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Chili's - Baby Back Ribs

Chili's - Baby Back Ribs
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  • Chili's - Baby Back Ribs

    Post #1 - December 29th, 2010, 11:29 am
    Post #1 - December 29th, 2010, 11:29 am Post #1 - December 29th, 2010, 11:29 am
    Masochist to sadist "hurt me"
    Sadist 'no"

    Never been and, unless things go terribly wrong, never will again, but I felt, as with the McFib and BK ribs, it was my duty as a BBQ man try Chili's baby back ribs at least once.

    Chili's on Touhy is a busy place, crowded, bustling, wait-listed midweek, friendly staff, friendly patrons, half price frozen margaritas streaming from backlit spigots, mountains of greased up nachos and enough fat people in the joint, including myself, to cast three seasons of Biggest Looser.

    Image

    Tempted to tune "I want my baby back, baby back, baby back..." simply politely "half order ribs please"

    Half order Chili's Baby Back Ribs

    Image

    - Fries, crisp, devoid of flavor.
    - BBQ sauce, bland tomato base with a church whisper of vinegar tang.
    - Ribs, skinny fall off, but not quite drip off, the bone devoid of flavor pork ribs.
    - Some sauce caramelization on underside, none on top.

    Underside Chili's Ribs

    Image

    Inofensive inexpensive neutral flavored meal in an advertising driven environment. Those who feel food centric obsessiveness has made significant inroads into the general populace need only visit Chili's to be disabused of the notion.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - December 29th, 2010, 11:46 am
    Post #2 - December 29th, 2010, 11:46 am Post #2 - December 29th, 2010, 11:46 am
    Shame on you! 8)
    "Sandwiches are wonderful. You don't need a spoon or a plate!"
    Paul Lynde
  • Post #3 - December 29th, 2010, 11:49 am
    Post #3 - December 29th, 2010, 11:49 am Post #3 - December 29th, 2010, 11:49 am
    Which of their four sauces (Honey-Chipotle • Shiner Bock® BBQ Sauce • Original • Memphis Dry Rub) did you have?

    Inquiring minds want to know! :lol:
  • Post #4 - December 29th, 2010, 1:34 pm
    Post #4 - December 29th, 2010, 1:34 pm Post #4 - December 29th, 2010, 1:34 pm
    Taken for the chili's web site: Baby Back Ribs - We've always SMOKED our RIBS in-house. But now we're SLOW-SMOKING them over PECAN WOOD so they're fall-off-the-bone TENDER with a BOLD and SAVORY flavor that's impossible to resist.

    Did you ask what kinda smoker they use and get back there for some pics? Or corp. policy does not allow them to reveal company secrets and stuff? I wunder how they really cook em!
  • Post #5 - December 29th, 2010, 1:40 pm
    Post #5 - December 29th, 2010, 1:40 pm Post #5 - December 29th, 2010, 1:40 pm
    I'm rather surprised he didn't send it back to the kitchen when the ribs were slathered in sauce and not exclusively sauce on the side. I do note he appeared not to ask for sauce on the side, thus the restaurant brought them to the table the usual way.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #6 - December 29th, 2010, 3:45 pm
    Post #6 - December 29th, 2010, 3:45 pm Post #6 - December 29th, 2010, 3:45 pm
    Ahoy Polloi!

    So, were the "fat people in the joint" enjoying the "half price frozen margaritas streaming from backlit spigots and mountains of greased up nachos?"

    That is the point of going to a restaurant, any restaurant, right? Enjoying food you like and being with people in an atmosphere they enjoy?

    One man's ceiling is another man's floor.
  • Post #7 - December 29th, 2010, 4:07 pm
    Post #7 - December 29th, 2010, 4:07 pm Post #7 - December 29th, 2010, 4:07 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:I do note he appeared not to ask for sauce on the side, thus the restaurant brought them to the table the usual way.
    I sat at the bar and simply requested "half order ribs" I made no special requests, did not Plotnicki them in any way and, in answer to nsx's question, was served "original" sauce.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #8 - December 29th, 2010, 4:58 pm
    Post #8 - December 29th, 2010, 4:58 pm Post #8 - December 29th, 2010, 4:58 pm
    G Wiv wrote: in answer to nsx's question, was served "original" sauce.


