Since Chili’s opened years ago, we go back once or twice a year. We like the baby back ribs and the loaded mashed potatoes. The burgers are OK, though not that memorable. They usually have a coupon for a free appetizer or dessert with entree, if you subscribe to their mailing list.
In all, it’s a dependable restaurant, but nothing to be excited about. The fact that is so crowded speaks about the poverty of restaurants in San Leandro.
May 2008 Review
Last night, Kathy, my sister who is visiting from LA, wanted to go to Chevy’s for dinner. Alas, we’d been there only last week and the experience hadn’t been that great, so I wasn’t eager to repeat it. I suggested Chili’s, as I figured one generic, mediocre, chain should be easy to substitute for another.
My first experience at Chili’s in San Leandro had actually been positive. Granted, Mike and I were in a date so that might have rose-colored our glasses, but we thought the BBQ ribs were pretty good as was the rest of the food. We visited again a few months ago, this time with the kids, and I wasn’t as happy with the experience. I found the food to be tired, with boring rather than vibrant flavors. It wasn’t bad, just not exciting.
Still, our choices, here in San Leandro, are dismal, so I figured we might as well go there. Once again it wasn’t exciting, but it wasn’t bad.
None of us were particularly hungry, so we decided to split an order of baby back ribs ($17 for a full rack) and get an additional half-rack for Kathy ($7, if ordered with another entree). Mike got the habanero ribs, and he liked them quite a bit. He thought they weren’t very spicy, but I disagreed. Kathy had the honey chipotle ones. She thought they were OK, but that they lacked flavor. I liked my honey BBQ ribs, they were fall-off-the-bone tender and had a pleasant, sweet, flavor. So far these have been my favorite.
I had ordered the loaded mashed potatoes as a side, but either the waitress didn’t hear me (it’s a rather loud restaurant), or she made a mistake, as she brought us french fries and veggies instead. The former were very disappointing, they were limp and not very flavorful. The veggies were OK.
We also ordered onion strings served with jalapeño ranch sauce ($6, I think). Mike and Kathy thought they were pretty good, I thought they lacked flavor, and wasn’t too happy with the sauce.
Both kids got mac-n-cheese. It is Kraft, but Mika said it was just OK. Both she and Camila ate quite a bit, though. Neither touched their corn on the cob, however 🙁
In all, it wasn’t a bad meal and I’d go back once in a while for the ribs.