Mike Pence Probably Went to Chili's Because Chili's Is Good

July 18, 2016

Over the weekend, Mike Pence—Donald Trump's choice for vice president despite the fact that Pence harshly criticized The Donald's idiotic and unworkable plan to ban Muslims from coming into the United States—tweeted a photo of himself and his family eating a meal at the Chili's in New York City.

Journalists on Twitter had a great deal of fun at Pence's expense because heaven forbid you eat anywhere other than Momofuku or Per Se when you're in New York City. This then led to the suggestion that Pence was expertly trolling the idiots in the east coast establishment media, which in turn led to media elites sarcastically mocking the notion that other media elites are in tune with the desires of flyover country rubes.

Instead of arguing over the semiotics of Pence's tweet, I'd like to do something far simpler: acknowledge that Chili's is delicious and he probably went there because the food is good.

Look, you don't have to ask me twice to get me to go to a nice restaurant. If I'm in New York City, I'd probably rather go to Quality Meats (try the aged rib steak, you won't regret it) than Chili's. But that doesn't mean Chili's is bad! Chili's is actually pretty got dang delicious! I go to Chili's on the reg because a.) I have a small child and b.) the food is very tasty and extremely reasonably priced. Bottomless tostada chips served with tasty salsa? Fantastic margaritas served whichever way you want it? Ice cold Miller Lites to quench your thirst after a hard day's work? Amazing fajitas? Tempting tacos? A nice buffalo chicken salad if you're looking for something on the lighter side?


Chili's is the king of the casual-dining chains. If I were ranking them, it'd look something like

  1. Chili's (obvs)
  2. Ruby Tuesday (the salad bar almost puts it over the top, but the entrees aren't quite as good as those you can find at Chili's)
  3. Outback (used to be at the top but then I started eating good steaks in DC and I just can't go back, I'm sorry; that being said, the Blooming Onion is the single greatest item ever sold by a restaurant)
  4. California Pizza Kitchen (I would rather eat at a CPK than literally any pizza joint in NYC, except for Sbarro)
  5. Friday's (might be higher, except for the fact that the one near my house turns into, like, a nightclub after 8 PM and I find the musical choices to be deeply unpleasant)
  6. Cheesecake Factory (usually when you see a menu that's 20 pages long and has 789 items on it, you should run; not so here, where everything is perfect, from the Glamburgers to the Skinnylicious salads)
  7. Applebee's (I have no specific objections)
  8. The Olive Garden (the breadsticks and salad are gold; perfect spot for when you need to take your aged relatives from the old country out for a taste of home)
  9. Red Lobster (their biscuits are amazing, everything else is kind of meh)

Anyway, Mike Pence may be a dope who sold out his principles in the pursuit of power. But he's a dope who sold out his principles in the pursuit of power with excellent taste in restaurants. And, really, that's all that matters.

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by Chili's, but I would happily accept filthy lucre from the king of casual dining in exchange for glowing praise. Have your people call my people, Chili's.