A Surprisingly Good Meal at “Chili’s” in Point Loma

by on July 9, 2012 · 17 comments

in Culture, The Widder Curry

At the spur of a moment my neighbor called and asked if I wanted to share a meal with him. After a 30 second deliberation I said yes. But…it was Wednesday in Ocean Beach – Farmer’s Market Day – so we decided to leave our neighborhood and venture onto Sports Arena for a dinner at “Chili’s.”

We were greeted by the receptionist who saw us coming and she went over to assist us in opening the heavy doors. (Did we really look that feeble or does she do that for everyone?) She sat us at a table; told us the name of our waitperson – Gail – and within seconds Gail was there to take our drink order.

Chili’s has a very extensive menu, complete with appetizers, soups and chili, salads, light choices, sandwiches, burgers, steaks, ribs, etc. There is also an extensive Children’s menu. The item that caught our eye was a “$20 Dinner for 2” that allowed us to share an appetizer – 4 choices ; and we each could select two full-size entrees – 10 choices. We elected to have the “Tostada chips and fire-grilled corn guacamole” as our appetizer.

It is interesting to note that another appetizer on the menu was “Tostada chips and salsa”, but the one we ordered also had the salsa. The guacamole was very tasty, but the chips left something to be desired. Many of them were very greasy – you could see the grease on the top of the chip, and they were so thin they frequently broke while dipping them into the salsa and/or guacamole. Even though my friend complained about the grease, he still liked the chips; I felt that the thinness detracted from the enjoyment because I was continually fishing the chip out of the bowl.

Gail recommended to my friend that he try the “Quesadilla Explosion Salad” – grilled chicken with cheese, tomatoes, corn relish, cilantro, tortilla strips and citrus-balsamic dressing. It was served with cheese quesadilla’s. It was a good choice; tasty; enough to be quite filling, and displayed well. I opted for the “Half Rack of Baby Back Ribs with Homestyle Fries” and that was another good choice. The ribs were succulent, fell off the bone, well seasoned and very, very good. The fries were served hot; well seasoned and more than I could eat. Our total bill, with two ice teas and tip came to just under $28. When we were asked if we wanted dessert – 5 choices – neither of us had room for more food.

It has been a long time since I have enjoyed a meal as well prepared as this meal was at Chili’s. From the time we walked into the door until the time we left, the entire experience was worthy of applause. We will be back.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Goastskull July 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Chili’s isn’t bad for a chain. I always get the margarita chicken which is a fairly healthy item for that kind of place. It’s skinless and comes on a bed of rice and black beans and quite tasty.


Cherie July 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm

That salad is always good. It’s one of my favorites and it is usually my first choice when I go to chilli’s. There tortilla soup is pretty good also.


angeroo July 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Sorry, I have to wholeheartedly disagree. Do OBceans really want to know about the sub par food at Chili’s? I’d really like to hear more about local restaurants/small businesses that I can support, not corporate chains with greasy, unhealthy food.


michelle July 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

It does seem strange that a review of a decidedly corporate chain restaurant would be on this site that promotes progressive and left wing points of view.


judi Curry July 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

You are kidding, right? If the food is good why not support the restaurant. I wrote an article on Denny’s and I would never go back there. I have also written articles about OB restaurants that I would also not go back to. Being a “left wing” site has nothing to do with where I eat. I’m not eating politics; I’m eating food. Check out my review today of Fiesta Cantina at http://sandiegofreepress.org/2012/07/restaurant-review-fiesta-cantina/.


