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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Post# 291 - Chili's Quesadilla Explosion Salad - 5/27/12

Dear Chili's,

Last week I was at one of your restaurants with an important business client.  Drinks were going down nicely.  Agreements were coming together.  Handshakes and optimism were in the air.  We then decided to order some dinner.

As I glanced your menu, I decided to go with your fajitas, as they are my favorite.  I took a quick call as the others ordered their meals.  When our food came, our server asked, "Who ordered the Quesadilla Explosion Salad?"  I flipped out.  I dove under the table.  As I cowered, I heard the others call me "squirrelly" and a "real nut job."

A real nut job.

I take great offense to the name that you have given this salad.  You see, I am the sole survivor of a quesadilla explosion.  The incident took place in El Paso in 1983, in the kitchen of a tiny Mexican restaurant where I worked with several of my friends.  We were college students, prepping for a Cinco De Mayo holiday party for a bunch of kids.  Kids love quesadillas--they're Mexican grilled cheeses, after all.

We had this large tray of quesadillas for all of these kids.  With all of the fresh avocado and cilantro, we couldn't smell the gas leak.  Our boss, Hector, lit his cigar.  BOOM!  The headline the next day read, "Quesadilla Explosion Kills Four."  Those four were Reggie, Timmy, Alex, and our head honcho, Hector. 

For years, the very thought of a quesadillla made me sick.  I eventually got over it--time heals wounds. Asking me to remain calm when I hear about a Quesadilla Explosion is asking a lot though. 

Companies love naming things after natural disasters, after unfortunate incidents, and after famous killers.  I don't get it.  For every nine people who don't really care what you name it (as long as it tastes good), there's the tenth person.

I'm the tenth person, and I have spoken.


Their response, sent 5/30/12:

Dear Jerry, 

Thank you for sharing your story with us at Chili’s.  The Quesadilla Explosion salad has been a very popular item on our Chili’s menu since its debut in January of 2004.  It is our hope that this salad with grilled chicken, cheese, tomatoes, corn relish, cilantro, tortilla strips, cheese quesadillas, and citrus-balsamic dressing will give you a new memory when you hear the words “Quesadilla Explosion.”  If you would like to further discuss, please contact our Guest Relations Manager, Julee, directly at 972-770-3254.

Guest Relations

Reference Number: 670695

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