#24: Chili’s Bar & Grill

Today I headed out to Chili’s.  I was fairly excited.  Despite its mega-chain status, I’ rarely ever go here and the salads actually looked really good.  This Chili’s is located on Zinfandel between White Rock and International.  Once again joined by my coworker we arrived at about 11:10 and took a seat at the pretty quiet bar.  The bartender quickly greeted us and gave us menus.  Something CHili’s has been doing for a while now is having these little tablet things at each table, showing specials and letting you play games (for a fee).  While they do allow you to re-order beverages, I am always annoyed that they don’t let you brows the entire menu and order anything.  You use it to pay (if you are using a card), which is pretty neat.  It dispenses a paper receipt right there or you can email it to yourself.

We ordered sodas and soon had big glass mugs in front of us.  The soda price here is kind of high [$2.69], and to make things worse the Dr Pepper was very weak. A couple minutes later we were ready to order and put that in with the bartender.  I had selected the Quesadilla Explosion Salad (grilled chicken breast with shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, house-made corn & black bean salsa, crispy tortilla strips, a drizzle of ancho-chile ranch sauce & citrus-balsamic dressing. Served with freshly toasted 3-cheese quesadillas)[$10.99].  Prior to ordering I had lamented that this particular salad, while looking awesome, seemed to be one of the few that lacked avocado.  Right before he took my menu though, I noticed that there was a note that you could add it for $0.99 so I quickly asked for that before he punched it in.

About 12 minutes later our food was brought out.  My coworker had the soup and salad combo (bowl of soup with a house salad)[$6.59].  She chose the Southwest Chicken Soup (oven-roasted chicken, hominy & tomato in a flavorful ancho-chile chicken broth. Topped with crispy tortilla strips & chopped cilantro) and really seemed to enjoy it.  It did look pretty tasty.

My salad was great.  The ancho-chile ranch sauce & citrus-balsamic dressing was an interesting combination of tasty flavors.  The chicken was very tender. I hit one particularly big bite by itself and it was nicely seasoned too.  The salsa was great, avocado nice and ripe and the tortilla strips added a nice crunch.  Of course the quesadillas were amazing.  They were grilled perfectly crisp and the 3-cheese filling was deliciously melty inside.  Overall, pretty damn good for a big chain (except for the soda).

Website: http://www.chilis.com

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