Thanks to social media, it is now much easier to reconnect with old friends – specifically, friends from way, way back. Such was the case with my old college crowd: Facebook brought the whole kit and caboodle together regardless of distance, busy schedules, and responsibilities. That in mind, plans were made, schedules set, and we all looked forward to a spanking good time with the madcap girls we’d spent four of the best years of our lives with.
But things happen, really: of a group of sixty-odd, only four of us actually showed up for dinner at Chili’s. We stared at each other in disbelief and wondered, “What the bloody hell happened to everyone else?” But, no matter: we had a pretty good dinner and a glorious good time.
Chili’s is one of those chains that has some pretty consistent food and bev, has helpings suitable for feeding a whole herd, and the sort of ambiance that is conducive to loud chatter and raucous, uninhibited laughter – well before you’ve ordered anything alcoholic. 😉 The food is best described as Tex-Mex: big flavours, serving platters about the size of the state of Texas; pub food with all the knobs turned up to eleven, as it were.
We chose [amazingly] not to order anything alcoholic that evening, seeing how all of us save one were commuting home, and opted for refillable iced tea and house lemonade. To kick-start the evening, we snagged a bowl of bottomless tostadas – large corn chips, still warm and oh so crispy, served with the tangy house salsa. As the name suggests, you can get as much as you want; a server will check in from time to time to refill the bowl. Quite a steal at P 375.00, really, and a convivial way to start the meal.
Also on the menu for the evening: the Triple Dipper, a combination of three appetisers served with three sauces and one’s choice of either fresh carrot sticks or celery stalks.
We opted to bring back memories of the onion rings and calamari we scarfed down as schoolgirls by choosing onion strings with ranch dressing, calamari with chipotle aioli, and Texas cheese poppers, jalapeno-infused cheese bites that were crunchy on the outside, gorgeously melting within. The queso fundido that came with it seemed superfluous, but the play of Monterey Jack, cheddar, and chili-fied mozzarella was neat.
Since we were thinking of keeping things light (!), we had to have a salad. Us being us, however, we chose the robust and hearty boneless Buffalo chicken salad with its generous strips of spicy-tangy chicken on top of ranch-dressed greens, tortilla slivers, bacon, and pico de gallo. It was a happy choice and quite satisfying.
We talked well into the night: schoolgirl pranks and plays, terrible professors and cheeky schoolmates, the grand slam we carried off with regard to cheerleading and cheer-dancing, past dates, old nemeses, current concerns; our families, partners (in love or in crime, non-existent and otherwise), our respective occupations; our prospects for the future – romantic and otherwise.
When all is said and done, long may this friendship last. 🙂