As a fourth-generation Texan, long-time chili cook and cookoff contestant, I have always been critical of those restaurants that have the name “chili” in their names, yet don’t seem to know how to make the product. I always felt that the Brinker International folks made a pretty reasonable bowl of chili and were serious when naming their restaurant “Chili’s” after Texas’ national dish. Examples of businesses that abuse the name “chili” and serve something other than what a reasonable person would call ”chili” might be found in Ohio (the homeland of non-chili being called chili)… such as Cincinnati Chili… which is defined by its beans and spaghetti and the infamous Skyline Chili (a Middle East-inspired concoction boasting cinnamon and allspice). But, Chili’s? While Dallas isn’t known as the birthplace of chili… it IS in Texas and it’s the birthplace of Brinker International. Anyway, this article isn’t about the quality of chili at Chili’s… it’s about whether or not Chili’s has hired ad people who don’t know the difference between Chili (a meat soup or stew seasoned with chiles) and Chile (Spanish for pepper).
The new logo for Chili’s is a “chile” with an apostrophe, indicating the possessive of the word chile… or “Chile’s”. No big deal, as I guess Chili’s has grown so much where they may have more stores out of chili country where the new logo isn’t a distraction… but it does get the attention of those who know the difference between a bowl of chili and a jalapeno. Did you say that Texas doesn’t own the patent on chili? You’re right… but at least we know what it is. And we damn-sure know what a “chile” is.
The old logo may not be as cute, but it made sense: