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Up Topic General / Letters and Opinions / Battle of the mediocre sit down chain restaurants...
- - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2019-01-08 6:25 PM
If forced to eat at a chain restaurant like Chili’s, Applebee’s, etc. which do you choose?
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2019-01-08 6:25 PM
I guess I’d have to pick Red Robin. :meh:
Parent - - By blazer85 [us] Date 2019-01-08 7:47 PM
We used to go to Red Robin a lot when we lived in Michigan.....if there were any near me, I would probably chose it. I actually went to Outback for lunch today.....first time I had been there in years. It wasn't bad. I like when I can get grilled veggies with my meal and they had them.
Parent - By noquitter [us] Date 2019-01-09 6:00 AM
I used to love Outback. It's not what it used to be. I think they over expanded
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2019-01-09 10:26 AM
I remember going to Outback in Orlando in 2003.
From what I remember it was considered "good steak", but I find any food in US (non-ethnic food) restaurants to be too greasy anyway.
So it was good but the typical "greasy" food.
Parent - - By adamswims (Gone Now Adam! You pick what you want.) Date 2019-01-08 7:37 PM
Anything? Well, uh I guess I, deep down, am feeling a little confused. I mean, suddenly, you get married, and you're supposed to be this entirely different guy. I don't feel different. I mean, take yesterday for example. We were out at the Olive Garden for dinner, which was lovely. And uh, I happen to look over at a certain point during the meal and see a waitress taking an order, and I found myself wondering what color her underpants might be. Her panties. Uh, odds are they are probably basic white, cotton, underpants. But I started thinking maybe they're silk panties, maybe it's a thong. Maybe it's something really cool that I don't even know about. You know, and uh, and I started feeling... what? what I thought we were in the trust tree, in the nest, are we not?
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2019-01-08 7:54 PM
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2019-01-09 4:34 PM
Parent - By sideshowbob Date 2019-01-08 9:19 PM
I try to avoid the chains and favor a Greek restaurant if possible. The service is quick, this food is always good , the waitresses call me “honey “ and the prices are low. :grin:
Parent - By noquitter [us] Date 2019-01-09 6:00 AM
Chili's because my husband likes it.

I did have a surprisingly good meal at an Applebees a few feet from the hotel I was staying at on vacation. Sometimes you just get lucky.:laugh:
Parent - - By PoopedColt Date 2019-01-09 6:24 AM
In my part of the country, you're doing very well if you can eat out at all.  I don't consider myself being forced to eat in chain restaurants.  We have our favorites when we go out of town that aren't available here - Dennys, Cracker Barrel, Mellow Mushroom, Red Robin.  In town, we stick with Ham's/Kick Back Jack's that I think are more regional chains.  Olive Garden/Outback are pricey for us.  I prefer Outback of those two.  Our Applebee's in town is pretty good, but I've been to others that aren't.  OTOH, our IHOP isn't very good, but I've been to others that are.
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2019-01-09 9:28 AM
I like Mellow Mushroom. We don't have them in Wisconsin but we get their pizza occasionally when we are in the south.
Parent - By blazer85 [us] Date 2019-01-09 10:55 AM
I have had Mellow Mushroom before a couple of races and like it.  I just discovered one in a neighboring town and have visited it!
Parent - By noquitter [us] Date 2019-01-09 1:04 PM
Just chiming in to say I have never heard of Mellow Mushroom. :wtf:
Parent - By redraider0528 (Fashionista) Date 2019-01-09 1:13 PM
We have a Mellow Mushroom. I like it!
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2019-01-09 4:39 PM
Ooooh I LOVE Mellow Mushroom but they are out of town for us too...not even in the state. I used to eat at Mellow Mushroom Nashville every year when driving to Georgia for the Twisted Ankle.
Parent - By brneydrnnr (barney cougar) [us] Date 2019-01-09 9:34 AM Edited 2019-01-09 9:48 AM
I'm all about some Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen - honey butter croissants...mmmm.. and their chicken pot pie. : pbbt:
plus it's cheaper than most other places.

