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Bye Bye Macaroni Grill

Brinker International, parent of Chili's, Romano's Macaroni Grill and On The Border, said that it was considering sale of the Macaroni Grill. Can't say that I blame them

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  1. It was novel when it first came out in the late 90s, but other than mac&cheese colored crayons and those crazy nacho-like appetizers, well, yeah.

    1. That could be bad news for the world's salt miners.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bob W

        ROFL! A man with similar taste buds.
        Actually, Romano's is a chain I will eat at as a last resort; many towns are infested with bad red sauce places.

      2. I've always had an urge to try the Macaroni Grill (which doesn't exist here in NYC) just based on the stupidity of the name. There's something about the idea of "macaroni" and "grill" that just cracks me up. Who thought of putting these two things together? Someone with a huge case of the munchies is what'd I'd guess!

        4 Replies
        1. re: bklynite

          I don't know, out of the three chains, I like Macaroni's Grills the best. I mean, Chili's and On the Border? Not much on originality but the food was competent. Better than Chili's.

          1. re: bklynite

            I always wondered how they keep the macaroni from sticking to the grill.

          2. That doesn't mean Bye Bye.

            That just means new owners.

            1. Good riddance, if they're actually going out of business. Aside from Chef Boyardi, I don't think I've ever had such uninspired pasta dishes in my life. I guess it's a family friendly kind of place, but that doesn't mean the food needs to be sub-par. Geesh.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ali76girl

                Have you been to Olive Garden? Or the Pasta House in the midwest? Macaroni Grill is heaven compared to those two.

                1. re: Phaedrus

                  I'm with you on the Olive Garden there. Last time I went there I was given moldy hot dog buns (well, they called them garlic bread sticks) but that's what they were. I saw them stacked in the corner by the kitchen door. They were even wrapped like hot dog buns. YUCK!!!

              2. We haven't had the experience of Macaroni Grill in the Milwaukee area and On The Border is a strip club here. So I guess we won't ever get to indulge in the Macaroni Grill ;(

                1. One can only hope that sale means closing. Though I love a good meal at a fine restaurant, I also eat at some chains that some people on this site excoriate. That said, the one time I ate at this place was one of the worst meals I have eaten out in years. I can't remember now specifically what I did not like about it, but I can remember swearing to NEVER go back.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Shayna Madel

                    The first meal at Macaroni's was the opening night complimentary meal in Palm Desert, and it was excellent!

                    A few years ago at my last meal at Macroni's near Escondido was one of the worst with a dried out old piece of chicken breast served as Parmagiana. I was embarrassed for them, it was so bad. So I wil not miss them.

                    As for On the Border, it was a one timer, since everything on the menu is OVER spiced in not a good way. Well, Chili's is not much better with poorly prepared dishes.
                    How can of them be so consistently bad unless you go there to drink booze and smoke?

                    1. re: nutrition

                      Ever since some "bad beef" scare several years ago, Chili's won't make a rare hamburger. Too bad, as their burgers used to be okay. Can't smoke in restaurants around here.

                  2. I actually like MG!! I've been to 2 of them in Massachusetts and they have been pretty consistently decent.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: cutipie721

                      I kind of like it too, although the only thing I ever order there is grilled salmon and asparagus. The bread is pretty good also. I hate Olive Garden - blech!

                      1. re: OysterHo

                        I liked MG too .... I seldom ordered the pasta dishes, however, so perhaps Im not the best one to judge. It is FAR better than Olive Garden, which I only visit under duress. On The Border? Feh ... I've never had a good meal there, and hope I never visit another one.

                        I have a co-worker whose palate is young (30) and still developing. He loves OG so I go with him when he wants to go. Recently we visited a client together, and took the whole group to lunch at The Grotto (here in Houston) a fairly decent, slightly high end Italian place. My young friend was only slightly intimidated (he whispered to me and asked how to pronounce the dish he wanted to order). They feature fresh pasta, and although YF noticed the difference in the taste right away, when I explained to him later that his ravioli had been made fresh that day, he was amazed at how good it was. He talked about it all the way back to the office.

                        1. re: Cheflambo

                          You can call him your grasshopper. :D

                          1. re: Cheflambo

                            oooh, The Grotto; makes me yearn for the time we lived in Houston. So many great, good and decent places to enjoy. Fun, isn't it, to introduce the young ones to the finer things in life?

                      2. I don't blame them either! Macaroni Grill was horrible! It had potential, but I never enjoyed my food there. Oh well!