    What was the iced tea policy? :wink:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #9 - December 29th, 2010, 6:02 pm
    Post #9 - December 29th, 2010, 6:02 pm Post #9 - December 29th, 2010, 6:02 pm
    stevez wrote:What was the iced tea policy? :wink:

    Like 99.9 percent of restaurants in Chicagoland, they bring sweetener with the iced tea without having to be asked, and they don't charge for refills. 8)

    It ain't rocket science. I bet they even ask you if you would like coffee after your entree. :lol:
  • Post #10 - December 29th, 2010, 6:26 pm
    Post #10 - December 29th, 2010, 6:26 pm Post #10 - December 29th, 2010, 6:26 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    - Fries, crisp, devoid of flavor.
    - BBQ sauce, bland tomato base with a church whisper of vinegar tang.
    - Ribs, skinny fall off, but not quite drip off, the bone devoid of flavor pork ribs.
    - Some sauce caramelization on underside, none on top.

    Enjoy,
    Gary


    Keep this in mind, Gary.

    They probably recognized you and gave you their BEST portion.
    Try to imagine what a common peon, like myself, would have received.

    nsxtasy wrote:
    stevez wrote:What was the iced tea policy? :wink:

    Like 99.9 percent of restaurants in Chicagoland, they bring sweetener with the iced tea without having to be asked, and they don't charge for refills. 8)

    It ain't rocket science. I bet they even ask you if you would like coffee after your entree. :lol:


    Touche.
    Last edited by cito on December 29th, 2010, 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsin' around on the airplane?"
  • Post #11 - December 29th, 2010, 6:28 pm
    Post #11 - December 29th, 2010, 6:28 pm Post #11 - December 29th, 2010, 6:28 pm
    surprised you thought the fries lacked any flavor. the past couple times i was there, they were extremely salty (as was most things on the menu, at least for me).
  • Post #12 - December 29th, 2010, 7:30 pm
    Post #12 - December 29th, 2010, 7:30 pm Post #12 - December 29th, 2010, 7:30 pm
    You're a brave man, GWiv. Thanks for taking one for the team.

    As for making significant inroads into the general populace -- I suspect that it has raised the level more than you realize. People who would have only eaten burgers before may be trying sushi now, and there is a long list of foods unheard of 30 or 40 years ago that are common items, even for those who don't really care all that much about food. But I think that this, like everything else, is an 80/20 proposition. As the experience of those who are in the 80 percentile increases, it will still lag far behind the increasing knowledge and experience of those who are seriously and actively pursuing food, rather than just accepting the latest trend or going to someplace Guy Fieri or Check Please features, without really thinking about the food. They are pursuing the novelty, putting a notch in the holster, not really seeking out a learning experience.

    So food obsessiveness has had an impact on the general population, it's just that we're comparing bicycles to Formula 1 cars. They make progress, but they aren't going to catch up. You have to be really intentional to make serious headway. Some people don't care that much about food. Some don't care that much about anything. However, it is because of the effect the serious foodies have had that there are so many more options available today. Because even with 80/20 operating, 20 percent of the population can still keep a fair number of GNRs in business.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #13 - September 8th, 2017, 11:13 am
    Post #13 - September 8th, 2017, 11:13 am Post #13 - September 8th, 2017, 11:13 am
    Bloomberg.com wrote:Chili’s Grill & Bar is hoping that less is more.

    The casual dining chain has axed roughly 40 percent of its menu. If you’re a fan of their mango tilapia and crispy asparagus, you’re out of luck. Chili’s is betting customers are too distracted by the bigger burgers and meatier ribs to notice the missing items.

    Chili’s says this will simplify operations and improve the quality of the remaining items as it navigates an increasingly crowded and competitive restaurant landscape. The company spent about a year figuring out which menu items to keep.

    Chili’s Removes 40% of Its Menu

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #14 - September 8th, 2017, 11:30 am
    Post #14 - September 8th, 2017, 11:30 am Post #14 - September 8th, 2017, 11:30 am
    40% down, 60% to go.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #15 - September 8th, 2017, 11:38 am
    Post #15 - September 8th, 2017, 11:38 am Post #15 - September 8th, 2017, 11:38 am
    stevez wrote:40% down, 60% to go.

