I was impressed to find a dietitian was consulted to answer my question - presumably a benefit of having the budget of a national chain, but nonetheless a great example for other less-helpful national chains. Their answer is comprehensive and demonstrates a knowledge of the issues associated with dining out vegan.
I would like to visit your restaurant. Can you tell me what menu items are vegan (no animal products)? Thank you for taking the time to research this.
August 10, 2007
Dear Ms. xxx,
Thank you very much for taking the time to send us an email and for your interest in
Chili's. Our corporate dietitian has compiled the list below of Chili's vegan/vegetarian menu suggestions. Please be aware that none of our food items are certified vegetarian. Additionally, many of our recipes contain meat, fish, egg and dairy products and normal kitchen operations involve the sharing of cooking and preparation areas, including common fryer oil. Therefore, it is possible for any food item, including French Fries and/or Chips, to come into contact with animal products during preparation and/or cooking processes.
Based on our supplier information, the vegan items you may consider are as follows:
Salad without cheeses, meats, fried tortilla strips or croutons (choose dressings below only)
Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
Low-fat Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
Pico de Gallo
Steamed Veggies – Corn on the Cob, Broccoli, and/or Fresh Veggies (request no oil or butter)
Sliced Tomatoes, Onions and/or Bell Pepper (raw)
Kiddie Wheat Bun
** Please note that our Black Bean burger is not vegan friendly and contains dairy
On your next visit to Chili's, please speak with a manager about your dietary restrictions to ensure that your meal is carefully prepared with your needs in mind. We hope that you are able to choose a meal to your liking and look forward to serving you soon.
Ref # 671685
Corn Tortillas are vegan
Salad without cheeses, meats, fried tortilla strips or croutons are vegan
Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing is vegan
Low-fat Vinaigrette Salad Dressing is vegan
Pico de Gallo is vegan
Salsa Picante is vegan
Rice is vegan
Guacamole is vegan
Black Beans are vegan
Steamed Veggies – Corn on the Cob, Broccoli, and Fresh Veggies are vegan ordered without oil or butter
Chili's was very helpful and quick to reply to my request, and provided a thorough response to my question.