It’s been a good year for chislic.
The traditional cubed red meat became the official state “nosh” this past March. In July, thousands flocked to Freeman for the inaugural South Dakota Chislic Festival. Then, in August, the restaurant Urban Chislic opened its doors at 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue next to Wal-Mart in Sioux Falls.
In true “new restaurant” fashion, rumors started flying about before many even stepped foot in the building.
“Is it any good?”
“I heard it’s terrible. It’s just another fast food place.”
“Someone’s cousin’s uncle said they hated how the chislic was cooked.”
“There’s pork and chicken chislic, someone told me. How are pork and chicken chislic?!”
Holy moly, people. In an attempt to help everyone cool their jets, some of the 605 team stopped by to see for ourselves.
The three amigos (art director Liz Painter and 605’s new multimedia designer Yany Avelar) pulled up and the building did remind me a bit of Qdoba-style. We walked in, and were greeted at the host stand. Immediately you notice the custom graffiti art covering the walls on both sides of the room.
I was also shocked to see a bar, and there were a lot of flat screen TVs throughout the space.
“So many TVs,” said Liz as we sat down at a table.
But then she said, “I feel like it’s masculine, but not overdone. I would come here.”
Our server quickly came by and explained the ropes. If you want chislic, you can order a regular or a large, and you pick a meat (beef, lamb, pork, chicken, or vegetarian), pick between nine “rubs” (i.e. Sea Salt), and pick between 18 sauces (i.e. Thai Chili).
If chislic isn’t your thing (hello, why are you here?), then you have other options, like sandwiches and burgers.
I was very impressed with the wide selection of dishes. This was legit sit-down dining with plenty of unique options to choose from, along with wine, beer, and cocktail menus.
Off the bat, we ordered three drinks: the Hillbilly Lemonade, the Urban Mojito, and The Bamba. The Hillbilly Lemonade had Canadian Wicket, Premium Blend Triple Sec, and Finest Call Sweet and Sour. La Bamba had Tequesta, Premium Blend Triple Sec, pineapple and orange juice. The Urban Chislic Mojito had Rhumbero and Finest Call Mojito Mix.
All were refreshing, but our favorite was the lemonade
Then came the hard part of choosing which food items to try. We had to do Lamb Chislic, because, duh. It comes with kettle chips, but we had the option to substitute it with steamed white rice, mashed potatoes, or snappy greens blend. The trio went with kettle chips.
Just so we didn’t get too crazy, we chose House Seasoning (which the server described as a light, salty onion powder) and Garlic Parmesan sauce. I went with the group consensus, but if you asked me at Buffalo Wild Wings if I wanted garlic parmesan anything, I would give you a, “Hell, nah.”
We also chose the Chislic Nachos, The Smashed Burger, and the Bacon Bit Chislic Sundae, which all were recommended by the server.
First came the chislic, which was served in an adorable bowl sitting atop the kettle chips. It was so salty and delicious, especially with the dipping sauce, which I was surprised how much I liked.
The table also discovered that I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t upfront that I didn’t like garlic parmesan.
Yany casually mentioned, “I’m usually not into garlic parmesan flavors, but this isn’t overwhelming. I actually like it.”
And of course to be as Midwest as our dish, we realized we were all being “Midwest nice” and thought it was what the other person wanted. But we liked it, so huzzah passive behavior!
We all agreed the chislic was a little “lamby” without the sauce. But, hey, it’s lamb.
“It’s a good, classic chislic,” said Liz.
The only problem were the chips—or I should say the presentation. By the time we got to the chips, they were getting soggy. Sometimes having chislic juice on them was delightful, but mostly they were just soggy. If we found a crispy one, it was a treat. Mayhaps it’s best to serve them on a plate, even if it’s not as cute? Or maybe we should just eat faster. I would be really interested in trying it with the steamed white rice.
Next up, the nachos. This consisted of house fried tortilla chips smothered in white queso and colby jack cheese with fresh fried mini chislic. It was topped with pico de gallo, black olives, fresh jalapeños, black beans, sour cream, and guacamole with a choice
of chicken or beef. We chose chicken.
It was a hit for many reasons. For me? The abundance of black olives. For Liz? The fresh tomatoes. For Yany? The seasoning.
“I like the zest they put on it,” said Yany. “It has a lime flavor.”
We kind of put off The Smashed Burger until last because it was a burger – a double burger with smashed and caramelized all-beef patties grilled, to be exact. I cut it into fours, and we all took a bite at the same time.
“This is so frickin’ good,” I said with my mouth full.
“This is like Burger Time good,” said Liz.
Yany was quiet because she was chewing. She’s new, she’ll eventually just talk with her mouth full or make confusing noises sometimes with certain meals. All in due time.
“That’s really good,” she finally stated.
We all looked at the fourth bite and all played it off like, “I’m cool, I’m good.” I’m still mad I didn’t eat it.
To put a bow on our lunch, we had the sundae. This had vanilla bean ice cream topped with bacon bit chislic and was drizzled with Sweet Hot Ness sauce.
The sauce came on the side, and Liz drizzled it over the dish.
“This tastes like breakfast,” she said with the first bite.
She was right. It tasted like smokey bacon and maple syrup. The bacon was very thick and made me nervous, but the ladies said it was really good. It’s a rich dessert, so sharing would be ideal, in my opinion.
As we left, I made a “dad joke” about needing a wheelchair to leave from being so full. I was only half kidding.
It’s in a newer, growing side of Sioux Falls, and this is a great option for a cocktail, to watch sports, or to grab a quick bite to eat.
“It’s like a sports bar, but with better food,” said Liz.
And I agree with her. There are options that aren’t just greasy foods that will make you leaving with a gut ache. I shall return.
New Dessert Features
Our server checked on us and said, “Hey, you know we just taste-tested our newest desserts. They’re not even out yet, do you want to try them?”
Uh, duh. The Cookie Butter Tart and Banana Swirl Cake came out. Both were served with a side of maple bourbon pecan ice cream. Let’s just say I was told I had to share
really liked it in there. When you first walk in you’re wondering if you’re entering a food chain, but it’s a full restaurant with a bar and all. I really think the custom graffiti art was a smart touch as well, especially with a lot of “605” being sprinkled into the piece so you know it’s local. It’s small, but it works for the type of business.
Most of the options range from $7-$11. It’s a great deal, especially for the portion sizes. You’ll leave stuffed without breaking the bank
Everything was very good. You know it’s a good problem when you’re debating which one you liked best. The chislic with the sauce is delicious, the ladies raved about the nachos, and I’m seriously going back for a burger. I need to try their wings, too.
Rating Scale: Ambiance ++++ | Average Price Per Meal: $—$10 & under; $$—$20 & under; $$$—$30 & under; $$$$—over $30 | Taste ++++
It's the Facts
It’s the facts
Open every day 10:30 A.M. – 10 P.M
The graffiti art was done by Sioux Falls artist Walter Portz.
Urban Chislic’s LLC was formed in 2012 and started as a catering business. The restaurant opened in August 2018.