and for breakfast Original Pancake House - not sure how many of those there are around but it's tasty af
Parent - - By triplejake (The Vampire Lestat) [us] Date 2019-01-09 9:44 AM
J. Alexander's (not sure how widespread this chain is)
Ruby Tuesday's

I am assuming that the choices are limited to American! cuisine, thus excluding many delightful options such as Olive Garden and PF Chang.
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2019-01-09 9:46 AM
Foreign! cuisine is acceptable.
Parent - - By triplejake (The Vampire Lestat) [us] Date 2019-01-09 11:01 AM
If you let the foreign restaurants in, you probably need to include steakhouses, fish places and pizza chains too.  It quickly gets overwhelming.  :shocker!:
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2019-01-09 11:09 AM
Fine, keep it limited to Hamburger sandwich restaurants.
Parent - By brneydrnnr (barney cougar) [us] Date 2019-01-09 9:46 AM
ooh, I haven't had PF Chang's forever, or Cheesecake Factory. Might need to make an excursion this weekend with the familia
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2019-01-09 9:48 AM
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2019-01-09 11:10 AM
Parent - By Xtreme Taper Date 2019-01-09 10:15 AM
Just say no to Crapplebee's.

We go to these occasionally:
Red Lobster (my wife always orders fried popcorn shrimp, I get by on grilled fish, usually salmon)
On the Border (only tex-mex in this part of the world)
Pizza Uno (best part is in this area they have 20+ craft beers on tap)
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2019-01-09 11:01 AM
Belgium has very few chain restaurants which are not fast-food like McDonalds or Pizza Hut (if you consider that fast-food).
There was a TexMex chain I used to like (ChiChi's), but there are just too many ethnic restaurants around here for these chains to gain a strong foothold.

In London last year I liked Wagamama (Ramen). They seem to be mostly in the UK and a couple in other European cities.

Whenever I'm in the US and eating at such places, I usually go for light meals like the Ceasar's Salad, Chicken breasts, wraps or tacos (okay, maybe those are not that light :wink:).
I don't like to get gravy-cheese drenched food otherwise.
Parent - - By triplejake (The Vampire Lestat) [us] Date 2019-01-09 11:07 AM
Didn't you go on a trip to San Francisco somewhat recently?  In a major city like that you have a million options for great food.  You should ask for suggestions on your next trip!
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2019-01-09 11:44 AM
SF was already 5 years ago I think :sad:
I went to NY though 2 years ago and Toronto last year. I'm long overdue for another North-American trip :blush::mischief:

Yes, we do go to the better Yelp reviewed places when in bigger cities.
I went to Outback in Orlando 15 years ago because it's really all chains there, and to Wendy's once in Gilroy (SF) because we were at the outlet mall.
Parent - - By triplejake (The Vampire Lestat) [us] Date 2019-01-09 11:54 AM
At least in my town, Yelp (and TripAdvisor) reviews are pretty iffy since the numbers are skewed by tourist reviews, so asking around can lead to better results.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2019-01-09 1:09 PM
I tend to be very weary even of good reviews so often will thoroughly read the reviews to look at how genuine and believable they sound.
Also, I usually am with people knowing the area or at least what can be considered a good ethnic meal :wink:
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2019-01-09 11:56 AM
You should check out Grand Forks.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2019-01-09 1:12 PM
Obviously a place of interest if not just for their fine cuisine and genuine journalism :cool:
Parent - By tahoeblue (spamkiller) Date 2019-01-09 2:11 PM
Outside of what seems to be a 50/50 chance of getting explosive diarrhea from poor employee hand washing techniques and improper food storage, I rather like Chipotles and their brown rice pork burritos.

