Eat Out Review: Chili’s

Chili's Chips and Salsa2Even though they have a big red & green chili as their signature logo, I can’t help but think of chips & salsa every time I think of Chili’s.  They really got theirs right on the mark.  I know I’m going to be ordering their bottomless chips & salsa before I even set foot in the door of that place!

Our most recent visit was on a weekend evening.  We called ahead to get on the waiting list (I love that feature!) and found the place packed to the hilt with people waiting.  Even with calling 20 minutes ahead, we waited about 25 minutes after we arrived when their quoted wait was less than five.  It really irks me when the quoted wait is substantially off the actual wait time…especially when you have squirmy and hungry kids with you!

Chili's Chips2

Once we were seated, service was much better.  We ordered the expected chips and salsa ($3.09).  The chips are so light, warm, & perfectly salted.  They go well with their awesome salsa.  For $4.99, you can get both salsa and their incredible Fire-Grilled Corn Guacamole served with chips.  The guacamole is awesome:  sweet & crunchy with the buttery goodness of avocado.  The chips don’t do quite as well with dipping into the guac; they are a bit fragile & sometimes break, but don’t let that stop you from ordering this amazing sensation if it strikes your fancy.  Love it.

Chili's Half Rack Baby Back Ribs Chili's Kids Cheese Pizza2

I love the variety of Chili’s menu.  They’ve got a little bit of everything – oh, and Noteba-by back ribsNote.   I just wish they had them on the kids’ menu ‘cause Amazing Diner is always so excited about them that we order the half rack with fries ($9.99) for him.  C’mon, Chili’s, put some ribs on the kids’ menu!  This time was no exception; Amazing Diner ordered the half rack (don’t worry there were more fries than pictured), and says, “I highly recommend the baby back ribs if you go there.”  Sweet Diner & Little Diner both ordered Cheese Pizzas ($4.59).

Chili's Chicken Fried Steak

Mr. Diner chose the Country-Fried Steak ($11.09) served with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob.  It was huge and could have easily been split into two portions.  If you like country-fried steak, they make a good one, and the mashed potatoes are fantastic with little bits of skin left in for extra authenticity.

Chili's Quesadilla Explosion Salad

I ordered the Quesadilla Explosion Salad ($9.39) with some added avocado.  The salad has chicken, cheese, tomatoes, a corn & black bean relish, cilantro, & tortilla strips and is served with a sweet-tart citrus-balsamic dressing and little cheese quesadilla wedges on the side.  It’s a great salad, and easy to see why it’s they’re most popular, but I think the addition of the avocados only enhances it even more.

For those who can find something they want on the 2 for $20 Menu, it’s a great option.  It includes one appetizer and two entrees for $20.  Last time Mr. Diner & I tried it, we ordered the guacamole (with salsa & chips), the Classic Bacon Burger, & the Honey-Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas (which I couldn’t find on the menu anymore, but they were good!).  With most of the entrees priced around $10, it’s about like getting a free appetizer.  And, yes, the Baby Back Ribs are available as a 2 for $20 entrée.

Chili's Classic Bacon Burger Chili's Honey Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas3

We enjoyed the food, but will really try to avoid the crowded weekend dinner rush here – even when we have called ahead.  Of course, there is a great take-out menu that you can even order from online.  Haven’t tried doing it yet, but it’s a great option for those who want to enjoy Chili’s without the crowds.

Chili’s also has some great printable coupon deals including many Kids Eat Free coupons, free appetizers, & free desserts.  To stay in the loop and get a free order of Skillet Queso & Chips, sign up for their emails here.  But, man, just writing this makes me want an order of their guacamole, chips, & salsa!

Entrée Price:  $
Average Fork Rating:  3.8
Mr. Diner:  4
Mrs. Diner:  4
Amazing Diner:  4
Sweet Diner:  3
Little Diner:  4

Chili's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

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