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'FESS UP! You know you love chains!

  • PJ4 May 10, 2008 09:03 AM
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Yes, we all love to act like chain restaurants are beneath us but COME ON! We all go to them and have things we love to eat there. Here is your chance to come clean in (relative) anonymity and not be afraid of losing friends, family members or clients. Tell me your favorite foods at chain restaurants and unburden yourself from the shame!

Me first:

Macaroni Grill: The free rosemary bread and their new soup, Chicken Toscana.
Bennigan's: Turkey sandwich on a pretzel roll.
Bailey's: Turkey sandwich on a pretzel roll (I like hot pretzels, so what?)
Red Robin: The bbq chicken wrap... it has tortillas strips in it, yummy!
Panera: Cinnamon crunch bagel.
Chevy's: They have the best chips and salsa around. I never order, I just eat the chips and steal the corn pudding from everybody else's plate.
Ruby Tuesday: The mayo based pasta/ham/pea salad on the salad bar is the only reason I go.
Outback: Chopped blue cheese salad and, of course, the blooming onion.

Your turn!

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  1. McD: Nothing tops the McGriddle.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PJ4

      Right on.

      1. re: PJ4

        Yeah, I love these too. Bacon, egg and cheese (not a fan of the sausage.) This is definitely one of those items that people either love or hate.

        The only annoying thing about them is that they are called McGriddles even if it's just one of them. Is that because there are two griddle cakes that make up a sandwich?

      2. Okay, I'll play.

        Five Guys: Cheese burger and fries
        Carraba's: Chicken Bryan
        Perkin's: Blueberry pancakes
        Subway: Tuna Salad

        1. Subway sandwiches and Olive Garden's minestrone.

          1. Carl's Jr. - Crispy chicken, bacon, swiss sandwich
            Tommy's - Double chili cheeseburger with extra chili and onions.
            Claim Jumper - Chopped blue cheese wedge salad.
            In n Out - Double Double animal style

            1. Double wopper with cheese
              Popeye's spicy chicken
              There. you satisfied now?

              1. Harvest Grain and Nut Pancakes and (in season) Pumpkin Pancakes from IHOP!

                IHOP! IHOP! IHOP!

                1. Popeye's Spicy chicken!

                  1. OK, I like this game:

                    MC D's McChicken add honey mustard
                    Burger King Whopper Double with bacon and cheese (although the new steakburger with bacon is really good with the added onion rings)
                    Chilis Baby Back Ribs
                    Ruby Tuesdays salad bar
                    Texas Roadhouse Ribeye steak
                    Panera's Another vote for the Cinnammon Crunch Bagel with honey nut cream cheese
                    Jack in the Box use to have a chocolate cake that I would get up in the middle of the night to hit the drive through.

                    1. McDonalds steak, egg and cheese bagel
                      Dennys chicken ranch melt
                      Big Boys Super Big Boy sandwich (with extra sauce), Beyond the bun chix sandwich with ranch dressing
                      Hardees Philly cheesesteak thickburger
                      Wendys french fries

                      1. KFC: Cole Slaw
                        Wood Ranch BBQ: BBQ Chopped Salad
                        McD: The Devil McGriddle

                        1. Cheesecake Factory - Thai Chicken Pasta
                          Texas Road House - Yeast Rolls and Cinnamon Butter
                          Claim Jumper - Texas Steak Chili in Sourdough Loaf
                          Ruby Tuesday - Buffalo Burger
                          Subway - Club on Honey Oat Bread w/Sweet Onion Sauce mmmmm
                          Corner Bakery - Tomato Basil Soup in Bread Bowl

                          1. Panera: Veggie soup, greek salad, cinnamon crunch bagel with hazelnut cream cheese, asiago cheese bread

                            PF Changs: Vegetarian lettuce wraps, YUM!!

                            Friendly's: Vegetable fajita quesadilla (hello, hangover cure!!)

                            Starbucks: Venti skinny mocha, extra hot

                            McDonald's: Southwest Salad(I know, I know. But I'm a college kid on a budget)

                            Chili's: Chips and salsa, Quesadilla explosion salad sans chicken

                            Ruby Tuesday: Salad bar! They have pumpernickel croutons, baby bella mushrooms and edamame! YUMMM!!

