When you walk into Amigos, the image of two pups greets you. That’s Nala and Ginger, the Corchis family dogs. Just underneath the two sombrero-wearing canines is the line that says it all, “Friends, family and full bellies.”
The Corchis family opened Amigos at the beginning of the pandemic and had to quickly pivot their concept to takeout before the restaurant had a chance to become part of the fabric of the community.
Owner Amy Corchis elaborated, “Having our dogs on the wall lets you know we are trying to create this warm, welcoming feeling. Unfortunately, Amigos couldn’t showcase itself because of Covid. Now that we’re at full capacity, it’s spreading its wings, breathing on its own, and creating its vibe. I talk about it like it’s a human, but that’s how we feel about the businesses. They’re an extension of our family, like two more babies.”
Speaking of children, their youngest daughter Lily designed Amigos chic interior. “She’s a junior at Baylor University now, but we started this process with her when she was a freshman. She’s always had a gift for design. We gave her a budget. She put together vision boards. She literally taped on the floor every table placement in that restaurant. She did the work, and designed a beautiful place for us,” said Amy.
The modern feel of the clean white brick, wood-look tile floors, black metal furniture, and chrome accents mix with friendly yellow leather banquette seating.
A welcoming accordion-style door behind the bar fully opens to the outside bringing an indoor-outdoor feeling to the whole space.
High ceilings and varied Edison lights create an industrial vibe while the open kitchen with animated laughter and industrious cooks softens the atmosphere, making it welcoming to friends, families, and well-behaved pups on the patio.
And Lily is not the only family member with their hand in the restaurants. Between Amici and Amigos (next door to each other) all the children help out. Daughter Alyssa handles marketing, social media, and growth and development for the businesses. Jordin, the oldest, lit the fire under his dad to open Amici, and now serves as General Manager, running daily operations with his brother Nathan. If it’s busy, you might even see dad George in the dish pit washing or one of the boys helping out on the line. It’s a family affair.
That dedication to their restaurants extends to the food.
Amigos’ menu is modeled after the Corchis’ family vacations and the mom-and-pop neighborhood eateries they always seek out.
“We constantly try our food and ask our team to do the same. Spices at the beginning of the day might not be the same in the afternoon. We adjust and alter to create that fresh flavor profile that’s really important to us. Our team is really good about making sure the quality is there before it ever goes out to a guest table,” said Amy.
It shows. On a recent lunch excursion, I bellied up to the bar (because they have footrests for shorties like me) for a quick nosh. The rich queso dip (get it spicy for sure) showed that commitment to getting the spice right—the heat was round, and the texture silky. The salsa accompanying the chips burst with ripe tomato and tangy lime. And the chips…oh the chips…they were airy, not greasy, and appropriately seasoned…the perfect vehicle for the queso and salsa. Amy gave me a little insight about those chips and the rigorous tasting evolutions, “We wanted a lighter chip so that people could still enjoy the other items on the menu, and weren’t tapped out before your meal came. That was really important to us.”
The street tacos showed up next with generous portions of grouper, smoky corn, hunks of flavorful steak, tangy pickled onions, and chipotle sauce that delivered a balanced heat. And the housemade tortillas were double-layered so they held together while being gobbled. Every element reflected the freshness of ingredients and care for presentation.
Too stuffed to partake, I took a piece of housemade tres leches cake and a batch of margaritas home for later. Amigos may have started as the underdog, but they are winning the game with takeout drinks and dinner. The margaritas are made with fresh-squeezed juices in variations like blood orange, blackberry, and cinnamon pineapple. Everything comes in portable plastic cups ready for vacationers or locals wanting to imbibe at home. And the menu options from tacos to enchiladas to fajitas all travel well, making a tasty dinner when you don’t feel like cooking.
Amigos may be new, but the word is out. To accommodate the guests waiting for a table at either of their restaurants, the Corchis family installed a new outdoor bar in the breezeway between the two hotspots. Now customers can enjoy a beverage while waiting for lunch or dinner, and if the weather isn’t cooperating, there’s a place to ride it out, seven days a week with your amigos.