doctor Pepper in it (which is odd for something originating in Texas). I was unable to find the recipe online, but from what I saw the bartender pour into it and from what I could taste, the DP shootout appears to be a mixture of amaretto, vodka, and coke.
The sweetness of the amaretto really pushes the drink into the flavor realm of a Dr. Pepper, which is sweet enough to instantly give you 32 cavities. The coke and vodka mix into this syrup that would’ve made Mrs. Butterworth blush.
The drink is supposed to be drunk as fast as possible usually with the help of a friend. Of course, any drink that is designed to be guzzled down, like Pac Man eating pellets, is probably not going to be enjoyable.
It was not enjoyable. I’m sure the alcohol helped add to my buzz quickly, but the overwhelming sweetness of the drink made me want to swear off sugar for the rest of my life. Leave the DP shootout in the dark alleys of Candyland where it belongs tricking college students into thinking it is a decent drink.
With the sugar high still pressing on my temples, we moved onto the cucumber Chilton.
Now I was at first very hesitant of the drink. The bartenders dressed it with a Taijin seasoning (which is a Mexican seasoning made from chilies, lime, and salt). The Chilton exceeded my expectations. Not only was it savory, something greatly appreciated after the DP shootout, but it was also tangy and refreshing all mixed into the pleasant sip.
The cucumber Chilton is a wonderful mix of savory cucumber vodka, acidic lemon juice, and sweet freshly squeezed limes all topped off with fizzy club soda to create a masterpiece of sophistication and flavor. The Chilton was exactly what I want after a long day studying or just relaxing on a Friday afternoon with just enough bite to make me want to order another.
After the Chilton, we moved onto the frozen house margarita.
THE Chimy’s house frozen margarita.
The top of the college drink list here in Lubbock, TX.
Will it live it up to the hype?
On the first appearance…..a little bit of a letdown.
The plastic cup makes me feel like I’m at a boring high-school keg party that lasted less than an hour because the cops busted it. If they had run out of glasses then they started using the plastic. That would’ve been totally fine. I understand that. Plastic should not be the first choice in any respectable restaurant. Plastic alters the flavor of the drink. Plastic can actually leach its way into the drink. There is also the environmental impact of plastic that should be considered.
I was unsure if I could even take the margarita seriously anymore.
How can a plastic cup margarita be the best in Lubbock?
Then I took a sip.
The emotions I felt in the moment can only be summarized in one word.
I have made hundreds of margaritas. When I am making a margarita, the flavors I want to try and accent in the drink start with the flavor of Tequila. Personally, I like silver tequila more than gold tequila. If you don’t put tequila in the drink, then it is not a margarita anymore. It is something else. The flavor of tequila was almost nonexistent from the frozen house margarita.
I was unable to find the recipe for the margarita again, but from rumors and from the lack of tequila I tasted, I can almost guarantee that Chimy’s cuts the normal margarita recipe with ever clear. Now that wouldn’t be the worst thing, mostly because you have the added benefit of getting a buzz quicker, but since they cut back on the flavor of the tequila. I was overall unimpressed with the taste of the alcohol.
The second flavor I am looking for in a margarita is the second layer alcohol. Usually, a classic recipe will call for the triple sec as a wonderful accent. Triple sec is a beautiful orange liqueur. The orange is sweet enough to beautifully cut the bite from tequila.
The last flavor to hit my tongue was lime. Thankfully, the staff did not cut back on the lime juice they added to the recipe. The lime was definitely from a juice and not freshly squeezed, obviously since the margarita is served out of a seven eleven slush machine. I also caught a possible hint of sprite, which may have just been a simple syrup (sugar water).
Lastly, Tthe margarita was frozen, which I absolutely detest! The frozen swirl purposefully dulls the tongue so you can’t even taste the drink anymore. However, in this case, I felt blessed and welcomed the dulling ice because it made the garbage I slurped down almost impossible to taste.
Overall, I barely think the margarita is even worth the $5 happy hour price tag. The drink was in an 8oz plastic cup. Nothing was fresh about the drink, and I am not sure how this marg was even considered in the best margarita in Lubbock. The only way I could think it made the list is because the rumored ever clear in the marg got the reviewer drunk enough to forget about the obvious flaws of the frozen party punch.
Thankfully, the frozen margarita was not the last drink. I may have never returned to Chimys if I had just left after trying to pretend to enjoy the frozen marg while the college student around me sucked it down like it was a secret elixir for better grades.
The Lexus was the last drink we tackled in this honest review of Chimy’s.
The Lexus is one of the “top-shelf” margaritas they have at Chimys. The bartender actually makes it right in front of you which is very reassuring for me because then I know exactly what is in my drink, instead of taking a sip from an unmarked puke slurpy.
The Lexus is a masterful combination of El Jimador (silver) tequila, Gran Gala Orange liqueur, lime juice, and a splash of sprite and sweet and sour on top.
The Gran Gala and the El Jimador play wonderfully together with just the right amount of tequila to punch my taste buds while the orange liqueur soothes them back to health. The freshly squeezed lime juice is an almost unrecognizable delight that wonderfully freshens up the drink to make each sip a little better. Finally, the sweetness from the sprite and sweet-and-sour composes together to make this margarita one of the best ones I’ve ever had.
Finally, I have found the best margarita in Lubbock. It may not be the $5 house marg, but rather the $8 Lexus.
Every time I go to the fabled Chimy’s to partake in a well-deserved margarita. I avoid the unmistakably disappointing house margarita. Instead, I choose the road less traveled by bumbling burping fraternity boys and giggling sorority women. I go with the Lexus because it is exactly what a margarita should taste like. I understand the draw of the house margarita to get the intoxication level up as quickly as possible, but if you are still drinking to get drunk, well, honestly you are probably better off spending the $13 for a bottle of ever clear while you wait another year to graduate because you’ve probably flunked half of your classes.
If you are looking to have a lot of fun memories while spending some money for the heavenly cheese fries. Go to Chimy’s!
Despite the lack luster drinks, I have experienced some of the best times with my friends underneath its roof. However, memories of the house margarita are bleak and troubling. Maybe if I work hard enough, one day, with luck, I may be able to forget that awful taste from my mouth.