Located at the rear of a building of shops, Chimayo’s is difficult to find. We happened across it a few years ago when strolling through the complex. We probably weren’t the first, but it’s easy to mistake it as a Mexican restaurant, when in fact the emphasis is on Southwest cooking. For me, and I gather for lots of other people, Mexican/Southwest restaurants and islands are made for each other. They both are about relaxation, conviviality and an informality and unpretentiousness about the food that suits the island personality.
The upper West Coast of North America is famous for its Dungeness crab, so it isn’t surprising that it makes an appearance in many restaurants in the Northwest. Bilbo’s offers its superb crab enchiladas, listing it as a special because of its seasonal availability. Here, too, at Chimayo’s was its own version, a little more non-traditional with its Bechamel sauce sparingly squirted on top. The crab was fresh and sweet, a worthy entrée, though Bilbo’s version is our preference. The side of the cilantro-flecked rice was blandly unsalted and the black beans somewhat thick.
An interesting cumin-infused vinaigrette was mixed in a salad of romaine, diced tomatoes, corn, black beans, pumpkin seeds and shredded Cheddar, topped with curls of carrots and guacamole. Tortilla chips and pico de gallo were served on the side.
We’ve had pretty good luck with food here. The locals also like it a lot.
123 N. Beach Road
Eastsound, WA 98245