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Anyone actually tried Tyler Florence's Applebee's Dishes?

I saw Tyler Florence on TV yesterday promoting his four new dishes.

a bistro burger
tomato sausage penne
what looked to be a breaded chicken cutlet with salad on top
bricked chicken

I have seen a lot of press on these, but nobody I have found has actually TRIED it. I despise Applebees, but I was wondering how these dishes actually tasted. Has anyone been brave enough to "take one for the team" and can report back?

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  1. No,Haven't tried them.The Applebee's on IH35 North and Walzem Road in San Antonio is pretty good.I haven't any quarrel with their food.

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      1. Okay, I took one for the team!! Our experience: it's a little better but it's still Applebee's! I got off work late last night and the husband wasn't going to be home, but then called at about 7 and his event got cancelled, so he asked if I wanted to go to Applebee's and try Tyler's dishes. I wasn't really in the mood to eat at Applebee's but went along with it. I really think the way to go at places like that is just to order bar food if you have to go. Anyway, I got the Bruschetta Burger on focaccia with fresh mozzarella, pesto, and the traditional tomato bruschetta topping. It also came with french fries that were seasoned with rosemary, sea salt, and parmesan shavings. My husband got the breaded chicken cutlet (sort of like an Italian chicken fried steak) which has an arugula and cherry tomato salad on top of it. Mine was incredibly bland... I saw pesto, but did not taste pesto? The tomatoes were awful, but I sort of expected that. I forgot to order my burger medium, but I think it still would have been bland even if I had remembered. The fries were pretty good, we both thought, but then fries are standard bar food. My husband's was a little better than mine... the chicken was pretty tender and the dressing had good flavor even though the salad was over-dressed. The fresh mozzarella on both of ours was completely tasteless. The portion size is still way too huge... we both ate about half of our dishes and I was starving when I got there. All in all, I would say it's a step up, but that's about it. Don't even get me started on the corn chowder I ordered when I got there (did I mention I was starving?!)! Mmm... room temperature creamed corn with jalapenos... ick! ;-)

        Oh yeah, the hostess said... "We have a new menu from Tyler Florence, you know, on the cooking show!" Yeah, we know! ;-)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Katie Nell

          I would agree with the french fry assessment--I thought they were the best part of the meal. I didn't actually sample the Bruschetta Burger that was ordered at my table, but I assume it was fairly tasteless since my dining companion put mustard(?!)on his. Strange that they're touting "huge flavors" when much of the food is pretty bland.

          More detail on my Applebee's meal:
          http://www.project-me.com/2006/10/app...

          1. re: Katie Nell

            I had part of a Bruschetta Burger. Interesting that you should say you couldn't taste any pesto because I thought that was the only flavor the thing had. Tomatoes with no flavor. The fresh mozzarella was so tasteless as to be pointless--actually it was worse than pointless because it was under the meat and gave up so much moisture that the bottom focaccia was a soggy mess(I assume that where the moisture came from.) Agree that the fries were pretty good.

            The bacon cheeseburger that I ordered was better, and I don't even rate Applebee's bacon cheeseburger very high.

          2. Thanks for making the effort - a lot of us were curious. Sounds like it's about what we would have expected. Chains are gonna be chains no matter what. It's not that a more flavorful pesto would kill their bottom line, but it might offend some of their regulars - and that's what it all comes down to: their marketplace, their niche. Makes you think, why even bother?

            2 Replies
            1. re: applehome

              It's actually kind of funny, because I got an e-mail after I posted this from an acquaintance at work that said she had eaten at Applebee's last night and had tried the new Bruschetta Burger; she said it was AWESOME!!! ;-) Special occasions for her are Carrabba's and The Elephant Bar, so I'm not surprised, but how ironic! They probably hit the nail on the head for the regulars, I'm guessing.

              1. re: Katie Nell

                That is hilarious!! Oh well. I won't hold it against Tyler for making a buck, but I wonder if it will be worth it in the long run.

            2. oddly enough, its quite hard to find an applebees in LA.....they are around, just not in any of the areas that I frequent...i am curious about the menu though

              2 Replies
              1. re: Xericx

                There's a bunch of em in the SGV. Sorta like land mines...

                1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                  We just got one in the San Fernando Valley in the Chatsworth/Winnetka area. I've been to the one in Simi Valley several times, bar food is the way to go. Love the wings.