    :lol: Great quote Steve!

    I actually thought they did a pretty authentic Texas/Oklahoma style version of chicken-fried steak with cream (no sausage) gravy. Of course it was taken off the menu years ago as most people in this area don't eat CFS (though it remains on the menu in Texas and New Mexico). I haven't tried the infamous ribs.
  • Post #16 - September 8th, 2017, 10:43 pm
    Post #16 - September 8th, 2017, 10:43 pm Post #16 - September 8th, 2017, 10:43 pm
    Yeah, Chili's has run off whatever rail it was on. I went to Chili's back in 1980 or so when I lived in Dallas, when it was a local chain (I think). Good burgers, good chicken fried steak. And here in Aurora, it was the only place to get that CFS itch scratched, until they took it off the menu.... And I do appreciate that they don't (didn't?) pile up their chips and drizzle the cheese and toppings over it and call it nachos -- they were laid out flat and then topped, Tex-Mex/Dallas style.

    Lately they expanded their menu to include "street style" tacos. Sorry, but tasteless and gross. And then their new idea of serving different kinds of chicken strips on a metal tray. What's the point?

    I have a co-worker who told me she loved the molten chocolate cake at Chili's. It made me so sad for her.....I directed her to the take-and-bake molten chocolate cakes at Standard Market in Naperville, a much better choice.

    I can appreciate (and celebrate) a good Tex/Mex restaurant and Chili's could be that. And for 80's nostalgia sake, I hope they make it. But I wouldn't bet on it.
  • Post #17 - September 9th, 2017, 7:27 pm
    Post #17 - September 9th, 2017, 7:27 pm Post #17 - September 9th, 2017, 7:27 pm
    I ended up at Chili's about 2 months ago. I originally thought it was my first time at one, but I remembered going to one on a business trip about 20 years ago. Either way, not the kind of place I'd usually choose. I just ordered a burger, and it was pretty good. Nothing I would run back for. But if you're stuck going there, you won't regret ordering the burger. One caveat, I just ordered a plain burger. No idea if the fancier burgers are any good.
  • Post #18 - September 9th, 2017, 8:07 pm
    Post #18 - September 9th, 2017, 8:07 pm Post #18 - September 9th, 2017, 8:07 pm
    stevez wrote:40% down, 60% to go.


    Wait, that's like Zeno's arrow! Chili's menu will never reach the origin.
  • Post #19 - September 11th, 2017, 2:35 pm
    Post #19 - September 11th, 2017, 2:35 pm Post #19 - September 11th, 2017, 2:35 pm
    Chili's is fine if you are in a strange smaller city you're never coming back to again, and you need some calories to fuel you though the next 8-12 hours. Ruby Tuesday's is in that category as well - I'm not interested in looking for a GNR candidate in Decatur IL or York PA, I just want to go to bed and not be hungry.

    In the 1970s, my dad used to stop at Howard Johnson's when we were on family vacations and needed dinner while on the road. But his rule was "nothing that is likely to make you sick and vomit in the car tomorrow." So it was usually stuff like grilled cheese sandwiches with a slice of ham. If they were busy, maybe a cheeseburger. Never clam strips.

    Chili's and Ruby Tuesday fit into that mold. One step above McDonald's or Chipotle, I know I can/could order a turkey avocado sandwich at Chili's or a Buffalo Chicken sandwich and a side salad bar pass at Ruby Tuesday, be in and out in 35 minutes, and go find my hotel or my airport.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #20 - September 11th, 2017, 5:54 pm
    Post #20 - September 11th, 2017, 5:54 pm Post #20 - September 11th, 2017, 5:54 pm
    threadkiller wrote: I'm not interested in looking for a GNR candidate in Decatur IL or York PA, I just want to go to bed and not be hungry.


    This is a depressing, anti-LTH sentiment, though I can hardly blame you.
  • Post #21 - September 21st, 2017, 6:18 pm
    Post #21 - September 21st, 2017, 6:18 pm Post #21 - September 21st, 2017, 6:18 pm
    I should have said "when I get in for a one night stay at 8pm."