                            Quiznos: Veggie sandwich without cheese, but extra mushrooms

                            Ohh to live in a place that is overrun with chains, LOL

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: sweethunibabi

                              I forgot about Panera -- I love it!!

                              1. re: sweethunibabi

                                The pumpernickel croutons at Ruby's, definitely good eats! I forgot that on my list.

                              2. KFC - bucket of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and biscuits (with the family in the park)
                                MCDONALD's - 90% of their breakfast items. best sausage gravy and biscuits i've ever eaten, and the pancakes are just amazing.
                                FAMOUS DAVE's - smoked salmon dip
                                SUBWAY - tuna salad sub with extra red onion
                                CHILI's - blt club tacos (also like their super thin tortilla chips; salsa needs work)
                                RUBY TUESDAY's - salad bar. i especially love making salads with insane amounts of beets, which freaks my mum out
                                WHITE CASTLE - jalapeno cheeseburger
                                MOE's - billy barou nachos
                                PENN STATION - italian sub
                                LONG JOHN SILVER's - straight up fish and fries, hush puppies a nice bonus, cole claw also delicious
                                PANERA - mostly the baked goods. in about five minutes i'm sitting down for a bowl of homemade corn chowder in one of their toasted sourdough bread bowls. i love bringing home their baguettes and bagels and tossing them in the freezer for a rainy day

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: beelzebozo

                                  Wouldn't you just love to go in to LJS's one night after they close and just take a big bucket of the crunchy bits away in a bucket? I am so glad nobody knows my real name on this site..... :)

                                  1. re: PJ4

                                    Hate to admit I know this but you can actually order a tray of "crumbs" from LJS - no charge (except to your health!)

                                    1. re: PJ4

                                      And cover them in Malt Vinegar and about 80 hush puppies. DELICIOUS.

                                  2. First Watch - Floridian French Toast
                                    Panera Bread - Veggie Black Bean Soup, Chocolate Croissant
                                    Taco Bell - Taco Pizza - a guilty pleasure
                                    Subway - Turkey Sub
                                    Burger King - Whopper, no Onion, extra pickles

                                    1. It is a fun game :)

                                      McDonalds: Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuits
                                      Chilis: Southwest Egg Rolls
                                      Wendys: Spicy Baconator
                                      KFC:Honey BBQ wings
                                      Taco Bell: Meximelt!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Teraesa22

                                        Wow, I don't think I would have admitted to a Baconator... even here. Hopefully it isn't too often! :)

                                      2. Popeye's anything (I never go though because there is ALWAYS a line at the one by my house)
                                        KFC fried chicken snackers
                                        Burger King's ham, egg & cheese croissant
                                        Mc Donald's big mac
                                        Olive Garden's salad & breadsticks
                                        Denny's breakfasts
                                        Wendy's chili

                                        1. McDonalds - bacon, egg & cheese biscuit, deluxe breakfast
                                          Long John Silvers - fish and fries, lobster bites (when they have them!)
                                          TGI Fridays - green bean fries, ancho chili wings
                                          Friendly's - fronions, BBQ chicken supermelt
                                          White Castle - jalapeño cheeseburger, french onion cheeseburger, clam strips
                                          Pizzeria Uno - Chicago deep dish original, Rhode Island style calamari
                                          In N' Out - double double with cheese - animal style, neapolitan shake
                                          Taco Bell - Mexican pizza, Chalupa
                                          IHOP - pancakes with butter pecan syrup
                                          Perkins - raspberry cream muffin (back when they had them!)
                                          Carls Jr - BBQ chicken sandwich
                                          KFC - snackers, honey BBQ wings
                                          Boston Market - creamed spinach, apples & cinnamon

                                          (This *is* dangerous - I just made a list of my pregnancy cravings! God - give me strength!!)

                                          1. KFC-original recipe thighs & biscuits
                                            Carraba's - the hot bread & oil & the fried calamari
                                            Firehouse subs - the Hook & Ladder
                                            Houstons - the cheeseburger
                                            Cheesecake Factory - BBQ Ranch chicken salad & Chinese Chicken Salad
                                            Perkins - buttermilk pancakes
                                            Maggiano's - Italian pot roast & veal & mushroom raviolis

                                            1. I do not love chains. There are however chains that I like and chains that I love. (Symantecs, yes I know).
                                              Anyway, here they are in no particular order.

