Chili's Grill & Bar Review

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Chili's was one of the cheapest restaurants we sampled. The food was fresh and enjoyable and the portions were large and filling. The restaurant offers plenty of healthful choices -- even on the kids menu. Frugal diners generally echo our assessment in reviews.

Diners comment in Chili's reviews on TripAdvisor that the food is reliably tasty and, despite the chain's Tex-Mex feel, the burgers are top-notch. Many consumers posting reviews deem the restaurant a good value for the money. One customer adds that the atmosphere is cozy and comfortable -- ideal for a family. Diners posting restaurant reviews on Yelp agree, saying the food is satisfying. One of them also compliments the convenient Carside To Go carryout service. Chili's brings out orders to designated parking spots, so takeout customers don't even have to leave their cars.

The bill for a family of four at Chili's Grill & Bar came to $37.85 (not including tax or tip), the second-lowest total. The dinner comprised an Oldtimer burger with fries, Monterey chicken with broccoli and mashed potatoes, an entree salad, a kids meal, a side salad, and a fountain drink. Our researcher sampled the first two items and was impressed with the amount of food and flavor for the price. Everything was precisely cooked. The fries were well-seasoned and the mashed potatoes were creamy. Checking in on Foursquare yielded a complimentary (and heaping) portion of warm chips and salsa.

Chili's offers many Guiltless Grill options with less than 750 calories, 25 grams of fat, and 8 grams of saturated fat. The kids menu also includes many healthful items. Chili's is part of the National Restaurant Association's recent Kids LiveWell initiative, which calls for entrees with fewer than 600 calories and sides with fewer than 200 calories. Overall the kids menu offers the most options we saw at any of the five restaurant chains we visited. For those with food allergies, an allergen menu is available online and in the restaurant by request. It suggests items prepared without egg, fish, milk, peanut, shellfish, soy, tree nut, and wheat/gluten. Chili's also provides a list of vegetarian choices on its website.

In the opinions of our researcher and consumers posting Chili's reviews, the restaurant's food is delicious and its prices right. The kids menu stands out for its myriad options, including healthful choices. The lunch menu harbors the cheapest combos we saw. All in all, this is the best chain restaurant for a family on a budget.

Raechel Conover

Raechel Conover is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on Yahoo, blogs, and other websites. She's a self-confessed shopaholic and frugal mom, always scouring the sale and clearance racks for deals and taking full advantage of free community activities and events with her husband and young sons.

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