We’ve been eating at Chubby's for the past few years and have recommended them highly as they are the best authentic Mex-Tex (similar to boarder food, not actually what most south-westerners would call Tex-Mex style) Mexican restaurants in NC. Our visit last night left us saddened though. We ordered nachos and a shredded beef taco. When we tried the nacho's we both noticed a difference in the taste of the meat. Neither of us said anything as it was not too profound. When I received my shredded beef taco I noticed that there was a definite difference in the taste. I have an extra sensitive ability to taste food (since I was young) but this was also perceptible to both of us. I sampled meat only and went through the process of trying to distinguish what the difference was. It seemed that the seasoning had changed for the worse. At first I thought they were using a small portion of Anise (or even a hint of nutmeg) though there was not a strong licorice taste. Whatever ingredient was used, I thought, didn’t pair well with other spices. After a few more tastes I noticed that one of the subtle things I was tasting was similar to a hint of mild mildew or something in that neighborhood (I know that sometimes if cumin is old or mixed with certain things it can give that type of smell/taste). I couldn't finish or taste and left the taco on my plate. We asked the waiter if the seasonings were different and he confirmed that the "recipe" had been changed by the staff recently (within 2 weeks). I let him know my concerns and told him the differences I noticed in the taste and gave suggestions of what it actually might be (old seasoning, cheap seasoning, new ingredient that he was not aware of). I also asked him if he knew of any marketing study had been done on the new tastes. He did not know. We suspected the new ingredients also accounted for the slight difference we detected on the ground beef on our nachos. Though they were palatable the main complaint was that you could no longer taste the rich meat flavor that we were used to as the “new” seasoning covers up any hint of beef flavor. I'm wondering if the effect of the economic downturn we have experienced over the past few years has resulted in a downgrade (cheaper) of Chubby’s ingredients. I'm sure if no marketing was done there is an assumption that customers would not notice. Most everyone knows that it’s risky to mess with success, in particular the taste that a particular restaurant has become known for.. I have seen more then one restaurant in my lifetime down-grade their ingredients, sacrificing the taste that their customers have come to appreciate, and pay for it by going out of business. Maybe I’m a lone voice and an anomaly in their customer mix, but as a result we cannot recommend Chubby's anymore. We have decided that we will not return. The sad part is that they have the best tortilla's and salsas in the state! What a loss.