Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm really just kidding, I swear. Even if you are all afraid of the dark.

Of note: there are still Chi-Chis Restaurantes in Montreal and Toronto, apparently.

"Restaurante!"

God Canadians, will you ever stop being so cute with those superfluous "e"'s, so very foreign to people like me, who's terrible ancestors are from Arkansas and probably think you are all French commie lesbians?

So how many people Did I just offend there? Two? Three? 33,212,696?

If anyone's Canadian and has photos of these still-functioning joints (jointes?) please email.

3 comments:

wickedwonder1 said...

So my only way to get salsafied is to go to Canada? (or as we call it in Redneckville, Canadia.) Let the roadtrip begin!
Verification: bonssad. What the Canadians are when the Chi-Chi is closed.

Anonymous said...

no more Chi-Chi's in Canada my redneck friend! I worked there for 9 years and it closed over 13 years ago!

Cathy said...

I just found this website, for some reason was googling Chi-Chis because I didn't even know if they still exist. Very evocative. Next time I'm in Belgium I know what I'm going to look for!!

I worked for a short but memorable time at the Chi-Chi's in London, Ontario (Canada eh) back in 1984. It was memorable because it was my first full-time job in the year I chose to take off between high school and university. It was also memorable because it was a brand-new restaurant, so all of the employees were brand new at the same time and we bonded during the ridiculous training. This included things like table races - a manager would yell a table number and everyone would have to race to the right table in the correct dining room. We had days of paid full-time training to learn all the critical nuances of working at Chi-Chis.The scripts! We were forced to say really stupid things to customers to upsell, and managers were always lurking, so you had to do it. My favourite was the single-word trick to get people to upsize their margaritas - NOT to be asked in sentence form, just the one word: "Jumbo?" This word - with its particular uplifted intonation - still has an overly active life in my mind.

I have so many fond memories - since they only gave me one brown polyester wrap skirt, I had to wash the refried beans and salsa out of it it almost every night. I remember so many times desperately trying to corral other waitstaff in the kitchen to come and sing a stupid birthday song, Nobody ever wanted to do that. We got food at half price so as a poor waitress, I ate there a lot, and grew to love cheesy tex-mex food. What I miss the most is the 'green beef ench' - enchiladas with green chili sauce that you just can't get in Canada anywhere I've ever been. I still feel so proud when I'm in a Mexicali Rosas or somewhere and my companions marvel at the miracle of deep-fried ice cream - I know exactly how that is done because *I* used to make them!