August 27, 2012 Achrafieh Beirut Lebanon Middle East

What's Happening to my Favorite Diner?
Casual Dining

Phone Number: +961 1 334 900

Address: Zahhar, Achrafyeh, Independence Avenue, Beirut, Lebanon


Price Range: 25-50 $


Welcoming: 3/5

Food Temperature: 7/10

Ambiance / Music: 7/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 17/30

Architecture / Interior: 8/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 5/10

Value for money: Soon

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Chili's, Grilling in Lebanon since 1999. It was a great experience every time until lately. Sadly!

As I have already mentioned in my previous review on Chili's, I consider this diner to be one of my favorite spots in town.

I have even mentioned it as number one in the top 10 list of Lebanon's diners. But after my last visit, I can't say the same thing about it again.

I wanted to try the new menu of Chili's. The ads on the roads where tempting and created a buzz around town. I automatically thought that for sure I would like the new menu. I have always enjoyed and with now with a new menu the experience should only be better one.

The new menu sections:

  • Premium and signature Margaritas
  • Speciality drinks, beer, wine
  • Appetizers
  • Soups and Chili
  • Salads
  • Sandwiches
  • Big Mouth Burgers
  • Southwestern Pastas
  • Baby Back Ribs
  • Fire Grilled Steaks
  • Southwest Grill (Quesadillas, Tacos, Fajitas)
  • Chicken and Seafood
  • Custom Combos and Side Dishes

New items on the menu:

  • Texas Cheese Poppers
  • BBQ Chicken Salad
  • Chipotle Pesto Pasta
  • Cilantro Pesto Pasta

We ordered:

  • Mushroom-Swiss Burger (with sautéed mushroom, Swiss cheese and mayo)
  • Cajun Club Sandwich (a traditional club sandwich with a kick, stacked high with your choice of grilled or smoked turkey, topped with applewood smoked bacon, cheddar, Swiss and jalapeño jack cheeses, lettuce and tomato)
  • Classic Nachos (with melted cheese, jalapeños, beans, quest and a hint of seasoned beef. Served with house-made guacamole and sour cream)

The food experience:

  • Nachos and cheese are not crunchy, served warm not hot and really too oily.
  • The club sandwich is really special: three different kinds of cheese in one sandwich of fresh tender square bread melting between the layers of tomato, lettuce and turkey. The dominant ingredient is the apple wood smoked bacon. Four big tasty portions served in a basket of thick french fries.
  • The burger is a bit too dry. I had to add ketchup to it giving it a sweet and juicy taste. Mushroom burgers should have a mixed mushroom sauce, not simple sliced mushrooms added on top of the patty! What gives the juicy taste to such a burger is the mushroom mixed with the swiss cheese. The only ingredient I felt between my teeth are the American pickles. The meat is dry as well and a bit overcooked. This menu item should be revisited.
  • Chili's french fries were my preferred. Thick and crunchy covered with a mix of salt and pepper and fried with their skin. Today was not one of those good days. The fries were warm, spongy and not as I expected them.
  • Fries with the burger show a stinginess that wasn't one of Chili's characteristics.

The service:

  • Two waiters only for such a big restaurant?
  • For only four tables having lunch, we had to wait like 10 minutes every time to find a waiter around?
  • Waiters cleaning plates and making annoying sounds in the middle of the restaurant, while guests are having lunch?

I was definitely expecting much better. I was used to much better. Even though it was at lunch time, that doesn't justify the bad service and bad food.

The overall experience:

It saddens me a great deal to have to write a negative review about Chili's but what I experienced today was unacceptable! There's a saying that goes "if it ain't broke don't fix it" Everything was much better, why did you have to change things.

Unfortunately Chili's have dropped way down on 'my best diners of Lebanon list' and if nothing is done to fix their mistakes, it will cost them a lot.

Suitable For: Casual Dining





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