HOME > Chowhound > Chains >


Hats off to Chili's Bar and Grill

I must say, there is not much I crave at a chain, but the Old Timer hamburger at Chili's is great. Had one today for lunch after an absence of a month. Just a plain burger, mustard, lettuce and tomato on a toasted bun, with great fries. $6 or so. Can't be topped in my opinion.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I haven't had one of those at Chili's(haven't eaten in a Chili's in over 15 years...not that I'd turn my nose up at it if it presented itself). But, I just wanted to post that the above as described is my favorite burger...no mayo, no catsup, no cheese...I'd add onions(raw), but they're not necessary. It's pathetic how such a simple presentation is nearly impossible to find without making all sorts of substitutions/additions at name-your-local-franchise. You can find a similar burger on the menu at some Sonics(too bad there ain't none in my region). Anyway...I'll do a specialty burger a la In n Out animal style, but only if there's *really* no other choice and the place is really only at their best(again like In n Out) if you order from the menu...I suppose animal style is off menu, you know what I mean. Anyway...enough about using In n Out as an example of speciality burgers done right and back to Chili's...yay for having the balls and palate to know when simple is best..

    1. Chile's is one of the only chains that I like consistently. My husband is the all-time picky eater and wants everything plain ..he ALWAYS orders the grilled chickem sandwhich and has them hold everything (no condiments, no veggies, nothing) and aks for a piece of swiss cheese melted on it ...and they always get it right. He says it is also the tastiest checken breast he has ever eaten. I, on the other hand, eat my way throught the menu (I must say that the Peppercorn Burger is one thing I keep going back to) and I have rarely been disappointed. Gourmet, no, but well prepared, good service, reasonable price, a great place when on the road and not familiar with the local spots.

      1 Reply
      1. re: judiftx1

        On my last trip to Chilis I discovered that they took the Peppercorn Burger off of the menu. It was my favorite.

      2. I get the Old Timer with cheese on a black bean burger. That's the thing I like about Chili's, that you can substitute a turkey or black bean burger for any of their burgers.

        3 Replies
        1. re: MplsM ary

          My biggest complaint with Chile's (and a ton of other chain restaurants) is the inability to get a burger cooked less than medium. To me, a burger done more than MR is just not worth ordering.

          I give kudos to Chile's for still offering buffalo wings instead of just tenders.

          1. re: gusman2424

            I've always been able to order my burger medium-rare - that's what I like about Chili's! Maybe your particular restaurant doesn't happen to have that option?

            1. re: gusman2424

              many states, including hawaii, prohibit burgers from being cooked less than medium. one of the restaurants here used to have chits you could sign saying you wanted it MR, but the health dept. made them stop that. Medium or more. Period, end of story.

          2. Turkey sandwich combo - what a deal! A half a sandwich, salad and fries for about $6-7.

            1. They also have a western style burger with a good BBQ sauce!

              1. b.l.t. club tacos are pretty tasty, and the quesadilla explosion salad--though far from qualifying for "healthy salad" status--has exquisite flavor. you can always set the four wedges of quesadilla they add on the side and leave those off if you want to up the health factor.

                2 Replies
                1. re: beelzebozo

                  Chili's is where I had the worst attempt at bbq ribs I have ever tried. Inedible.

                  1. re: brightman

                    lol...I had my worst rib experience there too but I love a lot of the other menu items. I LOVE the Citrus Fire chicken and shrimp. I order that 80% of the time.

                2. I tried that burger for the first time recently and I agree, it was delicious! Often I'll get one of the burgers with many things on it...but I think I enjoyed the simplicity of the Old Timer. I don't normally put mustard on my burgers, and they don't come with it usually here in NY, but I actually liked it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Solstice444

                    The Oldtimer has been my favorite burger for as long as I can remember. It does include raw onions too. The burger comes with cheese, lettuce, mustard, onions, a slice of tomato and the best dill pickles on any burger. The bun is perfectly toasted. I also ask for a small dish (salad dressing type size) of their chili and dip my burger in that. They used to have a burger at Chili's called the Terlingua Pride which was the Oldtimer with chili on it. Amazingly, a place called Chili's removed this "chili burger" from their menu. but, they happily bring the small side of it and I am never charged for it. Man a Chili's burger sounds good.

                    We ended up at TGI Friday's with friends today for lunch and I had a horrible burger there. Tasted like the ones I used to get from the school cafeteria in high school. And, sadly, there was a Chili's right next door where I could have had such a better burger. :(

                  2. Armed with a coupon for a free app I visited today after not having been to a chili's for about 10 years. Had the Old Timer and was pretty impressed with everything. Burger wasn't cooked medium rare as ordered but come out medium with a nice crust. Fries was excellent.