You pays your monies and you takes your chances.
Parent - By neustkg (Important) Date 2019-01-09 4:05 PM Edited 2019-01-09 4:12 PM
Since we’ve been going more vegetarian/vegan (I’m not 100% vegetarian, but my wife is close and one of my daughters is mostly vegan), we don’t go to a lot of the sit down restaurants we used to go to.

Haven’t been to Red Robin in years.  I still like the place, but we can’t go because something in the fries recipe makes my daughter puke (plus my son puked there maybe 4 or 5 years ago).

I won’t go to Chilli’s or Applebees.  We used to like Olive Garden, but ours has about an hour wait on any given night.

Our go to sit down chain is either Ted’s Montana Grill (even though it’s a big meat place) or BJ’s Brew house.  We have a bunch of smaller chains like Lark Burger (I think this is a Colorado chain), Modern Market (we stopped going there as they tend to mess up our order each time), and PizzaRev (I don’t go there because the pizza is mediocre at best and they use a machine to press the dough).

We've been going to Cracker Barrel recently, which is OK.  We went to a Christmas thing at our Botanical Gardens in Denver (outside).  It was the coldest day of the year and we decided to do the outside thing at night.  Went to Cracker Barrel after and I noticed they had a real fire in their fire place.  I noticed this almost when we were on our way out.  I said "why couldn't we have sat near the fire" during dinner that night? :sad:
Parent - - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2019-01-09 4:34 PM
Hmmm I avoid them all, except sometimes I'll do Ruby Tuesdays even though not forced, for just the salad bar.
Parent - By gadget girl Date 2019-01-09 6:08 PM
this is exactly what I do although I will have the salad bar at Marie Callendar's which is another abysmal chain.  :happy:
Parent - - By tizzy319 (gaping five hole) [us] Date 2019-01-10 12:41 PM
High end chain-  Ruth's Chris
Local chain-  Portillo's
National chain- PF Changs, Red Robin, Fuddruckers,
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2019-01-10 2:00 PM
We have a Portillo's now but I haven't gone to it. I don't want to ruin the specialness of it.

That said, Just over a month until THE AUTO SHOW AND PORTILLO'S!:shocker!::shocker!::shocker!::shocker!::shocker!:
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2019-01-11 12:46 AM
You know, if you ever want to go to the LA auto show, you're welcome to stay here...
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2019-01-11 7:25 AM
Parent - By foggydoggy [us] Date 2019-01-10 4:19 PM
I would go with Red Robin and Dennys is a guilty pleasure (late nights only).  I also actually like Olive Garden though I can only go there when Natalie (who is Italian is not present).  I live far enough from SF that if I am my own neighborhood its chain restuarants galore.  I do eat junk food too much but if I'm actually dining out it will be in Berkeley or San Francisco and someplace good.

The closest restuarants to my house are a set of chains, (olive garden, chilis, outback, and red lobster), fast food and good burrito places.  Usually I opr for the buriito
- By Beastie Girl [us] Date 2019-01-10 1:21 PM
I like On the Border for Mexican. Yay free chips and salsa!
- By Arimathea [us] Date 2019-01-11 12:42 AM
I don't. When on the road we make it a point to eat at a place we can't go to at home.

That may be a chain restaurant in another part of the country, but it's still not available at home.

When near home I rarely if ever go out to eat. Too expensive and not worth it.
- - By Quagmire [us] Date 2019-01-14 12:14 PM
It's really uncool to like chain restaurants.  As the saying goes...they're so popular no one ever goes to them.  I only go to family owned ethnic restaurants that have less than a dozen tables and that no one else knows about....even better if they have only one waiter from Europe who secretly hates Americans.

Parent - - By Quagmire [us] Date 2019-01-14 12:17 PM
Oh...and I don't own a TV.
Parent - By Quagmire [us] Date 2019-01-14 12:17 PM
And I never go to Walmart.
Parent - By stickywicket Date 2019-01-15 12:15 PM
Isn't every restaurant "ethnic"?: pbbt:
Up Topic General / Letters and Opinions / Battle of the mediocre sit down chain restaurants...

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