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Chili's

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In order to placate the kids, took the family to Chili's for dinner. Besides the blah food (they now refuse to cook a burger less than medium-well, so even that is below par), what was really amazing was that Chili no longer appears on the menu. Not as a soup, not as a side dish, not as a topping for burgers. The walls are covered with chili related "period" posters, however.

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  1. I was there last evening also. I noticed that on the menu also. I ordered chili and they had it.

    I do like their chili.

    1. Not sure why that would be amazing. It's a chain, and as such it is focused on making money. The food offerings are incidental. They probably took chili off the menu after running a profit/loss spreadsheet. Sure, it's called "Chili's," but so what? I mean, there's probably not a Bennigan behind Bennigan's. The name is a marketing decision (as are the products offered).

      1 Reply
      1. re: neighbor

        I concur, but will add that the last I checked, 99% of for-profit businesses are out here to make a profit, chain or not. Investors, especially restauranteurs, cannot stay in business for the love of the business only.

      2. The one time I was dragged to a Chili's I pondered the irony of a restaurant named "Chili's" with a chili pepper decor that didn't have a chili pepper in anything on the menu. We had to request hot sauce--twice.

        1. The restaurant chain never knew how to make chili in the first place. Real Texas chili does not have beans in it. Real Texas chili is served with frijoles refritos (refried beans) on the side.

          Don't get me wrong...I like beans, but beans do not belong in chili. Beans are just filler. When I make chili, I do NOT use ground meat. I buy either a round roast or chuck roast and cut it into small cubes. Lots of capsicums like fresh jalapenos, anchos, pasillas, guajillos, processed red savinas (cousin to the orange habanero) plus cumin, onions, and garlic go into the brew.

          Don't order chili in a restaurant if it contains beans. Beans are cheap. I know because I buy dried beans for making soup.

          11 Replies
          1. re: ChiliDude

            Okay, but... we can all eat and like different chilis, right? I like Texas chili. I also like chili with beans, turkey chili, and the occasional--gasp!--veggie chili. I suppose if the restaurant were called "Texas Chili's" you'd have a valid argument, but, as it is, let's just embrace all chili, like we do all BBQ, all pizza, all hot dogs...

            Now I'm hungry.

            1. re: Qwertyy

              I made a white bean chili this weekend, half with chicken (for them) half vegetarian (for me) and I must say it was the perfect dang thing for a rainy day.

              I got it from epicurious.com - chicken and white bean chili. They have you roast your own anaheim peppers. If I did it again, I would use poblanos, which to me taste much better. I also reduced the amount of half and half, since it would have been too rich.

              1. re: Qwertyy

                i love beans in chili. given the option, i always take the chili that includes beans--feels more substantial to me.

                1. re: beelzebozo

                  So do I. Whether I am making white chicken chili or beef chili, I like beans in it.

                  1. re: libgirl2

                    Substantial, subparsmantial. Why do you have to start with the beans? Let's not defile, degrade and besmirch this discussion with a beans in chili rant when we're talkin' about a restaurant.... They are primarily a burger joint, not a chili parlor.
                    (Damn beans)

                    1. re: Scargod

                      the chicken club tacos are pretty good!

                      and they come with a side of delicious black. . . legumes.

              2. re: ChiliDude

                Sounds like New Mexico chile, ChiliDude, don't forget to use Hatch, from NM! I'm with ya on the beans. Never been to Chili's, I avoid chains, they hurt my teeth, but my veggie nieces in Nevada love their black bean burgers. (Ugh.)

                1. re: ChiliDude

                  'Dude, I would disagree that they NEVER knew how to make chili. Perhaps it is different in some places; wouldn't surprise me.
                  Chili's started in Dallas. I've never had chili with beans in any Chili's I've ever been in. Even a few up north. Saying that, I haven't eaten in a Chili's in several years. I think the last bowl of red was in Cincinatti, at the airport.

                  1. re: Scargod

                    I'm there with you. Always got a very nice, bean free chili at Chili's. I was always pleased with the pile of corn chips, shredded cheese, hot sauce and their version of a bowl of red. Not as richly or deeply flavored nor as spicy as I'd like ideally, but tasty and filling.

                  2. re: ChiliDude

                    Amen!

                    I was a TX transplant in WA...imagine how dismayed I was to find that Chili's--somewhere we never went to much in TX, but knew was based in TX anyway--didn't have real chili.

                    But it does have a queso-like substance that wasn't bad. It and Z'Tejas were the only restaurants we could find in the Seattle area with some kind of tasty Tex-Mex-like cheese dip on our end of the 'burbs.

                    I recommend the appetizer sampler. Deep-fried goodness. Get a couple of the dips to do with said friedness. It'll do.

                    The CFS will do in a pinch, too.

                    But their chili? Good riddance. Damn yankees and their damn beans!

                  3. I don't think the chain was ever about "chili" the dish (whether you like it with meat or beans or both), it was about the chili pepper, isn't that in their logo? I wouldn't expect to go there and find the "soup" chili on there, but I would expect food with the chili pepper in it. Of course, I wouldn't go there expecting good food anyway, but desperate times, etc.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: rockandroller1

                      It was about hamburgers. At one time they were great hamburgers. Perhaps comparable to Fudrucker's (who came later). Hamburgers with chili on them.
                      I'm not sure of the quality of the burgers now. I used to like to go to the Chili's in Lewisville, TX in the late 80's. I liked the chili, too. Lewisville is a suburb of Dallas and many a Brinker Int'l food chain was tested out in the area before it went nationwide.

                      1. re: Scargod

                        They still have chili on the menu on all of the locations I have been to and it's pretty darn good.