Review: Chili’s Bar & Grill, Burgers, Ribs, and TexMex Tastiness (From Texas)

The Spot:

Chili’s Bar & Grill

What About Them:

Chili’s is a US-based restaurant chain that serves American Southwest and TexMex cuisine. Founded in 1975 in Dallas, TX by Larry Levine in a converted post office on Greenville Avenue. In 1981, Levine moved to a new building on the same site. The original Chili’s relocated for the last time in 2007.

Levine sold the restaurant in 1983 to former Pillsbury restaurant group executive Norman E Brinker.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chili’s)

The location I refer to here is in Fort Worth, TX and at 33 years in operation, one of the oldest in the state.

Burgers….and more burgers.

Overview

First Impressions

The first time I went to Chili’s I was a child. My mother and I were having a day out shopping and we stopped in for dinner. We ordered Fajitas for 2 and I had my first cherry Sprite with actual cherries. I still order the same drink every time I go out to eat anywhere 30 years later.

Can’t pick a favorite!

Pros

Chili’s has a diverse Tex-Mex and American menu. Everything from burgers and steaks and ribs to tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, and table-side guacamole. Everything can be made to order. The unique drinks are prepared at the bar and generous enough to make just one enough. I particularly enjoy the margaritas.

Loaded, boneless, and spicy!

Our favorite appetizer is the Loaded Boneless Wings. They come smothered in white queso with bacon and ranch. You can order other dips if you wish and decide just how hot you want the wings to be.

SO much at steak…

Chili’s is imprinted on the collective consciousness with its (baby back, baby back) ribs. Honestly, in over 30 years of eating here -at this specific location- I have never had them. My favorite steak is the 6 oz Classic Sirloin with Grilled Avocado. There is a 10 oz sirloin on the menu, and if you don’t mind spending a bit more you can substitute this one instead.

Steak, chicken, shrimp or mushrooms? Yes, please!

I also go for the Fajitas. Their selection has grown from the traditional steak to chicken and shrimp options. They even have one with mushrooms and Monterrey jack cheese and a vegetarian option now.

Chocolate volcano of OMGoodness…

For dessert, I used to order the caramel molten lava cake, but they have removed it from the menu. They still have the chocolate one along with several other options including cheesecake. If I was a chocolate cake eater (don’t judge me, I love chocolate, just not chocolate cake!) I would take one home every time.

There is a fun kid’s menu as well, with some miniature versions of choice items from the regular menu. Unique selections include a kid-sized pizza and a grilled cheese sandwich. You can add any side item from the menu to your child-sized meal.

Little foods for little fingers.

Other perks include:

  • Loyalty club where you can collect points to use toward free menu items.
  • Family-oriented, casual atmosphere. No one dresses for dinner at Chili’s unless they really want to
  • Birthday recognition. They sing to you at your table and you get a free dessert. Only on your birthday, of course.
  • ToGo orders online or by phone
  • Curbside pickup for ToGo orders or you can step inside their designated ToGo area to grab your meal.
  • Open bar seating with big screen TVs all over the place, usually running a selection of sports programming

Cons

The food industry has a high rate of turn-over and this can cause inconsistency in the quality of the service and the food. Sometimes everything is so perfect I sing while I eat. Others I wonder if the server understands the meaning of their job title.

As with any restaurant, sometimes the service is exceptional and sometimes forgettable. We usually get very good service at Chili’s because my son works there, and most of the staff knows us.

Unfortunately, Chili’s gluten-free selection is almost non-existent. You can request it via special order, but they have no cross-contamination preventatives in place, no dedicated prep stations, and no designated tools and utensils.
I would not recommend Chili’s for anyone with more than minimal gluten intolerance. My Celiac* son has never eaten here because we simply cannot be certain that it is safe.

*Celiac disease, sometimes called celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. https://gig-that.com/whatisceliac

Value

Pricing

You can eat well at Chili’s for around $20 – $30 for one. This includes appetizer, entrée, and drink. They have specials that include 3 For $10 and 2 For $25 as well as lunch, dinner and holiday sales. There used to be a 2 for $35 that included a margarita, but I have not seen it on the menu lately.

They also run periodic specials on select Menu items (Babyback, babyback, babyback ribs).

What you get for the money

3 for $10

  • Select appetizer, entrée, and dessert for $10.00
  • Drinks are extra but refills on soda and tea are free
  • Alcoholic beverages are not included or discounted

 

 

 

 

2 For $25

  • Select appetizer, 2 entrees, and a dessert for $25.00
  • Drinks are extra but refills on soda and tea are free
  • Alcoholic beverages are not included or discounted

Take it or Leave it

Take it! I have loved Chili’s since the very first time I ate there, and I go there as often as I can. I have taken my kids there since they were tiny, and they always have a good time.

Conclusion

Chili’s Bar and Grill has been part of my family since I was very young. I am delighted they are still in operation and I never hesitate to recommend them. The fun family atmosphere is wonderful, and the food is just as good.

Have you been to a Chili’s in your area? Share your experience with me!

6 thoughts on “Review: Chili’s Bar & Grill, Burgers, Ribs, and TexMex Tastiness (From Texas)

  1. It’s been a longtime since I’ve eaten out at a Chili’s, and I can’t remember how it was because it’s been that long. But I do remember it was decent and cheap. Judging by your review it’s still reasonably price, seeing you can eat for around 20 bucks. Nice review though.

    1. Nate,

      The pricing has changed with the times, of course, but so has the menu. 

      I think they will always have ribs, steak, fajitas, and margaritas, because, who doesn’t want that? They added fish, pasta and salad options to keep pace with the more calorie-conscious customers. Overall it is the same Chili’s, with the same atmosphere.

      If you don’t know how long it’s been, maybe it’s too long :). 

      Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you break that drought :).

      Gwendolyn J

  2. Chili bar is a nice place to be. They have be in existence for more than three decades know and they are still doing very well .l  keep wondering how thay are doing to promote their business . I finally realized they have many packages in stock. Unlike some other restaurants, they offer loyalty program which offer  points to their customers. The customer redeem the point through free meal. Another  package is birthday package where the offer free meal to the celebrate only on his birthday. The environment is fascinating and I was not a victim of their poor meal. This post open my eyes to know more about them. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Stella,

      The longevity of Chili’s is astonishing in this day & age. Their continuity is a testament to their ability to adapt to their customer’s tastes and needs.

      They are highly responsive to feedback and you can always speak to management on site if you have any issues or just want to give a compliment.

      I hope you enjoy your visits there as much as I do. 

      Thanks for stopping by and take care. 

      Gwendolyn J

  3. Hola, and let me leave a fresh testimony here! 

    We’ve been to one of your branches (with my mother) and I must say it’s good, it’s very good, both the food and the service rendered. She actually requested that we return and dine again some time because she loved the food. I think it’s one of our best Mother’s Day celebrations ever celebrated. 

    1. Gomer,

      I have been to Chili’s on Mother’s Day as well. They often have specials on certain drinks and entrees just for Mom. I am happy to know your mother enjoys it as well.  As far as going back, I get there as often as I can. Chili’s is one of my Top 3 favorite places to eat and has been for most of my life. 

      Thanks for stopping by and take care. 

      Gwendolyn J

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *