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Monday, March 10, 2008

Chili's New Smokehouse Bacon Burgers

Since I am an active BzzAgent, I was mailed some coupons to try the new Smokehouse Bacon burgers at Chili's. I must say that the commercials I had been seeing everywhere sparked my curiosity. Those huge slabs of bacon they tossed on to the burgers in the commercial looked tasty to say the least.

We pulled in to Chili's on a Friday night, my standard party of four. We were greeted with a 20 minute wait. As we were standing around, a table opened up in the bar, so we grabbed it. We looked over the menu. They have a choice of three different Smokehouse bacon burgers, the "Southern Smokehouse Bacon Cheeseburger," the "Triple-The-Cheese Smokehouse Bacon Burger," and the "Jalapeno Smokehouse Bacon Cheeseburger."

I decided to get the "Triple-The-Cheese Burger" that is served with Jalapeno bacon, swiss cheese, cheddar cheese and come other cheese that I can't remember. Tim decided to order the "Jalapeno Smokehouse burger." Isabel and my wife decided to order the smaller Chipotle Bleu Cheese Bacon burger, with a vegetarian black bean patty and the bacon on the side. We also ordered an Awesome Blossom for the table. We were told that if we wanted our Awesome Blossom first, that it would delay the rest of the meal. We told them that it was ok to just bring the Awesome Blossom with the meal.

All of the food, including the Awesome Blossom arrived in about 10-15 minutes. The Awesome Blossom was cold. I think they probably did make it first and then just left it sitting back there until the rest of our food was cooked.

I looked down at my Smokehouse burger. The bacon, instead of looking yummy like the commercials, instead looked more like leather. One of the pieces also looked very charred. I tried to break apart the pieces of bacon to more uniformly place them on my burger. This was a challenge. Not only did the bacon look like leather, it felt like leather. The burger itself was incredibly bland. I added a lot of salt and raw onion, and the onion was the only thing that had any flavor. It's so hard to make a truly bad burger, but it looks like Chili's has succeeded.

Since Isabel and my wife ordered their bacon on the side, I was able to put both bacons next to each other to compare. While the standard bacon was much smaller, it was also tastier and a lot easier to eat.

Tim didn't seem to like his burger much either. He also thought it was very bland. He said, "All the components of a good burger are there, but they just don't taste like anything." Isabel and my wife seemed to really enjoy their meatless black bean burger. They ranked it as much better than a garden burger or boca burger.

I can say with much confidence that we won't be returning to Chili's for their Smokehouse Bacon burgers any time soon.

Chili's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Im a bzzagent to but I didnt get invited to the Chilis campaign...My brother and other members of my family did and they said the hamburgers were awesome. They ate at the one in Huntington Beach on beach blvd if that makes a difference? lol

Griffin said...

Maybe our Chili's in Irvine was just having an off day. The burger was so bad though that it made me want to not go back to Chili's again for anything.

Anonymous said...

we just ate there last night and their smokehouse burger was the best thing Ive ever had. we are at a chili's in Jacksonville, fl though.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I've tried all the Smokehouse Bacon Burgers and by far the best for me has been the Southern Smokehouse. I've had maybe 6 since their inception and it's never been bad! On that burger, the bacon is coated with brown sugar and is absolutely amazing! I can't go to Chili's and NOT get that burger!