Saucy New Neighbor: Chimmies’ flavor combinations making an impression
It’s all about the sauce.
When you combine premium ingredients like tenderloin, Wisconsin cheese and the famous Argentinian “chimichurri” sauce, you’re going to end up with unique flavor combinations that have folks coming back for more. And that’s exactly what’s been happening at Chimmies Awesome Sandwiches, 3050 Cahill Main, since the restaurant opened this spring.
Owner Jose Fernandez has been a busy man for the past three months, putting his own twist on sandwiches he grew up eating in his native Argentina.
“We have a good location, people like the ‘Chimmies’ and they’re coming back,” he said. “It’s building, and we’re happy. People like a new option and they are very supportive; they tell you all the time, ‘I’ll help you guys do well so we should stay here, because many businesses go.’”
Fernandez, who has worked as a graphic designer since coming to Madison 15 years ago, always wanted to open a restaurant. He previously ran a Subway franchise. Once he got some background in the business, he found the taste was sweet, despite the extra effort in running a brand-new business these days.
“I’m working so many hours,” he chuckled. “Nobody told me about that.”
What’s keeping Fernandez and his small but swift crew busy has been returning customers. Lots of them. Is it the premium ingredients like tenderloin they keep coming back for? Or the mysterious chimichurri sauce that gave the restaurant its name?
Either way, hungry customers are getting something very different than what’s around the area, and Fernandez is happy to provide it.
“First of all it’s the chimichurri sauce, that’s the base, but it’s another kind of sandwich,” he said. “You won’t see ‘Subway’ stuff here, this is a specialty - we use tenderloin and premium ingredients. We cook everything to order.”
The restaurant’s signature sandwich is the Chimmie-Chimmie, which includes tenderloin, (tenderized at the restaurant), lettuce, tomato, egg, cheese, ham, sauce and banana peppers.
“It’s a good sandwich,” Fernandez said. “There’s a lot of work involved. We do our own chimichurri sauce – we do a few gallons a week. It’s good stuff.”
In addition to sandwiches, the restaurant also serves empanadas and special Argentinian “papas fries” - a dish of French fries and eggs.
Despite the growing popularity of the business, and the fact that Chimmies also caters certain events, it only takes five to seven minutes for an order, Fernandez said, inviting people to stop by and give it a try if they haven’t already.
“Nobody can tell you how they taste, you have to experience it,” he said, “Come on over.”