Chillin’ at Chili’s

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By Bruce Apar

When Bruce The Blog Listens, People Talk


When I saw today on the Ziosk mini-screen atop the Chili’s bar that happy hour ended 6 p.m., panic was not far behind. It’s 5:45 already! Hurry up and take my order. But the bartender calmly informed me 6 p.m. applied solely to food. For 2-for-1 drinks, happy hour is “every day, all day.” Thinking earwax was clogging my canal, I said, “Wait just one minute, Missy. You mean to say your happy hour is 24/7?” Missy gently affirmed. Oh… my… guacamole! I thought I died and went to cielo.

Chili's beer and menu

Two-for-one beers, wine, “well” mixed drinks (as in not premium brands), and classic margaritas are served at Chili’s round-the-clock.

Chili’s
Somers Commons Shopping Center
80 US-6, Baldwin Place 10505
(914) 621-0216

Since my mucho better half, Elyse, only goes one round at happy hour — though she lasts a lot longer when sparring with me — I commandeered one of her two classic margaritas, for starters; like Vegas used to do in its showrooms when you ordered a drink before the show began, Chili’s brings both drinks at once (for the price of one; $7.29 for a classic margarita). That refreshment didn’t last very long, and for a chaser, I ordered a Sam Adams summer ale (think positive!), and Bruce got two brews. That was $5.29. Not bad for a night’s work.

On the food side, we ordered the classic nachos, which we quickly noticed were prepared differently from the past in this establishment, much to our taste buds’ delight. Instead of the typical mountain of chips slathered in melted Velveeta cheese, these were separate triangles closer to quesadillas in texture and appearance. They are “Topped with 3-cheese blend, black beans, jalapeños & our Skillet Queso. Served with house-made pico de gallo & sour cream.”

We added beef and guacamole, both slightly extra. Cost for a regular size: $7.19. Bodily damages: a mere 1020 calories.

Chili's nachos

Classic nachos are a welcome departure from the all-too-common Mount Velveeta that other places shove in front of you.

That should have been enough, but my eyes outsized my stomach, so I prevailed on my lady friend to also order the southwestern eggrolls. $8.49. Per the menu, they are… “Crispy flour tortillas stuffed with juicy smoked chicken, black beans, corn, jalapeño Jack cheese, chopped red peppers & spinach.

Chili's southwestern eggrolls

Southwestern egg rolls do NOT have an MSG option. Nobody’s complaining.

Served with avocado-ranch sauce.” And only 800 calories, positively dietetic by Chili’s standards. After I ate one, with a dab of sour cream, we asked for a doggie styrofoam to take the rest home for weekend snacks in between sets at the gym.

Chili’s horseshoe bar is abuzz with a wide range of customers, which makes for constant people watching, if that’s your thing. We spotted our friend Robin Newhook across the bar, and she came over to catch up. Makes for a friendly, casual ambience, with plenty of room to move around. Or you can gaze at the array of flat screens above the din, tuned to sports and newsd.
Bar TVs

Array of flat screens are served free.

Part of the new Chili’s menu, we quickly discovered, is that none of the drinks are accompanied by prices. I get it. It lets them change the pricing at will, pegged no doubt to fluctuating barley futures and such.

About those hours: for food, happy hour pricing is 3-6 Monday-Friday, and also 9-close Monday-Thursday, plus all day Sunday. For drinks, happy hour is round-the-clock. Enjoy, but don’t overdo. That way, you’ll enjoy the morning after too.

 


SAFETY NOTE: Remember, if you intend to drive afterwards, keep any alcohol in your bloodstream safely below 0.08%, the legal limit above which you will be charged with Driving Under the Influence, or DUI, for both your own protection and that of others on the road. When in doubt what your blood alcohol level may be, err on the side of caution and stick to being a passenger.


Bruce Apar owns and operates APAR All-Media, a Hudson Valley agency for advertising, content, marketing and public relations. Follow both APAR All-Media and Hudson Valley WXYZ on Facebook. Reach him at bapar@me.com.

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