Seminole Boulevard at Ulmerton Rd.
5430 E Bay Dr.  Clearwater, FL, 33764   727-539-8596

OH BOY! BAKED ALTOIDS!  —  I was one day out of the three day stay in a hospital and starving.  Twenty-five plus thousand dollars later after a wonderful ambulance trip and six saline bags, two gallons of Gatorade and finding nothing,  I was sick of sterile hospital food, what little I got, and went to get some greasy, caloric enhanced, screw the calories fodder. We went past Chili's and I told the wife to turn around.

PROTEIN ESSENTIALS   — I ordered the chopped steak, which in most places is really two hamburgers smooshed together, the bashed potatoes, which is really mashed filled with all kinds of accessories, a coke, and apple pie. To me that was the real recovery in my mind.   No one would believe me at first but the mashed potatoes came with a unique flavor  and I commented to my wife who was having a more conventional sandwich and soup.

I signaled the waitress, she came over and I asked “ Are these some kind of Spearmint flavored mash potatoes”?  She replied not to her knowledge. I didn't see the Spearmint on the gobs of butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, menu either.  I put some in a monkey dish, and asked her to taste it.  

She turned as green as the potatoes. She in turn called over the manager.  I asked him "What were they putting in the taters?"  They tasted like ALTOIDS, those breath mints.  Upon careful inspection of the kitchen the evidence turned up when the breath fresheners can was found near the staging area for gobs of powdered or premix potatoes.  

The manager agreed something had been inadvertently been added to the menu.  However we did solve the problem of the cook who had lost or mis=placed his ALTOID can. Which is a violation on the lists of the food police under personal food items near serving items.  ( PS: I had to look that one up)

I was not charged for dinner ( big deal) but charged for the wife’s dinner, because I had lost my appetite but still being charged for my wife’s dinner which was ruined by the whole incident and annoyed me because a smart manager should have taken the entire burden off the plate.  He did not accommodate me so I did what any food critic does put it in the paper.

He didn’t,  so I went viral. It  made my blog and the world a day later.  64,000 people got a laugh out of that. Today on YouTube it would have grossed a million.  I was not quit done, not done with that clown…yet.

Next day I made a swift call, followed by email to the home office of the Chilies chain. I was contacted by the district manager who promptly comped us another meal for two. Their manager, district manager, and staff handled the situation correctly. The comped meal was satisfaction and Ok but he recommended another location.

ITS OTHER THAN ALTOIDS A HEARTY MENU—  Overall its food is basically fun and great personnel makes it a good stop. Since I'm alone often, I usually sit in the bar where the food gets there faster and a cold brew is waiting. Their places are clean and the menu is always changing.

I prefer the bar as I get served faster and so do the folks on my left and right so I get to see more of what they order and scrutinize their food.   

Most bartenders have a personality, they last more often at one place, so they get to know you, and mine looks out for me.  On two occasions he sent back the plate for fresher fries, mine were cold and I never had to ask for water or to fill the drink.

Menu and specials change frequently, this is usually a busy place, lots of locals, even those from other eateries go there after work because it has a liquor license and very good bartenders. The food runs a 31/2 to 4 depending on whose working the grill.

Chili's Grill & Bar is a restaurant chain founded by Larry Lavine. The chain has more than 1400 Casual dining Restaurants, mostly located in the United States and Canada. Chili's is currently owned by Brinker International, which also owns Maggiano's Little Italy. 

The main flavor is Southwest Tex-Mex with the usual Burgers and Fries thrown in. Only once did I get a bad plate and thats got corrected in about two seconds.  

Chili's first location, a converted postal station on Greenville Avenue in Dallas, Texas, opened in 1975. Lavine's concept was to create an informal, full-service dining restaurant with a menu featuring different types of hamburgers offered at an affordable price. The brand proved successful, and by the early 1980s there were 28 Chili's locations in the region, all featuring similar Southwest decor.

In 1983, Lavine sold the company to restaurant executive Norman E. Brinker, formerly of the Pillsbury restaurant group. Chili's now has locations in all 50 U.S. states, 30 international locations and two territories.

Their competition is Applebees and Ruby Tuesday.  Ruby being in financial difficulties —