                                              Quiznos
                                              Starbucks
                                              Panera (I've noticed most people have this)
                                              Krystals
                                              Dreamland (Very small chain of BBQ places)
                                              Skyline Chili

                                              DT

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                Oh, and Sonic for foot long coneys and cheese tater tots.

                                                DT

                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                  I didn't know Sonic had coneys! I am so there.....

                                              2. I like local chains more...

                                                That being said, national chains:

                                                Burger King milkshakes (honest-to-goodness REAL milkshakes)
                                                California Pizza Kitchen's Jamaican Jerk pizza
                                                PF Chang's lettuce wraps
                                                McDonald's Asian salad
                                                A&W frosty root beer and coney dogs and hamburgers

                                                1. McDonald's hash browns and sausage biscuit (no egg, just sausage, cheese and the biscuit).
                                                  Panera Baked Potato Soup
                                                  Cheesecake Factory Thai Chicken Pasta - I just had it for the first time a few days ago and it was the first thing I'd ever had at CF that I would order again.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: abs294

                                                    mcdonald's hash browns are my favorite hash browns in the world.

                                                    1. re: abs294

                                                      welcome to the thai chicken pasta fan club. you will never order anything else ever again!

                                                      1. re: flyerfan182

                                                        This is good to know. If I ever have to go there again, I'm sooo ordering this.

                                                        I sure I could feed myself for a week on it. It better be good! :P

                                                    2. PF Chang's lettuce wraps and pin noodle soup
                                                      Hardee's Bacon Cheese Thickburgers
                                                      Sonic's Chili Cheese Dog and Cherry Limeade
                                                      Five Guys Spicy Fries
                                                      Mc Donald Sausage Egg and Cheese McGriddle
                                                      Carrabas Mussels Marinara
                                                      Outback - Bleu Cheese Chopped Salad, and Seared Ahi Tuna
                                                      Penn Station Subs - Italian Sub
                                                      Denny's Grand slam breakfast with hash browns and pancakes
                                                      Panera's broccoli cheese soup and a hunk of baguette, and another vote for the cinnamon crunch bagels
                                                      Glory Days Vermonter Sandwich (ham, apple slices, cheddar on raisin break) sweet potato fries and the chili, too

                                                      1. Alright this sounds like fun:

                                                        Go Roma: Margherita pizza...yum!
                                                        Panera: Asian Sesame Chicken Salad
                                                        Wendy's: Spicy Chicken Sandwich
                                                        McDonald's: hamburger ketchup only and fries
                                                        Potbelly's: Turkey sub on wheat

                                                        1. Cheesecake Factory - factory nachos and mud pie.
                                                          Taco Bell - chicken quesadilla, cheesy beefy melt, and bean and cheese burrito.
                                                          Carl's Jr. - criss-cut fries
                                                          Subway - veggie delite on wheat or chicken breast on wheat
                                                          Starbucks - for all my coffee needs and the lowfat apricot blueberry muffin

                                                          1. The formerly ubiquitous "Host of the Highways" is sadly down to its last two restaurants (one in NY and one in Maine, I think), but let us pause to remember Howard Johnson's Tendersweet Fried Clams. With fries, cole slaw and a vanilla shake, they rock! I might just drive up for a nostalgic last dinner from a bygone era.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                              Howard Johnson's- I haven't thought about that for a while... Open face turkey sandwiches.... Turkey, gravy, bread, mashed potatoes AND stuffing. A carb-o-licious delight!

                                                              1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                The fried clams were all you can eat? And peppermint stick ice cream.

                                                                1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                  Tendersweet fried clams. All you could eat the the HoJos across from Beaver. Ohmyohmyohmy. My eyes are glazing over. Start up the "Way Back Machine" & let's go!

                                                                  Ditto on the peppermint shake.

                                                                  1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                    HoJo's open face turkey sandwiches.... good times, good times... Thanks for the memories!

                                                                2. McDonald's - Fries and SW salad
                                                                  Panera - French Onion Soup in a bread bowl
                                                                  Texas Roadhouse - the bread and cinnamin butter!!!
                                                                  Panda Express - chow mein noodles
                                                                  White Castle - burgers (I am carving one now!)
                                                                  Subway - veggie delight with honey mustard and pickles.....
                                                                  Long John Silvers - chicken planks!

