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Chili’s Turns Burgers Into Art With Their New Line-Up

May 3, 2017

Can food be art? Can art be food? These are questions that’ve long been the subject of debate. But you know the feeling when you sink your teeth into something so glorious, it elicits pleasurable emotions far beyond mere physical satiety? Food, like art, can be a medium through which you communicate with an audience. And by playing with different flavor profiles, textures, and ingredients, it can be an avenue through which you can exercise creativity.

Take the case of the hamburger. Simple at its core but more complex than meets the eye, every part of the burger plays a role in the whole. Sure you can throw anything between buns and call it a day, but it takes a truly special combination to make something magical. Starting with the bread: should you go for pillowy-soft potato buns, rustic ciabatta, or buttery brioche? For the patty: what meat and which cuts should you include in your blend? And while the quintessential hamburger is composed of just the bread and the meat, you can add flavor and texture by way of toppings. Need creaminess? Spread on some mayonnaise or layer on slices of avocado. Crunch? Enter veggies or crushed tortilla chips. Sweetness? Try pineapples or barbecue sauce. Cheese? Take your pick from the countless varieties found all over the world. Piquancy? Mustard or pickled jalapenos might just be your best friend.

At Chili’s, you know they take their burger game seriously, and these new creations are masterpieces in their own right. Starting with their sliders—each of which pack a punch in small packages. The Bacon Perfection Bites deliver the flavor profile of a traditional burger taken up a smoky, spicy notch, with their house-made beef patty with bacon bits topped with more bacon, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, cheese, jalapeno aioli in between soft, buttery buns. Or for a bite with a zip, get the Shrimp Masterpieces, which pair a juicy shrimp patty with zingy pickled onion coleslaw and pico de gallo, creamy chipotle aioli, Southwest Cajun seasoning, and Queso Fundido.

For the full experience, go for the big guns; Chili’s, of course, delivers these heavyweights in big portions that can satisfy even the biggest of appetites. There’s the bacon, egg, and Queso Fundido-topped Sunrise Burger that delivers the comforting flavors of your favorite breakfast, and oozes gloriously as you sink your teeth. Better yet is the Magnificent Beef & Shrimp Burger, a colossal creation which brings together the best of both worlds: burger and shrimp patties, pickled onion coleslaw, pico de gallo, chipotle aioli, and avocado slices for a wave of flavor that goes from zingy to creamy and juicy to crunchy in each mouthful.

Because eating is a holistic experience, the sides matter too, and each burger plate gets you a portion of fries—take your pick from the chili-parmesan or garlic-parmesan variants for a cheesy, piquant break in between burger bites. But you cannot miss their Crispy Corn Masa Fries, which combine toasted corn and potatoes for a polenta fries-potato hybrid that stays crisp outside but fluffy inside with the nutty flavor of corn. Pair your meal with any of the shakes—go with the Molten Shake if you’re feeling chocolatey, or the Coffee Toffee shake to give yourself a jolt—and finish off with the limited-edition Salted Caramel Molten Cake, a magnum opus of ice cream-topped salted caramel cake with a molten caramel center. Whichever way you go, you get a delicious experience that connects not only to the body, but—like any fine piece of art—to the soul.

Patricia Baes SEE AUTHOR Patricia Baes Trish thinks too much about everything—truth, existence.....and what’s on her plate. Her ongoing quest for a better relationship with food has led to a passion for cooking, gastronomy, and a newfound interest in its politics. She is a cheapskate in other aspects of her life, preferring to use her savings on specialty vinegars and degustation menus. While she admits to eating out too much, cooking and baking remain her first love, and she's always looking for quirky new ways to use up seasonal produce. Thanks to her obsession with (unnecessarily) making everything from scratch, she is now desperate to clear her fridge full of homemade condiments. She dreams of perfecting the art of making soufflé with her crappy toaster oven.
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