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Chubby’s Tacos, Woodcroft

Posted by MEZ 8 Apr 2010 19 Comments

Chubby’s is a local taqueria chain (9th Street is the other Durham location, with Carpe Durham’s post on it here) that opened up this location in the Woodcroft shopping center around the beginning of the year. At first, I was worried that it would take away business from Bandido’s just across the way, but I learned that this Chubby’s is actually owned by the same people that own Bandido’s. So no worries for me about divided loyalties, which is great, because now I have two good but totally different options near my home for Mexican food. Bandido’s is a sit-down, Mexican-American style restaurant, and Chubby’s is an order-at-the-counter spot, with lots of a la carte options like tacos, tortas, gorditas, and burritos.

I’ve been to Chubby’s three times so far, and I’m pretty darn impressed for the most part. My quibbles are small, and can mostly be washed away by the glory of their salsa bar.

I think I’ve managed to try all seven of the salsas by now, which are guacatillo, Chubby’s salsa, Bandido’s salsa, habanero, salsa verde, salsa de asada, and chile de arbol. Bandido’s is definitely the best, but I’m already prejudiced in favor of that spicy, chunky, delicious blend. I like Chubby’s salsa a lot, too, which takes their chile de arbol salsa and tempers it with a little tomato. I’ve found the habanero salsa a little too hot for me, which is saying a lot, and the salsa de asada is too mellow for me. The salsa verde and guacatillo are both fine.

Chubby’s usually has horchata and a changing agua fresco on hand. This trip’s was strawberry and it was thirst-quenching: a perfect ratio of sweet to fruit to water. I’ve tried the horchata before and was also pleased.

The basic and gourmet tacos are all served on double tortillas and are available with soft or crispy shells, but I haven’t tried the latter yet. This trip, I had the spicy tinga chicken taco.

In addition to the sweet, spicy, and juicy chicken, it was topped with a good amount of cilantro and onion. The meat got a little dry after a while, but that’s what salsa’s for.

Next, I dug into a beef barbacoa gordita.

The texture of the gordita was great, with a shell that wasn’t so thick as to overwhelm the filling. After the chicken, the barbacoa was a bit bland. There was a huge amount of it, though. My main complaint with the gordita would be that the assembly seemed off—the first few bites were nothing but lettuce and sour cream, then it was all meat after that. It was quite satisfying, though.

I finished my meal by trying out the chile rellano taco, one of their vegetarian options.

This consisted of a whole, battered, fried, and cheese-stuffed chile laid on top of the tortillas. The tortillas worked well as a delivery device, but it was really too many bread-type objects in one dish. There was a huge amount of cheese, and while I enjoy chile rellanos, I don’t think it shines in taco form.

I’ve been very impressed with all their other simple tacos, too, the ground beef and carne asada being stand outs. The queso dip for the chips is great. The only other item I’ve tried was an al pastor torta. The bread was fantastic but so huge that the toppings seemed dwarfed by it. The al pastor filling was dry but pretty good. I’m still hunting for my perfect torta in this area.

Chubby’s is a great option for tacos in southwest Durham, and a delicious salsa bar is reason enough to go in my opinion. Let me know if you’ve tried any of their other options.

Chubby’s Tacos
4711 Hope Valley Road
Woodcroft, Durham
$2–$8 per item

Reviewed 4.1.10.


  • Outdoor Dining Spots | Carpe Durham said:

    [...] Tacos, 4711 Hope Valley Road, Carpe Durham Review. Note: A couple of tables out [...]

  • Anna said:

    The Tilapia tacos are absolutely awesome!


  • ACW said:

    The hubbie and I *just* found this location and went there to pick up dinner last night. I was happy to see four of Durham’s finest at one of the tables. The place was seriously hopping!
    The hubby had a carne asada taco and a Chubbychito, and I had the grilled chicken taco salad. All of it was fabulous, and the customer service was great!


    ACW replies on April 8th, 2010 at 8:30 pm:

    Oops. I mean *Chubbychanga*.


  • JS said:

    Chubby’s is okay in a pinch, but it’s not at the flavor level of the many other area taquerias. They also don’t carry the more adventurous options like cabeza, tripa, and lengua. (Vaquita still has my favorite lengua in the area)


    Tooth replies on April 9th, 2010 at 9:13 am:

    I agree. Chubby’s will do when I’m in the area, but with Taqueria y Pupuseria El Buen Sabor less than 5 minutes from my house and Taqueria La Vaquita not much further than that, I rarely go to Chubby’s. That reminds me, I should write an entry about Taqueria y Pupuseria El Buen Sabor (formerly Coma Rico!). They’ve been serving me up some great stuff lately.

    This was a good article that mentions Chubby’s and some of the other area taquerias.



    MEZ replies on April 11th, 2010 at 8:23 pm:

    I like the chicken at Chubby’s the best, but I agree on the other meat offerings–more flavor for the pastor, especially, at La Vaquita. I must admit, though, that I don’t try the more adventurous offerings anyhow–beef and pork are adventurous for me. I’ve always been nearly vegetarian.


    PKG replies on April 14th, 2010 at 12:35 pm:

    Yeah, I wouldn’t go to chubby’s if I wanted anything remotely authentic, although it’s definitely closer to the real thing than standard american tex-mex. If you’re like me, though, and you view the entire meal as a salsa delivery vehicle, Chubby’s is the place to go.


    MEZ replies on April 15th, 2010 at 11:03 am:

    I’d call the tacos pretty authentic, at least the standard ones, not the vegetarian or deluxe ones.

    Jojo replies on June 6th, 2010 at 4:07 pm:

    If you think that Chubby’s tacos are far from authentic, then you have never been to mexico.

    DID replies on April 15th, 2010 at 9:42 am:

    Tooth – I’m so sorry. I hadn’t read this review and I wrote about Buen Sabor last night. My bad. We were scouting places to review and I had a craving for pupusas.


    Tooth replies on May 6th, 2010 at 1:32 pm:

    HA! When I saw your review of El Buen Sabor, I totally thought that you had scooped me based on my comments in this thread. Its cool though. I’ve got some other stuff I’m going to post soon.

  • Amy said:

    We just discovered Chubby’s in the past few weeks and LOVE THEM. Prices are great, food is fresh, fast and tasty.


  • Alison said:

    We love the salsa bar & I especially love the tilapia tacos, oh & also the carnitas tacos too. Yum!


  • Julie said:

    We had a Mexican restaurant in Durham on Miami Blvd. that *just* apparently turned into a Chubby’s. I noticed the new sign out today and I swear it wasn’t there yesterday. I’m excited, because the old Mexican place was terrible.


    jennifer replies on May 3rd, 2010 at 8:26 am:

    That old place on Miami Blvd was a Banditos, which is owned by the same people who own and run Chubbys.


    Julie replies on May 6th, 2010 at 12:38 pm:

    That is surprising. I thought the banditos was awful when we went there, but we just ate at the chubby’s on 9th st and it was delicious.


  • Restaurant Openings Report | Carpe Durham said:

    [...] BLUE NOTE GRILL (4125 CHAPEL HILL BLVD. STE. 1, DURHAM, NC, 27707) [see BCR's coverage] CHUBBYS TACOS (2806 S MIAMI BLVD, DURHAM, NC, 27703)  [Looks like a new Chubby's location.] [...]

  • Chubby’s Tacos, Miami Blvd. | Carpe Durham said:

    [...] keep this short  since we have reviews of other Chubby’s locations here and here. I have to admit I was excited to hear that Chubby’s had opened up a new location in RTP. [...]

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