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: libgirl2

                                                                    Have you ever gone in to Texas Roadhouse and ordered the bread to go? I used to do that a lot on my way home from work.

                                                                    1. re: flyerfan182

                                                                      Didn't know I could do that.

                                                                  2. The one chain I do have real affection for is Sonic. My wife and I will (again) drive cross country this summer with our dog. I'm on oxygen (a portable concentrator that runs off of the 12 volt plug in the car) and at Sonic, we can pull in, leave the car running and stay put. We don't have to worry about leaving the dog in the car alone while getting food and I don't have to worry about wrangling the concentrator about and we can get a wide variety of fairly decent to downright delicious food. The tater tots and coneys are great. My wife likes the chicken. I've never had an egg sandwich I didn't like.

                                                                    1. Tijuana Flats- chicken taco salad, blackened chicken burrito with black beans & rice on the side
                                                                      Quizno's- Baja chicken sandwich
                                                                      Sonic- powerade slushie, cherry limeade
                                                                      Zoe's- Mediteranian Tuna, grilled chicken pita, cherry limeade
                                                                      Tropical Smoothie- Buffalo Chicken wrap
                                                                      Arby's- chicken tenders

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: beachmouse

                                                                        What's up with the Sonic cherry limeade? I am going to have to try that one. I didn't realize Sonic had so many fans....

                                                                        1. re: PJ4

                                                                          Me neither! My DH has been bugging me to drive to a Sonic a couple of towns up for a few months now. Might have to agree after reading this thread!

                                                                      2. McDonald's: Egg McMuffin and (thank goodness i'm incognito here) those double cheeseburgers on the dollar menu......must be the "white-bread" kid from the 70's in me.
                                                                        Chipotle: chicken quesadilla
                                                                        Pollo Loco: their chicken and those pinto beans-love those!
                                                                        Carl's Jr: Chicken club sandwich and fried zuchinni with ranch
                                                                        Jimboy's Tacos: Fish tacos (the regular beef tacos if it's at the stand next to Denio's)
                                                                        In-n-Out: Double-Double

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: elkgrovestella

                                                                          You and I have a lot in common elkgrovestella! When I lived in LA I would get the Chicken Fried Steak sandwich some days and the chicken club others at Carl's Jr. I could never decide! Pollo Loco... I miss that place!

                                                                          1. re: PJ4

                                                                            yeah.....i wish there was a Pollo Loco closer to my neighborhood. The closest one to me is not in the best of neighborhoods, but i still go!

                                                                        2. I can honestly say that I don't love chains (not the big ones anyway), but here are a few examples where I've had surprisingly pleasant experiences:

                                                                          Arby's - the fish sandwich is generous and tasty and they serve mozzerella sticks with decent marinara.
                                                                          Pei Wei, especially their spicy Korean style shrimp
                                                                          Panera - this is my go to spot for bagels and I like their salads
                                                                          Ihop- used to love this place for breakfast and recently had a very pleasant brunch here
                                                                          Original Pancake House- like this place even better for breakfast.
                                                                          Burger King- no other fast food chain does onion rings quite like BK, but that's the only thing I like.
                                                                          Wahoo's fish tacos- consistently good food

                                                                          And though I don't visit these regularly I do love me some:
                                                                          Krispy Kreme donuts (oooh yesss)
                                                                          Cinnabon
                                                                          Ben and Jerry's

                                                                          1. I can find something to eat at various drive in style chains when travelling. Sometimes, though, I want to sit down and have table service. Then things get a bit dicey. Now that my old standby, the garlic shrimp Caesar, is off the menu at Applebees, I'm lost.

