Food in review: Cha Chis Mexican Grill

Allison Mueller

Samantha Hedin/ Winonan

There are several different restaurants in Winona many people may not know about. Whether it is lack of advertisement or a variety of other reasons, some places just don’t seem to be widely recognized.

One of these is Cha Chis, a Mexican restaurant located in downtown Winona.

I was curious as to why this is, so I made a trip to Cha Chis and sat down for a meal while forming an opinion. Unfortunately, my question regarding the reasoning behind Cha Chis lack of popularity was quickly answered.

While there is certainly room for improvement, there is also a considerable amount of potential for success within this restaurant. First of all, the location of the restaurant was nothing short of unappealing. This restaurant is right next to a liquor store, tattoo parlor and bar, all of which are generally not necessarily considered to be the greatest scenery or environment for a restaurant.

The second I walked in I noticed an extreme absence of energy. I almost felt awkward and out of place. The overall ambiance of the place was lacking and, in my opinion, the same goes for the food.

There are two menus. The first is a quick menu, consisting of food that was basically made in front of you, sort of in the same fashion of a Chipotle. The second was the regular menu with combo items. I ordered a chimichanga and my roommate, who accompanied me, ordered a burrito from the quick menu.

My roommate described her meal as plain and boring. When asked to rate it on a scale from one to ten, she gave it a four. The food I ate was no greater than average at best. While my roommate and I both were not exactly huge fans of our food, the enjoyable atmosphere aspect was deficient.

Although our love for Ed Sheeran was touched upon when a song of his was played on their playlist, all other elements within the restaurant were unsatisfactory.

My roommate and I came to the conclusion that the chips and salsa, the cheapest part of our meal, was the best. On top of that, only one employee was working and this gave out a negative vibe toward us as well, adding to the reason why we felt out of place.

Overall, out of five stars, I would give the food two stars, the service two stars, and the atmosphere one.

Although most components of our experience were generally disappointing, there is definitely an opportunity for this restaurant to improve its status by simply tending to its imperfections.