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Old 10-22-2004, 09:26 AM   #1
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What is your favorite/least favorite chain restaurant?

What is your favorite/least favorite chain restaurant? We have Perkins, Ground Round and Applebees locally, and it's going to be Applebee's turn today while we wait for Bridget to get done at the groomer. My favorites seem to change, but Denny's has a solid lock on least favorite.

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Old 10-22-2004, 09:35 AM   #2
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Ditto on Denny's, Otter. Same goes for IHop.

We like Copeland's, Olive Garden, Don Pablos, and Cracker Barrel.

Wish we had a Bennigan's around here.
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Old 10-22-2004, 10:09 AM   #3
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Favorites: Shogun - Best Japanese I've ever had away from the mother country
Carrabbas Italian Grill - Tuscan cuisine, mostly, very rustic
Olive Garden - Very Sicilian dishes, with a main-land bent on their salads
O'Charleys - Three words: Loaded. Potato. Soup.
Wendy's - Spicy Chicken Sandwiches ROCK
Steak-Out - Well-cooked and prepared steak... delivered to your door!!

Least Favorites:

Steak & Shake - I have found some nasty things in their food
Crystal - Indigestion bombs anyone?
Longhorn Steaks - Underspiced, over-aged poor cuts of steak with bland, imagination-less salads.
Outback Steakhouse - OVER-spiced, under-aged steaks. How can you taste the beef in these things through the 1-2mm of cayenne and black pepper crusted on the surface? Steaks are meant to taste like STEAKS, not cayenne and black pepper flavored with a touch of beef.
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Old 10-22-2004, 10:11 AM   #4
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Weeks, I forgot about Outback. Agree heartily with you on the steak thing, but can we have one small round of applause for the Bloomin' Onion? I do enjoy snarfing that one down.
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Old 10-22-2004, 10:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
Weeks, I forgot about Outback. Agree heartily with you on the steak thing, but can we have one small round of applause for the Bloomin' Onion? I do enjoy snarfing that one down.
Yeah. ME TOO! (Hearty applause in background)

We don't do many chain gangs here at all, but tops would be LaMadeleine's and Subway (sandwiches) and occasionally Great Outdoors. I very much enjoyed Carrabbas and Olive Garden, too.

I've never eaten at Steak N Shake, but the #1 Son worked there during high school and strongly asserted a myriad of lurking dangers, Weeks! He did, however, praise the shakes....
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Old 10-22-2004, 11:30 AM   #6
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I tend to stay away from most chains as I am almost always disappointed.

I would probably have to say that Olive Garden is at the bottom of my list. I think most of their food is way over salted and overcooked. Someone gave us a gift certificate to the Olive Garden so we decided to give it another shot. My meal was horrible, but my wifes chicken parm was pretty good. I don't think I will ever go back there unless I have no choice.

I had forgotten about Dennys until Otter mentioned it. We used to joke about Dennys in my family all the time. We used to go to NY from MA almost every weekend for many years. We would always stop for lunch or dinner on the road. Every time we went to Dennys it was a horrible experience. Not just bad food, but the type of things that make you shake your head in disbelief. It was so long ago that I don't remember what they were, but my dad said if he ever suggests Dennys again that we are to kill him. To this day we still joke about it.
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Old 10-22-2004, 11:33 AM   #7
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Best.......The Olive Garden, Red Robbin,and Mama Mia
Worst......Wendy's and Denny's
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Old 10-22-2004, 11:48 AM   #8
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Best: Olive Garden
worst: Bennigan's, Denny's
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Old 10-22-2004, 12:03 PM   #9
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best = houlihan's, east, houston's

