Restaurant review: Chili’s prices without the service


Finally, the repetitive droll of the Roadrunner cafe has been taken into account for on-campus diners. Chili’s Too opened Valentine’s Day to a modest number of students ready to try the restaurant’s popular Americana menu.
The half restaurant, half fast-food process is not too taxing for the student on the go but can lead to some minor setbacks. Instead of having the waiters come to table to take orders, Chili’s Too has opted for a cash register line similar to that of Burger King. After purchasing the food, students must take a number and find  a place to sit and wait.
Chili’s Too has really stepped up the competition in terms of appearance. Located in the old UC, the two-room seating area fits just around 100 people. There are various displays of UTSA paraphernalia, hanging artwork and one of two UTSA football helmets. The tables are even tiled similarly to its big brother, which is a nice touch for a university-based eating area. In the bar there are six 42-inch plasma television screens. Sorry Roadrunners, no alcoholic beverages are being served at this Chili’s spin-off. 
“We have only menu items that are under ten dollars at the moment,” opening Manager El-hadj Samassekou said. Students should expect not to see any steak, seafood or other more expensive items at Chili’s Too. And don’t expect to spend under $10 either. Most of the menu items are between $6-$8 and the drinks (which include free refills) are $2 plus tax.
At this price level, one might want to reconsider Chili’s Too as a daily meal. Dessert is between $5-$6 extra.That brings the overall cost to just under $20. Compared to the cafe’s $6-$8 flat rate price (which includes drinks, meal and dessert), one might wonder if someone on a budget can actually eat here.
Service left a lot to be desired. However, this is to be expected at such an early development stage of a restaurant. The bus staff was very efficient at clearing off used tables so that incoming patrons could find seats. Unfortunately, the waiters were not as efficient.
At peak business moments, most of the wait-staff is focused on clearing the lines and keeping order at the register. Students should expect to fend for themselves at busier periods of the day. The calculated wait time for food to arrive at the booth The Paisano sat at was approximately 13 minutes.
There were also an array of slip-ups during the opening. Some of the students ordering from the burger section were receiving incorrect orders. Chili’s Too does have a priority section to alleviate this problem somewhat, though. Resident District Manager for Aramark Michael Marr said that the buttons on the register needed to be tweaked  as well so this issue may dissipate over the following months.
The most important question, though, is whether the food is worth the extra long wait in comparison to the fast-food spots on campus. Surprisingly, the food outshines all of the categories this time around. Everything was properly cooked and was very faithful to the regular sized Chili’s.
“We hired a full time staff of Chili’s cooks,” Samassekou said.
Don’t fear poorer quality food because the staff’s cooking is above average. Anyone who orders a burger though should remember to specify how they want it cooked. The staffgenerally cooks burgers medium well, so don’t expect any pink spots (but always check before eating).
Chili’s Too might have had a rough start, but that doesn’t mean it can’t improve during the semester. The place is a little pricey even for its convenience, but Chili’s Too has one advantage over most other on-campus dining. It’s open on Sunday – a huge step in the right direction for the restaurant.
“We have comment cards available for students to give feedback,” Samassekou said.
The grand opening of Chili’s Too is in March.