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Best restaurant chains? [Moved from Los Angeles]

Much as I dislike to, I find that that I am frequently having to frequent chain restaurants and would value feedback on what my fellow 'hounds feel are the best.

My most hated ones are:

Olive Garden - never truly awful, but never good
McDonalds - just on principle
Taco Hell
Del Taco
Any Pizza chain - Pizza Slut, Domino's, etc.

I could go on, but let's hear the opinions...

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  1. I have a daughter, so we are frequently at Island's and CPK...I have to admit that I kind of like them both...especially CPK.

    We also sometimes go to Panda Express...she likes the Mandarin Chicken.

    We NEVER go to any drive-thru fast food chains (McDonald's, Taco Bell, etc.) because they seem so manufactured and un-natural...although perhaps the others we go to are just as bad??

    1. I just dumped my chain-restaurant eatin', now EX BF. No more miserable chain restaurant outings. Of all those dam chains, I had to put my foot down when it came to the Olive Garden. That was my most hated--until I experienced for the first time in my life, the Macaroni Grill and then Applebee's. Then I was done with the degeneration!

      2 Replies
      1. re: slacker

        Was so focused on the hate.
        Ones I like:
        King Taco
        Roys

        1. re: slacker

          I apologize for diverging, but I am easily distracted. You dumped your BF because he dined at what you consider to be inferior restaurants? Wow! Did you mean "denegration?"

        2. - houstons and bandera
          - islands
          - roys

          1. In-n-Out. Also, Carney's -- there are two, so that makes it a chain, yes?

            I think I am the only person I know who has never been to an Olive Garden, and that's how it's going to stay.

            www.infinitefress.blogspot.com

            1. In my humble opinion, the #1 best Los Angeles chain is Fatburger. Heck, I'd even say it beats In-N-Out. Closely tied with Zankou, though.