                                                                            1. BKing- jr wopper with cheese extra pickles
                                                                              Wendy's- spicey chix sandwhich
                                                                              UNO's-pizza skins pizza at
                                                                              cosi moz tom basil sammy and the signature salad
                                                                              CARABA's - chix with the tom, and the bruschetta
                                                                              Olive Garden - salad and breadsticks

                                                                              1. Sonic - cheeseburger bacon toaster sandwich and cherry limeade
                                                                                Newk's - grilled steak sandwich and Newk's favorite salad
                                                                                Arby's - chicken salad wrap
                                                                                Cracker Barrel - country fried steak
                                                                                IHOP - cheese blintzes with strawberries
                                                                                Waffle House - Texas cheesesteak sandwich and hash browns
                                                                                Macaroni Grill - Penne Rustica
                                                                                Wendy's - chili

                                                                                1. McD's - Sausage McMuffin hold the egg, fresh french fries.
                                                                                  Burger King - Double cheeseburger, onion rings with spicy dipping sauce
                                                                                  Subway - Meatball sandwich
                                                                                  Pizza Hut - Barbecue pizza on crispy thin crust
                                                                                  Mazzio's - Salad Bar
                                                                                  Quizno's - Black angus sandwich
                                                                                  Arby's - Ham and cheese sandwich and mozarella sticks
                                                                                  Panera - Cinnamon Crunch bagel with hazelnut cream cheese
                                                                                  Sonic - Cherry slush or diet coke with cherry and their fabulous rabbit pellet ice
                                                                                  Looking up, its pretty much a list of everything I can't eat until November since I've started training for my first 1/2 marathon and need to drop some weight.
                                                                                  :(
                                                                                  oh and
                                                                                  Dairy Queen -- peanut buster parfait
                                                                                  Outback - Victoria filet and the bread. Oh.... the bread.....

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                    The peanut buster parfait is the best! I can't eat that much anymore and one day I mentioned it to the person at the counter and she said to just get a hot fudge sundae with the spanish peanuts. I never thought of that! Perfect size.... You pay a little extra for the peanuts though but it is worth it!

                                                                                  2. McD: sausage biscuit (no egg or cheese) and hash browns (my hangover cure)
                                                                                    Cheesecake Factory: jambalaya (over pasta)
                                                                                    Chili's: boneless shanghai wings

                                                                                    1. Oh dear...I second all the Sonic-love...the first thing I wanted when I came back to Texas was a chili cheese coney.

                                                                                      Other places:
                                                                                      Taco Bell: chicken quesadillas, ranchero chicken soft tacos, beef meximelts, cheesy gordita crunches, and can they PLEASE bring back the zesty nachos with the baja sauce on top? oh yes.
                                                                                      Red Lobster: cheesy garlic biscuits.
                                                                                      Fazoli's: breadsticks
                                                                                      Long John Silver's: cod...in THAT batter...with lots of malt vinegar
                                                                                      Cotton Patch: Shiner-batter fish & chips
                                                                                      Posados: queso...on everything.
                                                                                      Ivar's fast-food joints: clam chowder
                                                                                      Olive Garden: endless salad, breadsticks
                                                                                      McDonald's: sausage egg McMuffins with cheese, breakfast burritos, and I really miss the breakfast bagel sandwiches
                                                                                      Whataburger: taquitos after everything closes
                                                                                      Panera: sun-dried tomato cream cheese, Greek salad
                                                                                      Carino's: that olive oil and bread
                                                                                      Starbucks: passion tea lemonade, the sammiches
                                                                                      Red Robin: three cheese cheeseburger
                                                                                      Krispy Kreme: the original glazed doughnuts
                                                                                      Popeye's: spicy chicken
                                                                                      Cheesecake Factory: white chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake, Godiva cheesecake
                                                                                      Jack in the Box: breakfast sandwiches
                                                                                      Chili's: southwestern eggrolls, spinach and artichoke dip, quesadilla explosion salad
                                                                                      Ninfa's: the Ninfarita...oh boy.
                                                                                      Krystal burgers

                                                                                      1. Claim Jumper - blue cheese wedge
                                                                                        Chili's - Chicken Enchilada Soup
                                                                                        Houston's - Couscous
                                                                                        Carl's Jr - $6 burger, low carb
                                                                                        McDonald's - Egg McMuffin, Hot Fudge Sundae

                                                                                        1. It's a rather small chain, but Cheddar's is a class operation.

                                                                                          1. Boston Pizza - almost any pizza they'll bake. I love their crust and tangy tomato sauce
                                                                                            A&W - Rootbeer in a frosted mug
                                                                                            Dairy Queen - Pecan mudslide
                                                                                            Starbucks - pretty much any "fun" coffee/tea. Current fav. Cinnamon Dolce latte

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: livetocook

                                                                                              I was so thoroughly underwhelmed by Boston Pizza.

