It’s just that thing with all of us, the moment we hear about something new in the city, we hop, skip and jump, and are there to try it out! When we recently heard that there is a new kind of a burger at the popular Chili’s American Grill & Bar doing the rounds in the city – namely a hand crafted burger, we wasted no time in getting there to try it out.
One of America’s leading chains, Chili’s needs no introduction. Their journey from starting out in 1975 as a Tex-Mex dining joint to now having loyalists in 32 countries, who swear by their American and Mexican food, is quite a commendable one. Fortunately for Phoenix Marketcity, they are the only ones hosting a Chili’s joint in Pune. On entering, you feel like you’ve come into an American diner straight out of the movies. The ambience is friendly and casual, and the staff is polite and helpful. And the best part is, it doesn’t require you to be in the finest of your demeanours; it just needs you to be very, very hungry. Once you’ll see their helpings, you will regret the tid bits you were munching on a while back. Did we mention that you have to be hungry?
“The menu and the portions are made to be American style, and with their kind of appetite they can literally have three burgers in one go. Indians are catching up with these cuisines, as they like a little break from Punjabi and Chinese food once in a while”, quotes Desmond Joseph, the General Manager of Chili’s.
We started off with The Ultimate Dipper and Classic Nachos for appetizers. The dipper included fried chicken, chicken wings and Southwestern Rolls (veg.) and 3 dips to compliment each. They all looked really fancy and appetizing, but were quite average tasting. The chicken was a little bland and was saved only by the dips; the fried rolls were yummy and made up for that. However, the Nachos easily stole all the attention from that lot! Loaded with cheese, grilled chicken and jalapenos with sour cream and fresh picco de gallo (salad) by the side, they were undoubtedly, one of the best Nachos we’ve tasted so far.
We finally got to the bit that our stomachs were waiting all throughout for, the hand-crafted burgers. Known for introducing new items on the menu every few months, this is one of Chili’s latest creations; the burger’s hand-made bun is crafted with fillings of potatoes, cream and milk. We tried the New Southern Smokehouse Burger which came with a generous helping of fries. The lamb patty was well marinated and succulent. The fried onion rings added on the patty were absolutely heavenly and just melted in the mouth. The bun tasted like any other but was freshly toasted and crisp. We also had the Classic Chicken Fajita served with tortillas but that wasn’t exactly their best dish.
You have plenty of options in the drinks menu to team up your food with. Their bar is aptly named Margarita, as that is what they concoct best. The Virgin Blue Pacific was tangy but refreshing. The Pina Colada was soothing and different as it was blended with ice, while the Kiwi Mojito was an interesting preparation but a tad too sweet. Their presentation, however, definitely wins your heart over.
A suggestion: do not stuff yourself too much during the meal because you do not want to miss out on dessert. We got ourselves Molten Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie and were drooling at the mere sight of them. How did they taste? YUM is the only word. When the lava cake begins its hot gooey chocolate fudge explosion, you don’t know which side to attack it from. The dollop of Vanilla ice cream and a crunchy chocolate shell on top just fits perfectly. On the other hand, the Paradise Pie is soft and nutty and is heaven for those who prefer a limited dose of chocolate.
All in all, it was a stuffy but delectable meal! The portions of the food do justice to the expensive prices (expect to spend Rs. 400-500 over a burger). The convenient location is an added advantage. While you’re shopping and unloading your pockets, you can stop by at Chili’s and unload them some more, albeit for a refreshing and crafty experience!