In the U.S.A., Chili’s is a fairly popular chain restaurant based on Southwest and Southern fusion with a penchant for hot and spicy food.. And as restaurants went in the States, it was one of my favourites and then we moved north of the border. Chili’s were few and much farther between.
The first one in Saskatoon opened about three to four years ago and the service and food was not stellar. This was due partially to the fact that it is not corporate. part of the American chain, but also partially because it was a franchise. In the years since, the service has improved drastically, as has the quality of the food.
But that was all Pre-CD. In the last two years since diagnosis, I was learning what I could eat and what I couldn’t without glutenizing myself. Then, my family went back again, I figured out they had a GF menu and this is where the review will start! 😉
Rating – 4.5 out of 5 Peppers – The service has become a highlight and the food has become much more consistent and better in quality to the point that it now one of our favourite restaurants. The only reason it’s not a 5 out of 5 is the simple reason it’s not a GF restaurant.
Location: Preston Crossing, Saskatoon
Restaurant type: Gluten friendly – they have a GF menu, but it is better to talk to the wait staff. Supposedly the menu has not been updated in quite awhile and there are other options that should be included.
Food: On my last visit, I tried one of their new steaks, a Pepper Jack Ribeye. Along with the perfectly cooked steak, I was able to get french fries cooked in a dedicated fryer with their spicy salt mix. The meal was phenomenal
The meal before that I went for a simpler fare with Cajun wings – and they were adequate. The flavour was there and they were cooked well, it’s just the size of the wings was a tad small. But for restaurant wings they were definitely not the worst, and only slightly above average. The steak was the much better option.
Selection: There is a decent amount of GF menu options. However as I mentioned before, it is better to ask the wait staff about all of the options. For instance, the Pepper Jack Ribeye was not on the GF menu since it was brand new. And the waiter/manager was able to walk me through all of the side options to ensure that I was getting GF!
Price: It’s a chain restaurant and is on par with most of the chain restaurants. About $25 for the steak and $10 for the higher end apps. I fed my family of four for roughly $75 without adult bevvies, tip included. So not necessarily a four night a week meal destination.
Spicy Ending: When this restaurant first opened, we were underwhelmed by everything. Now that they have had time to work out some of the kinks, it has become a place worth visiting again and again – even calling it one of my favourite restaurants again!
As some of you have surmised, I now live in the the Great White North (of North America), otherwise known as Canada. I’m originally from the States, but now call the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, my home.
In this Bridge City, there is a local literary show called “Lit Happens,” hosted by local author, some-time celebrity and friend, Wes Funk. About two months after starting this blog, he asked to join him on the show for a segment about this blog. I finally gave in about a month ago. So here’s my interview with Wes!
I may have said this before … but I’ll say it again – I love cookies. One of my favourites has always been the original chocolate chip cookie. And if there’s a batch being cooked, my wife has said I have radar for cookies and always seem to appear when cookies come out of the oven,
So the idea of cookies have always intrigued me – especially when combining two of my favourite flavours – chocolate and peanut butter. Thus the Wookie Cookie and now this “Candy” Bar, which combines those flavours in a bar form. It’s fun and easy and seems to be a hit with my kids at least.
2 cups (450 g) firmly packed brown sugar 1/2 cup (125 g) butter, melted
3 eggs 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla 2 cups (450 g) GF flour 2 tsp (10 g) baking powder 1/2 tsp (3 g) salt 1/2 cup (120 g) M&Ms
1/2 cup (120 g) Reese’s Pieces
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9 by 13 pan.
In a stand mixer, blend your sugar and melted butter together.
Add your eggs and vanilla as your batter continues to blend.
Mix in your flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
Stir in your candy, making sure that it is mixed completely.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes in a convection and about 25-30 minutes without convection. Let it cool completely before you cut it.
As someone with Celiac’s Disease, you know it’s difficult to have good bread. Luckily, this simple recipe makes great bread for just a snack and is awesome for French Toast. This recipe is great whether using Glutenized flour or GF flour – as always check your GF flour to ensure you the recipe works well. In some cases, you will need xantham gum, but if like me you use a good mix it’s either already included or you won’t need it.
1 cup (225 g) white sugar
1/2 cup (125 g) margarine melted
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
1 tsp (5 g) salt
1.5 cups (340 g) GF flour
3 mashed bananas
1 tsp (5 g) baking soda
Mix everything in order while your oven pre-heats to 350 degrees.
This is a double batch.
Bake in a greased pan for about an hour – if you’re using a convection oven, you need to watch the time or temp. Lower the temp 25 degrees or lower the time of cooking by 25 percent – one or the other and only if you are using a convection oven.
Let it cool completely and enjoy!
If you’re like me and enjoy nuts, you can add about a half cup per recipe if you want.