                                                                                              DT

                                                                                            2. I don't mind admitting I like chains. Some of the food is pretty good!

                                                                                              Cheesecake Factory - Luau Salad and Thai Lettuce Wraps and that dark honey wheat bread with butter
                                                                                              McD- Southwestern Salad and McGriddles with bacon, egg and cheese
                                                                                              Bertuccis - rolls and eggplant pizza
                                                                                              Panera- strawberry poppyseed and asian chicken salad, all the bread, bacon turkey bravo sandwich

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                Ok, I'm in...
                                                                                                Jack-In-The-Box- any breakfast sandwich, egg rolls, chicken strips.
                                                                                                Arby's- Beef and Cheddar with tons of Horsey Sauce.
                                                                                                Islands- Fries with Ranch, Mushroom Swiss Burger.
                                                                                                Papa Johns- 6 Cheese Pizza with ripped up pickled peppers all over it.
                                                                                                Del Taco- Double Del Burger, Spicy Chicken Quesadilla and well done fries.
                                                                                                BJ's- Pale Ale and Wings.
                                                                                                Outback- Croutons on the house salad and Crab Legs....really salty butter.
                                                                                                El Pollo Loco-Salad bowl thingie with rice and cilantro dressing.
                                                                                                Round Table-Garlic Lovers Pizza (with extra sauce)

                                                                                                1. re: bubbles4me

                                                                                                  You lucky dog... you live in SoCal. So many great choices......

                                                                                              2. Cheesecake Factory - four cheese pasta, orange chicken, chicken and biscuits (or just the biscuit), vanilla bean cheesecake, oreo cheesecake
                                                                                                JITB - chicken supreme, curly fries, oreo shake
                                                                                                CPK - tricolore pizza crust, key lime pie, brownie
                                                                                                Dairy Queen - Breeze (vanilla fro yo w/ LOTS of rainbow sprinkles)
                                                                                                Sisley Italian Kitchen - chopped chicken salad w/ eggplant, grilled veggie appetizer
                                                                                                Starbucks - classic coffee cake
                                                                                                Ruth's Chris - lobster, broccoli, wedge salad
                                                                                                Koo Koo Roo - chicken and veggie combo, the discontinued eggplant salad, brownies
                                                                                                Baja Fresh or La Salsa - side of charbroiled chicken w/ salsa

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Emme

                                                                                                  Emme, does DQ still have their frozen yogurt? I LOVED that stuff, but thought they discontinued it because the last couple that I've been to didn't have it.

                                                                                                  To answer the OP:
                                                                                                  Braum's - banana split (made with peanutbutter rather than the fruit toppings)
                                                                                                  Starbucks - iced americano or soy latte
                                                                                                  Cheesecake Factory - any salad that I've had
                                                                                                  IHOP - harvest grain and nut pancakes, and the now defunct country griddle and buckwheat pancakes (two separate types)
                                                                                                  Schlotzky's - pumpernickel bread
                                                                                                  Popeye's - those wonderfully salty, fake tasting biscuits

                                                                                                  1. re: almccasland

                                                                                                    nope sadly discontinued... it was so vanilla-y and sooo creamy too :(

                                                                                                    1. re: almccasland

                                                                                                      The harvest grain pancakes at IHOP are the best, you're right! Thanks for posting!

                                                                                                  2. The mozzarella sticks and chicken quesadillas at Friendly's are *amazing*.

                                                                                                    1. You people are disgusting eating all this chain food, should be embarrased. I would never touch the stuff. Oh wait, maybe just maybe a little:

                                                                                                      Panera: Anything in a bread bowl
                                                                                                      Dunkin Donuts: Butternut donut or Old Fashioned Donut
                                                                                                      McDonalds: Filet of Fish and Shamrock shake, Hash Browns
                                                                                                      Wendy's: Spicy Chicken Sandwich
                                                                                                      Ruby Tuesday: Pumpernickel Croutons and Honey mustard dressing
                                                                                                      Burger King: French Toast Sticks
                                                                                                      Wawa: Any hoagie
                                                                                                      White Castle: Chicken jalapeno burgers
                                                                                                      Taco Bell: Chalupas

                                                                                                      and many many others

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: yankeefan

                                                                                                        does micky d's still make the schamrock shake?if not lets bumbard them for next year!

