From Hot to Not: Pick a Pepper


Despite the fact that I’m watching my weight and changing my eating habits, I still like to eat out. Scratch that. I LOVE to eat out.  Splurging on a meal out every once in a while helps validate our process.  We’ve made general changes to what we eat and it includes portion control and the incorporation of many more vegetables. We aren’t dieting. That would imply there is an end to this. If we exclude the things that make us happy, then we’ll feel deprived and inevitably will go back to our old ways.

That’s not okay.

Instead, we eat in moderation. Make better choices overall. Little things like having water with our meal instead of pop make a huge difference. So when we eat out, we pick someplace that gives us lots of options.

I have a few favorite sit-down, casual, places that I like to eat and Chili’s is among the top. Aside from the fact that with a Foursquare check-in, you can get free chips and salsa or even dessert, there are plenty of other things to love. The Express Lunch Soup and Salad is my absolute favorite. I get it almost every time I go there. Their soup is to.die.for. They have a variety of options that allow each of us to find something we enjoy.

But the other day, I opened my inbox to find a Chili’s gift card compliments of their review program. The catch – I needed to check out their new Pick-a-Pepper menu.  Fine. Twist my arm.

So we headed off to our local Chili’s, sat down and checked in on Foursquare. While I was able to unlock a free chip and salsa deal, hubby had enough check-ins to score a free dessert. That’s because during the summer, he regularly took the kids there for “Kids eat free Tuesdays” when I was at work. Color me jealous. Thankfully, we share desserts so I wasn’t out in the cold. My girls love Chili’s as much as I do… not sure if it’s the free meals, the free chips or the free desserts. Free is good. Especially when it’s tasty.

Anyway… back to the menu. As DeShaun, our server, was taking our chip and salsa order from DH, I was checking out the new Pick-a-Pepper menu. It basically contains some of the same items you find on the regular menu but it provides an outline of the various pepper types and explains their flavors and heat levels. So as you read something on the menu, like “Smoky Chipotle Chicken Fajitas” or “Santa Cruz Steak” which includes a side of jalapeño-cheddar mashed potatoes, you can pull up their cheat sheet and find out how hot (or not) a Chipotle or jalapeño would be. The Pick-a-Pepper menu is a great tool for someone who isn’t sure what type of pepper they might like.

I’ll be honest and say that I’m a huge fan of spicy foods. Yet when it came to picking something off the menu, I opted for Roasted Red Pepper Grilled Chicken. Grilled chicken is one of the foods I’ve upped on the priority list when ordering out.  Instead of taking the suggested sides, I swapped it out for the Coleslaw and the Jalapeno mashed potatoes because those are two favorite items of my daughters and they would be happy to help me eat them.

While I lamented not ordering my soup and salad combo, once my meal arrived, I felt much better. The chicken was awesome and what I had of the sides before my kids commandeered them was also wonderful.

And of course, dessert was great, too.  But it always is.

Ordering next time will be more difficult… will it be the chicken again? Or my standard soup and salad? Or will I break down and try the new Chipotle Salmon? Sigh. It’s all so good…

One thing is certain though: I won’t have questions about the pepper types!

For more information about Chili’s, check out their website, find them on Facebookfollow them on Twitter or subscribe on YouTube.  You can also download Chili’s apps on iTunes and Google Play. Just don’t forget to check-in using Foursquare because free stuff rocks!

6 thoughts on “From Hot to Not: Pick a Pepper

  1. When I first started my weight loss, eating out was too much. It can be anxiety producing!

    Jalapeno mashed potatoes? Ohmygosh…sounds wonderful.

  2. I haven’t been to Chili’s in soo long – too long! All these dishes look soo good, and do I love peppers!! I want to go there again soon!

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