Thursday, April 4, 2013

ChiChi's Tex-Mex

You all know I often plug companies or products I like, but it's not often I write a post to steer people away from a company - unless you're despicable RyanAir.  But unfortunately, I'm here with another warning.  Now it only applies to The Netherlands, so for the rest of you it might not be very interesting.  Over the Easter weekend our immediate family here (9 of us) decided to get together for a fun evening of bowling and dinner.  Now there are options here in Eindhoven but thanks to advertising we heard of a new company in Nederweert that offered bowling and a tex-mex restaurant.  For American's living overseas, you jump at these opportunities.  We're often on the hunt for somewhere that reminds us of the conveniences of The States.  When we arrived at Chi-Chi's it seemed perfect, spacious restaurant decorated with a fun western theme, modern bowling lanes and computers, even nice new bowling shoes.  We had a great time bowling, it was also the first time our toddler has ever gone bowling so it made it even more special.  After a few good laughs and an hour of bowling we headed over to the restaurant portion of Chi-Chi's.  Again still excited, ready for fajitas, ribs, quesadillas, jalapenos poppers, all of the fun tex-mex food.  The service wasn't bad, so we had no reason to complain.  Then the starters arrived, they were just o.k., I think we all blew it off, still hyped up on bowling and the arrival of our main meals.  When the main course arrived I noticed right away that my fajita meat on the skillet didn't look charred, it probably could have used another ten minutes on the grill but I blew it off.  As I continued eating I immediately noticed the lack of flavor, but I didn't want to complain, I was just happy we were out to eat together.  Three family members order burgers, now here in The Netherlands there are two types of burgers, Dutch burgers and ones that resemble American burgers.  I stopped ordering burgers at restaurants here because I personally don't like the Dutch burger.  At first their burgers appeared to be American-style but they all quickly agreed they were Dutch-style patties.  Then my brother-in-law made the announcement he didn't think his burger was cooked all of the way.  You should have seen their faces, I think every one's stomachs flipped and the ones with burgers stopped eating shortly after that... all agreeing there was something off.  Then more people started speaking up, one salad only had about 4 shrimp on it, the ribs tasted like microwaveable ones from the grocery store, and luckily for the kids it's not hard to cook fish sticks & chicken nuggets.  After we all partially ate our food and hoped we didn't get sick, the bill arrived.  It was just short of 300 euros for the 9 of us to bowl and eat, I nearly fell out of my chair.  If the food had been delicious I still would have been a little put off by the cost considering 3 of the 9 are kids.  Plus Chi-Chi's never mentioned the costs of the lanes were more expensive on a holiday instead of a normal Sunday (they could have said something when I made the reservation).  Needless to say we could have bowled and eaten for cheaper in Eindhoven and saved the 30 minute drive there.  Now I intend on spreading the word about the food at Chi-Chi's, so I started today with an American friend at toddler swimming class.  As soon as I said Chi-Chi's it was obvious she had been there before.  We both agreed the food was horrible, I wish I had thought to ask around before making the reservation, live and learn.  So here I am warning you, Chi-Chi's in Nederweert was great for bowling, but I will personally never eat there again!

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