One of my favorite chain restaurants to eat at is Chili’s. We especially love their all you can eat chips and salsa. So when I was recently contacted by Chili’s marketing team to go try out their new menu, I jumped at the chance. For disclosure, I was given a $50 gift card for the dinner from the Chili’s marketing team and I have not received any compensation for writing this review.
The kids of course stuck with stuff that they usually have on the menu like mac and cheese and burgers. The new Caribbean Salad sounded delish to me -fresh pineapple, mandarin oranges, dried cherries, green onions, and cilantro with your choice of grilled chicken or grilled shrimp then topped with and honey-lime dressing. However, my husband isn’t a big salad guy and we decided to share a meal that night. We split one of the new $9.99 fresh pairings.
With the fresh pairings you get your choice of appetizer – Chips & Salsa, Half Order of Southwestern Egg rolls, Fried Cheese, Half Order of Texas Cheese Fries,or Crispy Onion String & Jalapeño Stack. Or course, we went for the all you can eat chips and salsa and shared them with the kids. For the entree, we chose the mini taco combo: 2 of the crispy chicken tacos with apple-wood smoked bacon, pico de gallo, cheese, lettuce, honey-chipotle and ranch dressing – and 2 of the pulled pork tacos with caramelized onions and Shiner Bock® BBQ sauce then topped with Cotija cheese and cilantro. The tacos are on corn shells and also comes with rice and black beans.
Both tacos were yummy, but I absolutely love the pulled pork tacos. I love the smoky pork along with the tangy cotija cheese. However, my hubby loved the crispy chicken tacos and thought that the honey-chipotle dressing was the best. Neither one was extremely spicy either. The rice was good, but neither one of us really cared for the black beans.
The $9.99 fresh pairings was plenty of food for two people to share, especially with the chips and salsa. The kids were also pleased with their usual burgers and mac and cheese. We also got one dish of the Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie for us all to share (which we don’t usually splurge for). I wondered what the kids would think of it because it contains walnuts and coconut – two things that my kids are not fans of. However, they ate it up and loved it. They all thought it was the best dessert ever. Me and my hubby also loved the little that we were able to eat as the kids were devouring it.
My hubby and I also went another day for a lunch date and shared another item from the $9.99 fresh pairings. Of course we had the chips and salsa, but split the Smoked Turkey Sandwich. The sandwich is made with smoked turkey along with maple bacon, arugula, tomatoes, honey-mustard all on a chile-pepper roll. I really think the chile-pepper roll is what makes this sandwich. You also get their fries, which I love too. Overall, I impressed with the new menu and I am definitely gonna try that Caribbean Salad sometime soon.
So after we had our family evening at Chili’s I remembered I had a recipe saved for a copy cat version of Chili’s Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie from Or So She Says. I decided to give it a try and see how it compares. However, the recipe was missing the coconut that is in the Paradise Pie. So I altered the recipe to bring in the coconut. It was fabulous but not the same as the Chili’s Pie, but darn close. I could eat that stuff all by itself. It is soft, chewy, gooey, chocolate heaven.
So two main things to tell you about the recipe. Number 1 is, it makes a whole jelly roll pan. So it is great for a crowd, but a little dangerous if you only have a family of five. I must admit I had a plain piece of the pie one morning for breakfast. I told you it was good and I could eat it all by itself! So after this incident I figured it was best to put the rest in the freezer. However, then I did have to get some out of the freezer to try and see how it is after being in the freezer. Results – still delish!
Number 2 is, it did overflow a little while cooking in my oven. Not much, but enough to make a mess. So I recommend putting a sheet of foil on you oven rack before placing it in the oven. Then any overflow will get and the foil and you can throw it away and not have a messy oven.
So if you haven’t tried Chili’s Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie, try it the next time you go their and then try this recipe and tell me what you think. You can also just give this recipe a try just cause it is so good!
My Version of Chili’s Chocolate Chips Paradise Pie
- 1 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 6 eggs
- 3 tsp. vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup coconut
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips
- caramel sauce
- hot fudge sauce
- more chopped walnuts (optional, I only had enough to make the pie but more to go on top would have been fabulous)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a jelly roll pan (this is the bakers half sheet size – it’s like 11 1/2 inch x 16 1/2 x 1 or you could use 2 9×13 inch pans. The pie may be a little thicker and may take a little longer to cook).
- In a large bowl, combine sugar and melted butter; beat with electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla; mix well.
- Combine flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add to the sugar mixture; mix well.
- Stir in nuts, coconut, and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake 40+ minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Serve warm, or reheat individual servings in the microwave (10 seconds for a serving). Top with ice cream drizzled with caramel sauce and hot fudge sauce then sprinkled with chopped walnuts . Or just eat them like a brownie or bar cookie. They are also excellent that way too. Makes 24.