Chili’s does Pizza?????

27 Sep


Irony is a great dipping sauce.

Somebody quote me on that because that line is gonna linger, I figure.

CHILI’s is doing PIZZA and it’s DAMN GOOD!!!!!!!!

The other day I was pitching a fit about how much I disliked the direction certain chains were going – Chili’s included. (click to read it)

Growing up, I always rather liked Chili’s.  They had a dish I loved (the tomato-basil-chicken-pasta) and it was the best thing they ever made —and — discontinued— (why does the world hate me so?)

So after several recent years of so-so burgers,wings, and chicken crispers- I was kinda done.   Oh sure, Chili’s will forever hold me ransom with their Chocolate Lava Cake (good Lord it’s soooo good) but Chili’s was slowly fading off my radar.

Add to this, the fact that people LOVE to point out my errors (like spelling/grammatical mistakes in this damn blog- I say SAMMICHES in real life, people) OR – serve me up some Irony as a dipping sauce (told you this was gonna be huge someday).

So out of nowhere tonight, I am brought this huge styrofoam (Dear Chili’s – just invest in some pizza boxes – this styrofoam thingie ain’t gonna work) by a friend.

ME:  What is it?

THEM:  Open it.  It’s from Chili’s.  Open it!!!!

ME:  I am mad at Chili’s right now, I don’t wanna open it.

THEM:  Shut up and open it.   I swear you will like it.

DAMN THEIR RIGHTNESS!!!!

Just about the only thing Chili’s could do to make me stop dead in my tracks would be the return of that chicken pasta dish (oh the garlic bread with that thing….yum) OR some show-stopping-october-surprise type deal.

BANG.

Now, of course, this pizza wasn’t as perfectly hot and fresh as it would have been had I been to the restaurant.  But it was still nice and warm.  The first thing that struck me was how THICK this is.   It’s a nine-inch pan-pizza style.  You can see the crust below:

I was expecting a Pizza Hut type bread-y crust, and this is similar but not that crunchy.  This is a little uneven actually.   You can see in the first picture, that’s not a little char going on, that is some burnt ass crust on one piece.

Underneath, the crust ranges from tender and light, to crispy with a slight chew towards the edges.

This was a two topping pie (Pepperoni and Seasoned Ground Beef) and the slices are at least an inch thick.  The beef and pepperoni both are flavorful and not just some typical pizza supply house toppings.  Good sauce too.  Wish there was just a little more of it though.

On the bad side, this pizza is so top-heavy, that during the first bite, the whole shebang tends to get pulled right off the crust.  So maybe a fork (sacrilege!) would be wise here for those not wishing to live dangerous and have hot pizza toppings slide off and scald their chins.

From what I hear, Chili’s is making a solid investment in this pizza direction.  The new menus have it on the cover, it’s part of the “Two for 20” deal, and it has its own section on the menu with the various toppings and specialty pizzas they offer.

This truly rocks me back on my heels because it’s a damn good pizza.  It’s thick and hearty and I challenge anyone to polish off a whole one by themselves and not be satisfied (or at least- miserably full–ha).

For me, this is a game changer for Chili’s.  It’s a huge step away from Burgers and fried foods.  This tells me Chili’s is serious about competing for my dollar.  They have developed a great little pizza here.  I can totally see these blowing up for them.

It’s a little pricey – 10 bucks or so for a one topping – 1.50 for each additional topping.   So in the world of Five-dollar-large-pizzas from the local chain joints, this is kinda high.

But – I challenge that because this doesn’t taste cheap.  Premium comes at a premium price and I would be happy to pay more for a pie like this.

As a pizza junkie – it’s what I would call a “craver” pizza.    I typically love light and thin style.  But, on occasion, I get a hard-core craving for deep-dish-comfort-food-style pizza.   Until recently, I didn’t have a “go- to” move for that style.  Now I do.

So I have to tip the cap and give total props to Chili’s for this.  I was shocked by this move and instantly won over by the pizza.

In this case, eating my words taste pretty damn good.

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3 Responses to “Chili’s does Pizza?????”

  1. Mathew Godfrey (@MathewGodfrey2) August 21, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    I think they discontinued it. I sure hope not. It became my new favorite thing. Tasted awesome with a side of ranch.

    • junkfoodcritic August 23, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

      discontinued the pizza??? wha??? Figures. It was just about the only thing I liked there anymore.

      • Brett October 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

        They have some of the flatbreads but yes, the pizzas are gone. The Chilis pepperoni pizza was one of my “go-to’s” the last two years. Such a surprinsgly good pizza!

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