Chili’s has been running a “House of Ribs” special through August, and I was invited to taste their new offerings. Due to an unfortunate problem with their supplier, on the first day that I visited, the ribs were out of stock. So, I had to split my tasting into two visits during which I got the opportunity to try a wide range of dishes, including some of the stars of their new menu – the Blackberry Smash, Fresh Mex Salad bowl, the Texas Trio, and Chocolate Cheese Cake. But, I’ll come back to those later on, because the chief attraction of the House of Ribs are quite obviously their new ribs.
The three new flavours of ribs are – Roasted Garlic BBQ Ribs, Cherry Cola Ribs, and Blueberry. The Blueberry is the one that sounded the most tempting, but turned out to be a disappointment as the blueberry flavour in the sauce turned out to be quite muted. However, I loved both of the other sauces – Roasted Garlic and Cherry Cola. The latter deserves a special mention for its unique cola like flavour. Eating ribs is supposed to be a messy affair, but all the three ribs had barely enough sauce. This problem was accentuated by the fact that the ribs were a tad dry. I’d highly recommend asking for a separate serving of a bowl of sauces on the side.
The Texas trio is a dish that comes with a Grilled Salmon, Chipotle Chicken, and Original Ribs. Since on the first day ribs were not available, I had replaced the ribs with a tenderloin steak, but I tried the dish in its original avatar on the second day. The original ribs were pretty much what I had experienced on my first visit. Juicy and delicious. The steaks had turned out to be a major disappointment during my previous visit, and I was hoping that they’d have had the opportunity to correct the dish by now. To my surprise, the waiter refused to serve medium-rare citing health concerns. So, I had to opt for a medium-well version. This wasn’t ideal, but what was served was even worse. The steak I received was beyond even well done, and the taste and texture of meat was completely destroyed. The Classic Bacon Burger also had the same issue with the beef patty being cooked to the point of becoming dry. Even the Salmon was a tad overcooked on the first day, but by my second visit this had been rectified. The Chipotle Chicken, however, was grilled to perfection, with a wonderfully tangy and lively marination.
The Fresh Mex salad bowl is a mix of grilled chicken, black beans, tortilla strips, avocado, and sour cream. It isn’t exactly the kind of salad I love, but my friends enjoyed it. The chocolate cheese cake is actually a layered cake served in a glass, and the name is definitely misleading. The individual layers are quite delicious. However, they are a tad to thick, which makes it difficult to dig in and scoop up multiple layers at one go. The dessert that I really loved is Paradise Pie – a delightful combo of gooey pie topped with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, and hot fudge.
The Banjara outlet is also serving alcohol right now, and they do make some neat cocktails. I enjoyed my Texas Tea and Long Island Iced Tea. The Presidente Margarita demands a premium, but is actually one of the best margaritas that I’ve tried. If you want something a bit more heady though you should try the El Nino. And in case you’re unsure, go for the Rita Trio which offers small portions of Presidente, El Nino, and Tropical Sunrise.
The House of Ribs promo is now entering its last week, and while the ribs have some room for improvement, but I enjoyed the couple of new sauces. You should still steer clear of anything to do with beef, but there’s still plenty to like in Chili’s. Check out my Chili’s Hyderabad Review for more.