We recently took a trip to our local Chili's for a little "Chew & Tell" action.
Here's the 411:
Chili's is a clean, friendly place, with a menu PACKED with extremely fattening (and tempting!) foods./x-tad-bigger> We say you should visit one, but only if you're in a frame of mind that will allow you to resist the urge to order an Awesome Blossom (which is rumored to have over 2,800 calories and 77 WW points!), or their famous Molten Chocolate Cake (calories undisclosed, for obvious reasons).
/x-tad-bigger>Chili's is a BARGAIN!/x-tad-bigger> So far, of all the restaurants we've visited, Chili's gives you the biggest BANG for your buck. The portions are extremely generous, the food quality is really good, and so many of their salads, entrees and sandwiches are less than $10 each. That impressed us!
/x-tad-bigger>The foods listed on their Guiltless Grill menu are still fairly high in calories and, in some cases, fat./x-tad-bigger> That made us think about how insanely high the rest of the food on the menu must be. We questioned our server (a very nice girl named Stephanie) who took the time to sit with us and tell us all about the oils and sauces Chili's uses when cooking seemingly innocent, healthy foods like chicken and shrimp. "Do you know how much oil they use to make those fajitas sizzle like that?!" she admits. BE CAREFUL!
/x-tad-bigger>Just because something is on the Guiltless Grill Menu doesn't necessarily mean it's guiltless./x-tad-bigger> For example, w/x-tad-bigger>e ordered the Black Bean Burger and it showed up on a TREMENDOUS puffy bun that had been SMEARED with BUTTER on both sides. And that's the thing about Chili's. Even if you take the time to order sauce on the side, no cheese, and double veggies, they'll still serve you a sandwich drenched in butter. They will NOT do ANY thinking for you. Just a friendly warning.
/x-tad-bigger>That being said...Chili's is GREAT about customized ordering./x-tad-bigger> Just be very specific, and you can be super-healthy there with just a tiny bit of effort. We say (and it's a surprise even to us!) Chili's ROCKS!
Stuff We Ate...
Guiltless Black Bean Burger (650 calories, 12g fat, 96g carbs, 26g fiber - 13 WW Points) /x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger>What we loved:/x-tad-bigger> The patty itself was deeeelicious. And fiber-ific! (it has roughly 20g of the stuff!)
What we didn't like:/x-tad-bigger> The bun was huuuge and unneccessarily slathered in butter. What are they thinking!?!
What we recommend:/x-tad-bigger> Order this bun-free! And ditch the low fat ranch. Just ask for some lettuce leaves from their lettuce wraps on the side, eat your burger on a lettuce bun, and enjoy the steamed veggies it comes with. We think you'll likely save over 300 calories that way.
/x-tad-bigger>What we loved:/x-tad-bigger> The centerpiece of this meal was a HUGE 6oz piece of chicken, grilled to perfection. The steamed veggies (broccoli, red and green peppers, and carrots) topped with parmesan cheese were great as well. And the grilled corn was a nice, sweet addition. Plus, it was only $7.69. A real DEAL!
/x-tad-bigger>What we didn't like:/x-tad-bigger> It came on a king size bed of rice (which we estimate to be about 200+ calories).
/x-tad-bigger>What we recommend:/x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger>/color>Order this meal without the rice and get double veggies instead (you'll save a whole lot of calories!). There's no need to double starch it (corn AND rice?). If you want to be EXTRA healthy, order the veggies steamed without parmesan. But that's only if you want to be super-good!
Lettuce Wraps (not on the Guiltless Grill Menu) (580 calories, 35g fat, 55g carbs, 8g fiber - 14 WW Points)
What we loved: /x-tad-bigger>Well, we really didn't love anything about them, except for the cute lettuce leaves you use to wrap the chicken mixture in. /x-tad-bigger> What we didn't like: /x-tad-bigger>This usually comes with all sorts of extras, like rice noodles and nuts. But we ordered them without that stuff and what showed up still seemed questionable in the fat and calorie departments. There was too much of the sauce, which was a bit too "ginger-y" and a little too sweet.
/x-tad-bigger>What we recommend: /x-tad-bigger>If you wanna order these, we say leave off the noodles and nuts, and even get the sauce on the side. But that's a lot of work and we're not sure it's even worth it. /x-tad-bigger>Heads Up!/x-tad-bigger> Ordering these as is may be deceiving to some. Lettuce wraps aren't necessarily low-cal just 'cuz they've got the word "lettuce" in their name.
Other Guiltless Grill Items We Didn't Try...
Guiltless Grill Salmon (480 cal, 14g fat, 31g carbs, 10g fiber - 10 WW Points)/x-tad-bigger> This 8 oz. salmon fillet served with steamed fresh veggies and black beans is VERY popular at Chili's. We've heard it's really good but haven't tasted it ourselves. Guiltless Chicken Sandwich (490 cal, 8g fat, 63g carbs, 11g fiber - 10 WW Points)/x-tad-bigger> Based on what we know, we're sure this one tastes great, too. However, we suspect the bun may be huge and possibly full of butter, so be careful. We'd make sure it was butter-free and probably use the non-fat honey mustard sparingly.
**We really enjoyed our trip to Chili's. TWO YUMS UP!!!
CHEW ON THIS: October 22nd is National Nut Day. Celebrate all the nuts in your life. Peanuts, cashews, almonds, and that wacky guy up the street who talks to trash cans.
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