A few weeks ago a PR rep e-mailed me and asked if I’d like to be involved in a campaign promoting Chili’s new and improved menu. They gave me a nice gift card and told me to take my family out!
Like I said, it’s good to be a blogger some days! I don’t participate in a lot of campaigns, but I am pretty open when it comes to free food. Especially since we don’t eat out very much.
So one Friday night Mr. V, Libbie, and I, drove the four minutes to our local Chili’s for an early dinner. Since I am trying to watch what I eat, I printed out a PDF of their menu with nutritional information before we left and studied it a little bit. (I was horrified to find out my beloved Quesadilla Explosion Salad has 1400 calories–but over 400 calories and 24 grams of fat come from the cheese quesadilla, not the salad part. The dressing is another 250.)
Mr. V and I sampled several items off the new menu. We both decided to get one of the new $9.99 Fresh Pairings. I got the (old standard and oh-so-delicious) chips and salsa with smoked chicken mini-tacos. I am going to have to be completely honest and say: the tacos tasted good at first. Then they started to taste funny to me. I am not a big fan of very pungent cheeses, such as bleus, unless they are paired with fruit; and I think the Cojita cheese was a little much for my tastebuds. The beans and rice that came with the tacos were interesting, mixed with corn and other veggies, but nothing special in my eyes.
Mr. V got the Crispy Onion Fries and Jalapeno Stack as his appetizer. It came with a ranch dipping sauce and was yummy and HUGE. We barely made a dent in it (or the chips). He also got a half rack of ribs with their new Shiner Bock BBQ sauce. They were quickly devoured. The sauce was lovely and sweet.
We ordered Libbie a cheeseburger and rice off the Pepper Pals Kids’ Menu. The waitress thought I said fries, and she offered to get rice, but we let Libbie keep the fries, which she enjoyed very much. She wasn’t a fan of the burger–but she also rarely eats any meat, so that means pretty much nothing.
Other than one very memorable occasion, I’ve always had excellent service and good food at Chili’s, and I am happy to promote them as a good family restaurant that we’d go to no matter what. I almost always get the Quesadilla Explosion Salad, Southwestern Cobb (which has left the menu–sad!), or fajitas.
Sadly, we used the rest of our gift card ordering from the new Chili’s To Go online service and were not pleased. They have a guarantee that your food will be ready at a certain time, and my husband waited over 20 minutes for ours past when it said it would be ready. I ordered the new Asian Chicken Salad, and I am pretty sure it was missing two parts of the salad. The rest of the food was good, though.
All that said, I won’t give up on Chili’s. They really do have good food at reasonable prices. The manager offered to send us coupons when my husband had to wait for his order.
Right now, Chili’s is running a campaign called Shout Out to Eat Out! You can upload a 10- to 30-second video telling them why you don’t want to cook tonight and be entered to win a $50 gift card. They’re giving away one a day until August 30. There are a lot of nights I don’t want to cook. How about you?
What’s your favorite thing on the Chili’s menu?
I received a $50 gift card from Chili’s in order to do this review. I was not compensated in any other way.
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