Chili’s, Okemos

I didn’t suggest Chili’s for the quiet atmosphere. I expected the opposite, and that’s what we got. It was a family outing, so an intimate setting was not required. On past visits, I had good margaritas, burgers, and chicken crispers, and some combination of those things is what I intended to order.

Chili’s is also a good place to go to make yourself look like a better parent. The place echoes with the screeches of kids whose parents care little for the desires of others. My daughter is mouse-like in her silence compared to many howler monkeys that pass for children. For all my failings, having a child that screams in restaurants is not one of them.

As I mentioned, I had intended on having my usual Chili’s fare, but I was thrown off course by the smoked chicken burrito. It sounded interesting, and certainly looked appetizing – oh, those clever menu item photographers.  I wish I had made that career choice instead of computer programmer. The words “smoked”, “chicken”, and “burrito” just sounded awesome together, too. In fact, Chili’s had given itself a Tex-Mex makeover, more Mex-y, less Tex-y, and there were quite a few things that looked new to me.

Smoked chicken burrito

Smoked chicken burrito

The burrito turned out to be alright. It wasn’t that I disliked it, but I could get something better at Chipotle or Qdoba, and it would have been cheaper, too. There just needed to be a bit something more in the flavor department to make the burrito more exciting. Jalapenos or raccoon or something, I don’t know. Yes, I do know. They need to transfer some of the jalapenos from the side of beans into the burrito, then it would have been a well-balanced meal.

At some point, I will return to Chili’s – the call of the chicken crispers is strong, and they have a strong entry in the nachos  department. I hope the smoked chicken burrito gets more smoky or gets a flavor boost because it’s got good potential. Perhaps they need to tone it down so the parents ignoring their animals are distracted from their phones. But the next time I’m in the mood for a burrito, I’ll head to Cancun. The Okemos restaurant, not the city – that’s a bit far to go for dinner.

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