    If I'm going to be someplace a couple of nights, I'll usually explore on the second night, and by then I may have some recommendations from the people I'm visiting.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #22 - September 21st, 2017, 8:37 pm
    Post #22 - September 21st, 2017, 8:37 pm Post #22 - September 21st, 2017, 8:37 pm
    Chili's baby back ribs ... pretty low-hanging fruit, isn't it?

    I have enjoyed the discussion it has led to on chicken-fried steak, though, having mostly only heard of it and not spent enough time in Texas or elsewhere in the South to have it much. Are there any places in Chicago--or anywhere in Illinois--with a recommendable CFS that I could keep an eye out for?

    I can identify with the appreciation for a decent place like Chili's to eat fairly late at night when travelling for work. I spent years arriving at places too late to get anything to eat on a plate inside or outside of the hotel and had to put together "dinner" out of whatever was in the vending machines.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #23 - September 21st, 2017, 8:58 pm
    Post #23 - September 21st, 2017, 8:58 pm Post #23 - September 21st, 2017, 8:58 pm
    In defense of Howard Johnson's (mentioned above as in the same category as Chilis), their fried clams were a family favorite, and never led to any problems. I believe Jacques Pepin was in charge of developing many of their recipes for a while.
  • Post #24 - September 21st, 2017, 9:02 pm
    Post #24 - September 21st, 2017, 9:02 pm Post #24 - September 21st, 2017, 9:02 pm
    Katie wrote:
    I have enjoyed the discussion it has led to on chicken-fried steak, though, having mostly only heard of it and not spent enough time in Texas or elsewhere in the South to have it much. Are there any places in Chicago--or anywhere in Illinois--with a recommendable CFS that I could keep an eye out for?


    Much thought has gone into that subject. See this old thread. viewtopic.php?p=31543

    Also, the hipster version served at Dove's Luncheonette is pretty good, too.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #25 - September 21st, 2017, 9:04 pm
    Post #25 - September 21st, 2017, 9:04 pm Post #25 - September 21st, 2017, 9:04 pm
    Right you are, Jonah! I for one would never badmouth Howard-Johnson's-in-its-time, given the high esteem in which I hold Jacques Pepin. It's said he created the lobster roll while working for Howard Johnson, and he deserves culinary sainthood just for that, if you ask me.
    Last edited by Katie on September 22nd, 2017, 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #26 - September 21st, 2017, 9:04 pm
    Post #26 - September 21st, 2017, 9:04 pm Post #26 - September 21st, 2017, 9:04 pm
    Thanks very much, stevez.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #27 - Yesterday, 6:47 am
    Post #27 - Yesterday, 6:47 am Post #27 - Yesterday, 6:47 am
    Katie wrote:Chili's baby back ribs ... pretty low-hanging fruit, isn't it?

    I have enjoyed the discussion it has led to on chicken-fried steak, though, having mostly only heard of it and not spent enough time in Texas or elsewhere in the South to have it much. Are there any places in Chicago--or anywhere in Illinois--with a recommendable CFS that I could keep an eye out for?



    I like the chicken fried steak at Stanley's Kitchen and Tap at 1970 N. Lincoln in Chicago, but the dish wasn't widely available where I grew up in the south and I haven't had the opportunity to try the famous versions in Texas so I can't say how it compares to the ideal.
    Cookingblahg.blogspot.com
  • Post #28 - Yesterday, 7:24 am
    Post #28 - Yesterday, 7:24 am Post #28 - Yesterday, 7:24 am
    https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article ... their-ribs
  • Post #29 - Yesterday, 9:35 am
    Post #29 - Yesterday, 9:35 am Post #29 - Yesterday, 9:35 am
    Katie wrote:I can identify with the appreciation for a decent place like Chili's to eat fairly late at night when travelling for work.

    Me too. I've been places where the only place to go is Applebee's, and that's a definition of hell. If a town has a Chili's instead of an Applebee's, I consider myself a lucky man.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #30 - Yesterday, 8:01 pm
    Post #30 - Yesterday, 8:01 pm Post #30 - Yesterday, 8:01 pm
    Thanks for the CFS suggestion, Coogles.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."

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