Aug 31, 2009

Chili’s -- Never again!

Ok, so I wasn’t going to announce on the blogosphere that it was my birthday today but a disappointing lunch at a Chili's left me no choice but to post it.
My day started off nice enough. Tushar let me sleep in late and had made tea and breakfast (omelet and toast) for me. I do not prefer to eat out much and especially not in a restaurant which serves American and Italian fare on the same menu. We usually do a restaurant lunch only two or three times a year for a couple of reasons. I prefer homemade food to restaurant food for the same reason I prefer home baked cookies to store bought. Since it is usually for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary we prefer to go to a nice eating joint run by a chef or a family instead of a chain restaurant like Chili's.
Today was an exception since we had to go to the shops and decided to go to a nearby mall which also has a Chili’s restaurant. Usually, it is not our choice of restaurant for any occasion but we had a couple of gift certificates our friendly pest control guy had given us. We shopped around for a while before we went in to eat. Before leaving the house I had googled “Eat this not that at Chili’s” and there was not much to choose from their decadent but grossly unhealthy menu. The Men's Health Magazine which has conducted the survey of hundreds of restaurants around the country, had given the Chili's menu a D grade in terms of serving healthy fair but recommended ‘Guiltless Grilled Chicken burger’ and 'Chicken Fajita Pita’ as a means of "survival strategy".
We finished our meals and ordered their decadent Molten Chocolate Cake since it was my birthday “which comes once a year”.
The food, I have to say, was at best, mediocre. Tushar's burger was “ok” and the side of steamed broccoli was bland. My grilled chicken fajita had sautéed onions and bell peppers smothered in oil and the pita was soft and crumbly. The only redeeming feature of the meal was the dessert but even with the two of us sharing it became too sweet by the time we were almost done with it. With 1150 cal in the cake topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce, it is little wonder we left the restaurant feeling full and heavy. As the day progressed the feeling soon turned to lethargy and an intense thirst (high sodium). By evening I was drinking water like a fish. The two of us had not felt hungry by the time this piece was written (it is nearly midnight) and we had lunch at about 2 in the afternoon.
I shudder to think how we would be feeling if we had gone with one of the more decadent menu choices. A lesson learnt at the expense of our stomachs.


  1. Happy Belated Birthday Jaya, sorry about the lunch. I hope it didn't ruin the birthday completely.

  2. belated happy birthday, Jaya! Been years since I ate at chili's, but I used to love their food. Ofcourse, I remember it used to be very heavy, which is why we'd go in a group and share most of their stuff.

  3. Belated happy birthday dear...m so sorry your lunch didnt go well..

  4. I remember eating at Chili's once because we were on the road and it was the only restaurant we found for miles, and they didn't have a single vegan dish or a vegetarian one that could be adapted by removing cheese etc. That was it for me!
    Sorry you had a bad food experience on your birthday-- that's unforgivable. But many, many belated wishes, and may you have a wonderful year!

  5. Jaya..yes the sattu ke laddu i have tasted were made with jaggery molases and i am still looking for some molasses to make's awesome in taste .the other version of sattu ka laddu is with some ghee and powdered sugar which just so ordinary for me...:)

    the prasad punjabis make is not with's with whole wheat aatta slow rasted with ghee ( sometimes suji is also added...i am a UP girl ( my father got transfered to many places in the country) married to a punjabi , whose grandparents lived in Bihar( after partition)...lots of influences :)

    first i copy pasted this answer to your comment from my paste...n now i wish you a happy you are a virgo, me too ( 25 aug )n just like you i detest any outside food n whenever i happen to eat one..i always end up thinking .......never again...:)
    incidentally i had my first outside dinner in many years with a group named 'eating out in Delhi' n it left me drinking enormous quantities of water n a severe headache n upset stomach in the morning..:):)

  6. Oh many happy returns of the day....May your next year bring many blessings and good health....Happy Birthday.

    I don't know the restaurant which you refer to but I wholeheartedly agree....a chef run or family run cafe is the way to go. Sometimes though...we eat for convenience and yep...the cost of your stomace. had a birthday lunch and that is what matters n'est pas?

  7. Belated wishes dear and I pray you have a healthy and prosperous year ahead. I am sure one Chilies can't spoil your day.

  8. Belated birthday wishes. Sorry to know that you had a bad food experience on your special day.
    Please pick up your awards and tag from my blog! Am sure that will cheer you up!

  9. Belated birthday wishes Jaya!Though it feels bad to have a day spoilt by food experiences, that too on your birthday am sure you would have had a great day with your family..Anyway wishing you health and happiness..

  10. Jaya i think i should have written Belated Happy Birthday! LOL. it sounds quite funny now when i read it but maybe i can be excused because my 1st language is french!


  12. Jaya, I agree about Chilis. We had tried their no-guilt black bean burger and it is very easy and not so appetising.
    But then the molten chocolate cake is one to die for. We have it maybe once a year and take about 5-8 bites and then we cannot have it anymore. But the taste is totally out of this world.

  13. Happy Belated Birthday. I'll be steering far away from Chilli's, its beena while since we've gone there, but I remember them being fairly lacklustre. What is worse than the chain restaurants are the celebrity endorsed ones - the absolute WORST meal I ever had was at Dan Marino's restaurant in Miami - they even managed to ruin a pina colada - how is that possible?????


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