Is it the end of the this year’s Burger Month already? Aww! I’m actually kind of sad that this will be the last time for this year because I really do enjoy doing this. Okay, it can be sometimes a pain to go about looking for a decent place that serves burgers and it can put a strain on the wallet. But it’s my excuse to go splurge on myself and eat probably my favorite kind of food in the whole wide world: juicy burgers! Anyway, even if I want to keep up reviewing specialty burgers each and every week, my wallet couldn’t stand the strain of it so I’ll stop while I’m ahead.
This week, I went out to try Chili’s Southern Smokehouse Burger. I’ve actually been planning this review for a couple of weeks now. Rather, going to Chili’s for Burger Month has been in my back pocket for a while now. The reason is the portions are usually huge at Chili’s so I expect getting something massive to a degree. Oh, and apparently, Chili’s burgers are “special” because they’re called “craft burgers.” Whatever. I decided to pick the most expensive “craft burger” on the menu, which is the Southern Smokehouse Burger.
Even without the large price tag on it, I probably would’ve ordered the Southern Smokehouse Burger anyway. The menu describes it to be a burger with bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, fried onion rings, cheddar cheese and Chili’s special sauce. It also comes with a side of french fries and dill pickles. I will say that I was kind of disappointed that it didn’t come with chili because, hey! This is Chili’s! Still, after around 10 minutes of placing my order I got my Southern Smokehouse Burger with fries and, honestly, I was very impressed with how they presented things as a whole!
First, everything was large, which is what I expected. But I really liked how things were laid out in such a neat way. The fries were in a nice little bucket. The ketchup and dill pickles had their own separate container while the actual Southern Smokehouse Burger had its own place on the side of the place. I’m normally not a fan of overly stylized presentations but there was something that I really liked about this setup. After seeing this, I kinda get the overly obsessed people who don’t like their food touching each other. I still don’t mind but I get it.
Weirdly enough, one of the things that impressed me was how neatly stacked the actual burger was. It must be hard for the guy who prepared the burger to stuff all of the things in it in such a manner that it didn’t look like it was going to fall apart at the slightest touch. They didn’t even need a toothpick on anything. Yet, somehow, that guy did it. Color me impressed! I did have to take off the top bun just to see everything and I do have to say I liked what I saw. The bacon looked really well cooked and crispy. The cheese was nicely melted and the bun had a good brown toasted look to it. I was disappointed that Chili’s used the bare minimum of the plural from of “onion rings” as there were only two! I expected much more for a burger of this size.
But, as I say in practically every review I do for Burger Month, appearances don’t mean squat if the burger doesn’t taste good. Thankfully, Chili’s Southern Smokehouse Burger does taste as good as it looks. The bacon was really good and crispy. I was able to bite through each perfectly cooked bacon strip without any problem. The onion rings were also nicely cooked and, like the bacon, were easy to chew through. The lettuce and tomatoes were also substantial enough to make their presence felt in each bite. They tasted fresh and not soggy or limp in the least.
Not everything was perfect, though. While the bun was nicely buttered and tasted great, they had difficultly holding the burger together as I kept eating. This was because of all the fat leaking out of the burger and being absorbed into the bun. It didn’t become a paste or anything like that but I was definitely concerned that it would. I do wish there was a little more cheese in the burger and the burger patty itself was a little underseasoned, as if it needed just a little more salt. The special sauce does try to make up for it but it just wasn’t enough.
Maybe that’s why the Southern Smokehouse Burger comes with dill pickles on the side? I normally can take it or leave it when it comes to pickles, especially dill pickles as they’re usually have a very strong taste that can overwhelm a lot of flavors. But Chili’s dill pickles were a little more subdued than most pickles. You can go take a bite of one of the pickles and then the burger and the pickle flavor never overwhelms the taste of the burger. The side of fries that came with the Southern Smokehouse Burger were mostly good, if lacking some salt. It’s nothing a good dollop of ketchup can’t fix. Also, the texture of the fries was kind of off. They did have a good crunchy coating as with what you expect with well cooked french fries but… it would’ve been better if they were left in a fryer just a few seconds more. Yes, they were crispy but just a smidge not crispy enough.
Even with my minor gripes about Chili’s Southern Smokehouse Burger and the sides, I can safely say that I really liked it. I guess the main question is if it’s worth the high price tag. There are better tasting burgers out there but the serving sizes are really generous so it makes up for that in the size department. I can recommend the Southern Smokehouse Burger if you are going to Chili’s but be ready to pay from the nose if you do.
Have you tried Chili’s Southern Smokehouse Burger? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!