Desperate times call for trips to places that you didn’t intend to go. Hence, I recently found myself at Chili’s in Trussville. While the name might cause you to think that the place is spicy and fun, well, you probably want to think again.
In fact, as I’ve considered this review, I was reminded of a post-game clip of then-Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Dennis Green …
And let me just tell you, that meltdown rivals in explosiveness the potty meltdown that occurred scant few minutes after consuming my Oldtimer with Cheese at Chili’s.
All this knowing that Chili’s was what I thought it would be … B.O.R.I.N.G.
Oh, it’s not for lack of trying. Why that place is nigh unto rocket-sciencey. It’s outfitted with a spiffy appearance. Gone is the darkness and loud colors. Replaced with light and metal and hipster tomfoolery. Hell, it’s not even hipster tomfoolery; it’s suburban urban outfitters gobbledegookery.
And the pay by yourself kiosk on the table to let you control your own destiny… No, I don’t like them because it’s one more replacement of actual people doing actual work in a business. But it could have redeemed itself consider if it offered some pre-emptive relief: “Yes, I’d like to top this meal off with a Metamucil brownie, since I know where I’m headed in a minute.”
I will give the wait staff credit; they were energetic and helpful enough … though I probably should have been given a quick primer about the tablet/kiosk. And for what it was, the food was adequately prepared. It’s just …
There is nothing memorable about this burger … or any burger at Chili’s. They are over seasoned (God, the sodium!). Over sold. Not bad. Not good. And you can throw in Mr. and Mrs. Fry with it. And we went in with muted hopes anyway.
In fact, I stumbled upon an article from the “Eat this, Not that!” folks https://www.yahoo.com/health/15-insanely-awful-foods-got-083033307.html that stated: “From burgers to baby back ribs, Chili’s serves up some of the country’s saltiest, fattiest fare. And even the menu items that don’t look all that bad for you can do some real damage to your waistline.”
Or to your colon…
It boils down to one thing … A great burger has local flair, not corporate flair. A look over the menu reminds you that decisions are probably made based on some analytics done in Texas … and by someone with a deathwish for chefs/kitchen staff, with a menu that is longer than the first draft of War and Peace. And it’s a cryin shame that the thing that sticks out the most about the burger is the ridiculously over-seasoned garlic dill PICKLE — the burger’s hairy mole — and that in the end, this fully-unmemorable experience feels as if you have been placed in a lab experiment.
My real concern is that Chili’s mediocreness will rub off, as I fear it already has to the other restaurants in the neighborhood (I’m looking at you Red Robin). FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JIM ‘N NICK’S, YOU GOTTA HOLD OUT!
It’s as one of my heroes, Capt. Benjamin Franklin Pierce from M*A*S*H* said. He recalls a dream in which he sees Frank Burns as a beached-whale and asks his mom if he can touch it, and Hawkeye, speaking for his mom, says, “Be careful, son. The dullness rubs off.”