CHILI’S BAR & GRILL

827 Odd Fellows Rd
Crowley, LA 70526
(337) 783-1493

1/5 stars

This is probably the worst meal we’ve ever had on the road. There are only two things affirmative to be said about this place: our waitress, despite being a total flake and pretty disagreeable, had a nice accent; and none of us got sick (although we all felt kind of hungover afterward, like we had let our bodies down).

We were lured to Chili’s by a vague memory of decent margaritas enjoyed at the Odessa, TX, Chili’s two years ago. Difficult to say if we were remembering wrong or if the Crowley Chili’s is just breaking all kinds of franchise regulations and making all of the food and drinks by reconstituting powder. Whatever the case, we sat down wanting more than anything to like the margaritas. We flipped through the over-elaborate cocktail menu like doe-eyed ingenues on the evening of their 21st birthdays, cooing and gasping with anticipation. We settled on the “World’s Freshest Margarita”, which in retrospect we realize was given its name as a sinister prank. The 15 minutes it took for the margs to come out was, we told ourselves, promising – the bartender must be slicing and squeezing limes, carefully measuring proportions, chilling glasses, gently salting rims, etc. In fact, he was in the bathroom smelling his own farts and graffiti-ing the walls with huge-cocked trolls. Then he emptied one packet of the “W.F. Marg” powder into some hot water, stirred it with a cheese-encrusted spoon, and poured the urine-colored result over ice. Our margaritas were absolutely terrible. There is no reason for these margaritas to exist in the world. They are as tragic and unnecessary in 2010 as death by polio.

Even after having the skull of our expectations caved in by the jackbooted margaritas, we retained enough sensation to be upset by the food. If you were on a budget airline, and the food cart rolled up, and the flight attendant told you the food was all “south west” themed, and you bought some of it, you would be served the exact same thing Chili’s serves (and probably at the same price). The food ranged from an impossibly bland house salad to a vulgar plate of carnitas tacos, to a bean burger that Keith called “a glimpse into the depravity man is capable of committing when he’s unchecked in the middle of the bayou.”  All of it was reconstituted from powder by a droid in the kitchen.

It’s worth noting that Chili’s awful food is matched by awful service, so at least it can boast of having a certain perverse coherence. After the insane wait for drinks, our salads came out spaced at regular 5 minute intervals, affording that much-desired private dining experience, though you be a table with friends. Probably the sporadic pacing is the result of the droid in the kitchen having only a single pincer apparatus at its disposal – certainly a droid like Wall-E would have had no problem prepping the food in a more orderly fashion.

If this Chili’s had been about 25% better, we could easily say that we’d never go to another Chili’s again as long as we live. It was so bad, though, that we’re now compelled to visit another location in order to verify that the Crowley site was not a bizarre anomaly, possibly the result of a satanic curse transmitted by Li Grand Zombi when he was unable to get a table at the ante-curse, totally-okay Crowley Chili’s.

[3 out of 3 of us agree with this review]

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