I generally try to avoid reviewing too many sandwiches for any particular restaurant in a row, since I want to cover as wide an array of sandwiches as possible.  However, I was hanging out with some friends last week and we decided to eat at Chili’s.  My friend Matt (East) and I chose the $20 Dinner for Two special, which includes 2 entrées and an appetizer to split for the pittance of $20.  The options for the entrée are somewhat limited, and the Classic Bacon Burger was the only available sandwich.  I don’t often go for simpler burgers like that, but I didn’t have much choice in the matter.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!

The Classic Bacon Burger includes a patty and bacon (of course), as well as cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and mayo.  It’s a fairly standard recipe, without much of a hook to get you interested.  But there’s a reason this is such a common menu item.  It works.  This burger was delicious.  The patty was juicy and cooked to perfection, the bacon was crisp but not brittle, the onion added flavor without being overpowering.  Though I try to avoid it, I often find my attention diverted to sauces or buzzwords used to sell new sandwiches.  There’s nothing wrong with a classic every now and then.
I’d definitely recommend the Classic Bacon Burger.  As part of the deal, it’s cheap but still satisfying.  As for the appetizer, we shared the Texas Cheese Fries.  They were good, but a half order isn’t much food when split between two people.  Also, since I know they’d bug me about it if I didn’t mention it, Brian and Adam were there too.
In other news, I added a search box and some WordPress meta stuff to the sidebar.  Now you can search for keywords instead of just clicking tags, and if you happen to be a WordPress user you can log in to leave comments etc.  I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank  Southwest Michigan Dining for the link, and to welcome any new readers to Sandwichtalk.  I try to update on average about once a week, with sandwich-related news and reviews.
Well, that’s pretty much it.  I hope everyone’s holidays were wonderful, and I’ll see you all in the new year!!

As long time readers know, I’m partial to Quiznos in general.  I like the way they manage to offer a larger number of options while still guiding you towards favorable combinations.  Also, we had a coupon, so I decided to review the Prime Rib and Peppercorn sub.

Pay attention to the limited offer, it'll be important later.

The Prime Rib and Peppercorn is one of their signature subs, so it has steak as opposed to cold cuts.  It also included mozzarella, sautéed onions, and a (criminally) Mild Peppercorn sauce.  With a name like that, I don’t expect my mouth seared off, but a peppercorn sauce should add some level of spice.  This was barely noticeable.  I was torn while ordering between this and their Prime Rib Mushroom and Swiss sandwich, until I realized they were pretty similar (prime rib, cheese, something sautéed).  This wasn’t a bad sandwich, but it wasn’t a particularly memorable one either.

The Prime Rib and Peppercorn cost around $6, without any sides or drinks.  I’ve mentioned in the past that I love Quiznos for their numerous, well-defined price points.  If you want a $3 sandwich, you can get one.  If you want a $5 sandwich, you can get one.  The flip side of this, however, is that if you don’t want one of their value menu options (which are a bit more limited and rarely rotated), you can end up paying quite a bit for a sub, a bag of chips and a drink.  New subs are put on sale for a little while, but then the price rockets up to standard menu rates.

Have I lost faith in Quiznos?  Not really.  I’d still recommend it for the value menu, and the occasional sale specials.  But I wouldn’t particularly recommend the Prime Rib and Peppercorn.  You can do better than that for the price elsewhere on the menu, not to mention at other restaurants.

Chili’s is a restaurant/bar franchise similar to Applebee’s, TGIFriday’s and the like.  They’re best known for their Baby Back Ribs, but they also have a number of burgers, sandwiches, and tacos on their menu.  I decided to try the Ground Peppercorn Burger, one of their “Big Mouth Burgers”.

Kind of a mouthful, not gonna lie.

The main feature of the Ground Peppercorn Burger is the patty, which is “crusted with ground black pepper and spices.”  This gives the burger an interesting flavor.  I’m not usually a big pepper/spicy guy, but the burger was flavorful in addition to having a kick.  Too many sandwiches just incorporate hot sauce into the recipe without regard to overall flavor, a pitfall Chili’s has neatly avoided.  The burger also included everyone’s favorite topping this year, crispy onion straws.  I like them, but they don’t always add a whole lot to the overall feel of the burger, and I feel like they’ll be forgotten by this time next year for the next big fad.  My only big complaint with this burger was the bleu cheese dressing, specifically the scant amount on the burger.  It was intended as a counterpoint to the spiciness of the patty, but there wasn’t enough of it to achieve the right balance.  In addition to the featured toppings, tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles were included, no complaints there.

The Ground Peppercorn Burger came with fries and cost around $7.00.  It was a good meal at a decent price, so I’d recommend it.  Next time I think I’ll try one of their more opulent burgers, like one of their Smokehouse options, but for fans of spicy but not too spicy burgers, Chili’s is the place to go.