john July 12, 2012 at 11:04 am

Judi Curry’s expertise in culinary interests usually exceeds her involvement in politics from what I’ve seen, and when it comes to food she really knows her stuff. It’s my opinion the readers are best served letting her objectively review restaurants and let them decide for themselves if they want their personal politics to become a factor.
While I understand your point and don’t oppose it per se, where would you draw the lines in establishing the criteria for what she’d be “allowed” to review? Would it mesh better with the ideology if the owner of a single restaurant is a Republican millionaire whose family takes their Executive motorhome out to Ocotillo or Glamis every weekend using hundreds of gallons of fuel doing doughnuts in their monster truck on fragile and endangered plants and lizards. and doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks about it because nobody is his boss? Or a chain of 20 restaurants whose Democrat stockholders respond to community concerns and take measures for adherence to green initiatives for good corporate relations with the public?
There’s a lot of factors you’d have to take into account and I don’t think the burden of researching all of them should be on Judi’s shoulders
Finally in a slightly wider scope, consider that while espousing corporate greed is a cause we all probably agree upon, common sense should also tell us that for energy efficiency, conservation of resources, etc, boycotting large companies, it could be argued, is an “unprogressive” thing to do. Would anyone argue it would be better for the planet (re: energy use, resources, etc) if every Obecian espoused automobiles from Ford, GM, etc, and instead designed and fabricated their own automobiles- every part a one off, each painted one at a time, with the spray equipment set up, paint mixed, and cleaned afterward, on an individual basis? Doesn’t mass production equate to less resources going into each unit?
Well it’s easy to draw a correlation to a McDonald’s Big Mac and a burger a guy in a stand makes for you and you only.
Do we really want Judi to think all this through?
Let’s just eat!


judi Curry July 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Thanks for your support John. The only thing I am interested in reading is the menu!
I have never thought about asking the political beliefs of the owners before. Don’t think I will start now.


Goatskull July 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm

You seriously need to get a life. Really do you ask the politics of the owner/employees of each place you go to eat out at? If you don’t like Chili’s then you don’t like Chili’s and that’s fine but I happen to think they’re pretty decent as far as chains go. So do many other people. OK so you object to corporate greasy unhealthy food and feel that all reviews in the rag should be local, because Hodad’s sure doesn’t have greasy unhealthily food. Oh no not them. Tasty yes, but healthy? How about Newport Pizza? I hear their pizza (because they’re local and independently owned) will make you physically stronger and live longer.
Quite honestly, Chili’s has more healthy options than the two places I mentioned. Most of the time I go local but once in a while I may find myself eating at a chain. Big deal.


OB Mercy July 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

God John….talk about going on a rant! It’s just a restaurant review. Don’t think anything you had to say has anything to do with comments made for or against Judi’s review. Even Judi said, “I’m not eating politics; I’m eating food.”

Those couple of comments were saying that it was surprising to find a restaurant like Chilis being reviewed here. I have to say that I would rather see reviews like that on Yelp myself, and not on The Rag (which is what the others were saying.) Judi, you should be a Yelper too! Oh wait, I think you are actually.

Judi writes pretty detailed reviews and I know people enjoy them, but we can read about a big corporate chain like Chilis on a review everything site like Yelp if need be. I would like to see (and I know Judi does writes about them) the smaller businesses in OB and Pt. Loma much more.


michelle July 13, 2012 at 10:47 am

Yes I am serious. Food is politics. Every time we choose to spend our money at an establishment where the policies of the company (or owners) are in conflict with our own, we are making a choice. I’m not fanatical or saying we can’t indulge in a Quesadilla explosion salad if we want to! I am saying that claiming “I’m just eating food, not being political” is simply not true. That’s that kind of mentality that has lead to the state of food production in this country. I don’t care if you eat at Chillis, just recognize that that restaurant is another cog in the factory farm, gmo, corn subsidiary machine. Own it. The other day I had a breakfast burrito from Sonic, it was delightful and I loved every minute of it. However, I realize that I choose to toss my 6 bucks to a chain that did not reflect my values or desires to change the way we eat in this country.


RB July 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Apparently, the Democrats in Sacramento do not share your extreme positions on food. EBT cards (electronic food stamps) can now be used at Sonics, Chili’s, KFC, etc.


Goatskull July 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Not for everyone it is.


Rick July 13, 2012 at 11:15 am


Your writing sparkles. Please accept what follows as constructive criticism. Espouse is synonymous with support. Eschew and avoid are synonyms.

Literately, Rick


john July 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Now someone tells me. That kind of changes things doesn’t it? Thank you for the correction, I seriously appreciate the ability to now have less opportunity to look clueless than I did before.


Wireless Mike July 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Judi, please keep doing what you are doing. I, for one, enjoy your reviews of the food and service at our local restaurants. Few things are as enjoyable as a good meal with good friends.


judi Curry July 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Thanks, Mike. Maybe sometime you can join me. Judi


Goatskull July 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I second that.


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