                                                                                                      2. I'll try a chain once.

                                                                                                        One of the great comfort foods of my childhood was those Howard Johnson's blueberry toaster pastries. Kind of like a poptart in that it's rectangular but it's a blueberry muffin. And their clam strips. They are the standard for any and all clam strips.
                                                                                                        Boston Market: Garlic dill potatoes.
                                                                                                        Fuddrucker's: Buffalo Burger
                                                                                                        Ryan's-I loved their cabbage
                                                                                                        Steak n' Shake: Fries
                                                                                                        Applebee's: Quesadillas
                                                                                                        Original Pancake House: Chocolate Chip Pancakes
                                                                                                        Big Boy: Hot Fudge Cake
                                                                                                        Arby's: Jalapeno Poppers
                                                                                                        Dairy Queen: Peanut Buster Parfait
                                                                                                        Taco Bell: Mexican Pizza, meximelt, chilito.

                                                                                                        1. I will gladly fess up! There are some stuff at some chains I really like. Some might be smaller regional chains, and some are downscale and upscale chains I am sure there is a lot more than just this but here is what I can think of:

                                                                                                          Cheeburger Cheeburger- by far my favorite chain, the one I love and will drive for, between the burger toppings, fries, onion rings and shakes they just have an awesome combo.
                                                                                                          Uno's Pizzeria deep dish pizza and muchos nachos (this is like one of the only places to eat out when I go home it was a big deal growing up there)
                                                                                                          PF Changs chicken lettuce wraps and their side of asparagus mmm.
                                                                                                          Five Guys
                                                                                                          Charlie Palmer
                                                                                                          Chic-fil-a mmm mmmm mmm and that sweet tea is awesome.
                                                                                                          CPK- I like some of their pizzas and their half waldorf salad
                                                                                                          Fiance like Taco Bell and we will eat this on road trips, I don't have a favorite but don't object at all.
                                                                                                          Don Pablo's it is my favorite of the not really tex mex, tex mex chains
                                                                                                          Daily Grill
                                                                                                          I haven't been to Cracker Barrel in forever, but I remember they used to have good chicken and dumplings.
                                                                                                          Lebanese Taverna- regional to our area.
                                                                                                          Cheesecake factory- I admit it they have one chicken pasta dish I really like, I like the macaroni balls, and I like the cheesecake but only the specialty ones, not the plain ones.
                                                                                                          Einstein Bagels
                                                                                                          Cafe Deluxe
                                                                                                          And Sheetz- for late night meatball subs after a drunken night out in the country when nothing else is open. I can eat a 12" sheetz meatball sub without a napkin... that takes practice.
                                                                                                          Atlanta Bread Co. for good sandwiches and soup.
                                                                                                          Au Bon Pain has some pretty darn tasty soups in the winter.
                                                                                                          I love Starbucks caramel frappuccinos although I don't order them now because of how bad they are for you, I love them and will freely admit my love, if calories didn't count for anything I might drink one everyday.
                                                                                                          Cosi signature salad for days I want to eat lighter out.
                                                                                                          Clydes- DC chain.
                                                                                                          ChartHouse- the one in Annapolis is really good and has a great bar overlooking the water.

                                                                                                          I am sure there are more... and I didn't even mention the places in Dc people consider chains even if there are only a few of them...

                                                                                                          I don't eat at chains all that often because we have good little ethnic places nearby, but I do really like them and I am not one to say I dislike chains, I think sometimes the consistency is nice, especially when travelling.

                                                                                                          OH! And after 3 months in Europe the burger and chicken fajitas at the Hard Rock Cafe in Madrid tasted like sweet heaven. Not that food all over wasn't awesome, but sometimes you just need a taste of home after a few months.

                                                                                                          1. Living on the West Coast, but from Massachusetts, I miss Friendly's!

                                                                                                            I used to love getting the grilled cheese and fries. And the Reese Pieces Sundae is just about the best thing ever.

