Thursday, October 9, 2008

A trip down a memory lane called Chilis...

So as Ariel mentioned in the first blog entry, back in our high school days JAM and friends used to frequent high-class establishments like Chili's (a Tex-Mex place with most food under $15), Taco Bell, IHOP, and the like, resulting in my scary knowledge of each of those restaurants' menus.

Knowing I was planning to head to VA for JAM reunion this past weekend, it seemed only appropriate to revisit one of these gems for, if nothing, a healthy dose of nostalgia. Topping it all off, A&M and I agreed to go to a play put on by some of our fellow high school alum's theater, 1st Stage, so we knew that Chili's was definitely an appropriate Friday night dinner selection.

Anxious to go, Malia checked the menu beforehand only to find out that my all-time favorite, the Bleu (yes that's right, it's the classy spelling) Cheese Chipotle Bacon Burger was no longer on the menu!!! Tragedy! Nonetheless, we kept our dinner date, with me hoping to find something else to satisfy my Chili's craving.

Flash forward to Friday night - we meet at the lovely Chili's near what used to be a movie theater (and is now an ugly gym). The usual mix of top 40 plus other assorted hits was playing and a very cheerful waitress escorted us to our booth.

The menu is revamped (as least from the last time I went to a Chili's, at least a year ago) so I settled on ribs, with a side salad with blue cheese dressing and caramel apples, Ariel got the steak fajita pita with fries, and Malia the chicken fajitas.

Soon after the magic that is Chili's appeared at our table, with its notoriously large portions. My ribs were very large (note the size of them versus say my knife and water glass near it) with a decent sized salad and small (but more than sufficient) serving of caramel apples.The ribs were good, saucy and pretty tender. Sauce was a sweet, ketchup-molasses type sauce, thick enough where it wasn't really dripping off the ribs. Despite being very hungry I was only able to eat about 2/3 of the ribs. Side salad, crisp, though with iceberg lettuce, but very fresh tasting with lots of chopped tomato, carrot shreds, cheese, and coutons. Blue cheese dressing had small chunks of blue cheese and was very satisfying. Caramel apples, a bit cloyingly sweet with some bites due to the very thick caramel sauce, but when I had a bite with more apples than caramel it was very pleasant.

A very solid 2 1/2 out of 3 JAMs, though definitely part of that is due to the high nostalgia factor and the excitement of a JAM reunion.

Ariel's fajita pita with fries looked delicious, overflowing with peppers and with the requisite pile of fries.
Ariel ate all her food (including the fries) but ended up with an upset stomach. As Ariel described it later on in the evening, "it's like knives are stabbing me" so perhaps not ideal.

Malia got the chicken fajitas (her first time!) and cleaned her entire fajita plate, so they must have been yummy! Another solid Chili's meal.

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