worst= applebee's, bennigan's,
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Old 10-22-2004, 12:41 PM   #10
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Yep! Applebee's sucks here too.
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Old 10-22-2004, 12:49 PM   #11
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Best: Morton's
Macaroni Grill
and for lunch, Souplantation
and I do like Outback's filet mignon & bloomin onion
Worst: McDonalds, Wendy's, Denny's, Applebees
(I believe the theory that all of the latter have the same taste, no matter what they call the food)
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Old 10-22-2004, 12:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkath
Worst: McDonalds, Wendy's, Denny's, Applebees
(I believe the theory that all of the latter have the same taste, no matter what they call the food)
I am glad you brought up Macaroni Grill. We have one nearby but I have never been there. What would you recommend? I have found that most Chinese food all taste the same.
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:01 PM   #13
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um...Macaroni Grill is Italian, bangbang.
I enjoy the atmosphere a lot. They bring a lovely fresh from the oven Rosemary bread with some oil to dip while you wait for your food. The garden salad is delish, and of all the entrees I've had, I've never disliked any. They have these chicken cannoli with (I believe) an asiago creme sauce which is quite nice. Their pastas are very good, and hubby has had seafood there which he liked a lot. They have good wine, and an opera singer who is very likable. The only thing that bugs is the "paper" tablecloths - the waiter/waitress will write their name in cursive, upside down, occasionally with 2 crayons, so you won't forget their name. (have you ever referred to a waitress as "hey, Susan, could I get some more bread?" I think they do it to show they have motor skills.)
With that said, it's worth a try for you - you may be pleasantly pleased.
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkath
um...Macaroni Grill is Italian, bangbang.
I enjoy the atmosphere a lot. They bring a lovely fresh from the oven Rosemary bread with some oil to dip while you wait for your food. The garden salad is delish, and of all the entrees I've had, I've never disliked any. They have these chicken cannoli with (I believe) an asiago creme sauce which is quite nice. Their pastas are very good, and hubby has had seafood there which he liked a lot. They have good wine, and an opera singer who is very likable. The only thing that bugs is the "paper" tablecloths - the waiter/waitress will write their name in cursive, upside down, occasionally with 2 crayons, so you won't forget their name. (have you ever referred to a waitress as "hey, Susan, could I get some more bread?" I think they do it to show they have motor skills.)
With that said, it's worth a try for you - you may be pleasantly pleased.

Thanks...I will give it a try soon.
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:08 PM   #15
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I hope you do -
and let us know what you thought.

Hey there's another thread: Restaurant Critique Central
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:09 PM   #16
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We only have about 4 restraunts in our area and from what I've seen of them none of them are really worth mentioning.

We do have quite a few fast food places which I think get more business then the restraunts but since I'm real perticular at where and when my husband decide to dine out we don't eat at any of them either.

My husband and grandsons do like Sonic, Burger King and Mc Donalds now and then for something quick.

But as for myself if we're gonna dine out I like some place nice so we usually go out of town.

About 3 hours away from where we live there is a restraunt called International House of Pancakes and the food there is just terific. I am especiall fond of their Chef Salad and Roast Beef Sandwiches.

At the next State over which is a 1 hour drive there is a really nice mexican restraunt but at this time I can't think off hand what the name of the place but the place is clean and beautiful inside. And the food is terific.

Then I ate at a restraunt in Southern California several years ago called the Mining Company. The place really did used to be a mining company years ago and was later turned into a restraunt.

The Mining Company serves all kinds of different food but specializes in steak and lobster that is just out of this world...Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm Good.

The Mining Company sits in top of a hill and when you go inside the entire place is lit by candle light. A good place for those romantic nights.
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkath
I hope you do -
and let us know what you thought.

Hey there's another thread: Restaurant Critique Central
Thanks for the review, jkath. We have Macaroni Grill near us, but we've never been able to get in within a reasonable time because it's always packed. That's usually a good sign.
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:25 PM   #18
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Go there, put your name in, and have an aperitif or two first - there is a little bar area.

As for tweedee: http://www.pomonavalleyminingco.com/
is this the place?
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:54 PM   #19
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Applebee's seems to be running a close second to Denny's in the least favorite category so far. We had lunch there today while waiting for Bridget to get groomed. I had skewered shrimp on a bed of rice pilaf. It was a special and the waitress said it was the best thing on the menu. It wasn't 5 star dining, but it was acceptably good. Sherrie had a combo plate - steak and buttermilk shrimp. Everything of hers was a bit on the cool side, and the potato was particularly cool, so she had to send it back to get a warming. One thing of note, however, is that we tried the onion strips appetizer and they were excellent! Due to being small pieces instead of larger rings, I think they got done faster than rings, with the result being that the outside didn't get overdone.
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Old 10-22-2004, 02:46 PM   #20
 
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Yep... Applebee's does here too! It's sickening.. I orderd a salad once that was (I can't remember the exact price) around $7, and it was about the size of a dinner salad... couple croutons, few pieces of chicken a cucumber slice here and there, and a spot of dressing. Their drinks are outrageous too!

I like to go to Erie, PA... they have all the great restaurants. As far as chains, I LOVE THE OLIVE GARDEN! They also have TGI Fridays, that is also one of my favs! I don't know if it is part of chain (someone I think told me it was), but I love another one called The Roadhouse...great steaks!!!!!!... erm, and beer! :roll:

Other places... I like Wendys, McD's (for breakfast), Pizza Hut, and a place that is mainly down south (past pennslyvania.. lmao ) called Shoney's.
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