                                                                                                            1. FIVE GUYS: cheese burger and fries
                                                                                                              JACK in the BOX: Jumbo Jack
                                                                                                              PEI - WEI: Pad Thai noodle bowl
                                                                                                              BURGER KING: Whopper
                                                                                                              FRIENDLY: Clam Chowder

                                                                                                              and those of the past

                                                                                                              HOT SHOPPES: Mighty Mo
                                                                                                              HOWARD JOHNSONS: any ice cream on a sugar cone

                                                                                                              1. I don't understand why some say they don't like or respect chains but everybody dines at them. The suburbs are loaded with them. Some of the chains are really great and they became chains because of how delicious they are. Here is my list:

                                                                                                                Panera Bread: Another one for the cinnamon crunch bagel..w/ either honey nut or hazelnut cream cheese...I also like the dutch apple bagel with honey nut cream cheese...they are sooo good. French toast bagel is pretty good as well with honey nut. I also love the strawberry poppyseed salad, black bean soup, and southwest tomato and corn soup...its the one with a tomato base...soo soo good.
                                                                                                                Cheesecake Factory: Miso salmon and cajun jumbalaya pasta...great.
                                                                                                                P. F. Changs: Honey shrimp, sea bass, and lemon pepper prawns
                                                                                                                Macaroni Grill: lobster ravioli, shrimp scampi, free basil bread, and some steak dish I ordered
                                                                                                                Smokey Bones: pulled pork BBQ and beef brisket but it definitely needs the sauces that are on the table...and both sauces are good
                                                                                                                Olive Garden: soup (pasta fagoli or something like that), tuscan chicken
                                                                                                                Logan's Roadhouse: rolls w/ whipped butter, rib eyes
                                                                                                                Chipotle Mexican Grill: steak and barbacoa tacos and burritos
                                                                                                                Qdoba Mexican Grill: burritos, tacos, nachos, and tortilla soup...their chicken is better than Chipotle but Chipotle has better steak and barbacoa. I rarely eat at taco bell now since Qdoba and Chipotle came to our area...
                                                                                                                Chick-Fil-A: Chicken Sandwich (original), nuggets, fries, fruit cups, chicken biscuits, chicken mini's....SO SO GOOD!
                                                                                                                McDonald's: plain lil hamburgers...pretty good and simple and their fries are good
                                                                                                                Red Lobster: garlic biscuits, and most grilled/broiled fish
                                                                                                                Picadilly's: carrot souffle...taste like yams
                                                                                                                Dairy Queen: oreo blizzards, strawberry sundaes
                                                                                                                Bonefish Grill: most grilled fish with mango salsa or pan asian sauce
                                                                                                                Applebee's: oriental chicken wrap
                                                                                                                Ruby Tuesday: salad bar, crabcake (not the best but it has lump crab meat), mini burgers
                                                                                                                Carrabbas: some lemon garlic spinach dish I ordered...it was wonderful! also had a decent ceasar salad and normally I am not fond of that type of salad...
                                                                                                                Chili's: chicken fingers, southwest eggrolls, ribs
                                                                                                                Hardee's: only breakfast...they use country ham...ham and egg biscuit..yum but not good for you...and their cinnamon and raisin biscuits..yummy...and I'm on a diet...lol
                                                                                                                KFC: honey BBQ wings, original wings
                                                                                                                IHOP: carrot cake pancakes...yummy they are really good...strawberry cheesecake pancakes are great as well (this was on some specials since late last year....they still have the carrot cake pancakes and will do the strawberry cheesecake ones like next month or something)....IHOP is much much better than Denny's
                                                                                                                Cracker Barrel: turnip greens, roast, pancakes, bacon, chicken and dumplings, meatloaf....just wonderful
                                                                                                                Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees and Smoothies: wonderful smoothes...much better than tropical smoothie cafe...their smoothies are so good that I haven't tried their coffee yet

                                                                                                                This is all I can think of now...lol

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Carter876

                                                                                                                  I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Cracker Barrel. I am heading to Texas for a vacation and I just have to stop at a Cracker Barrel. Hashbrown casserole! YUMMY!

                                                                                                                2. All right. Hereeeee weeeee gooooo...
                                                                                                                  JITB: Taco and Jumbo Jacks.
                                                                                                                  McDonald's: Sausage Biscuit w/ eggs, Big Macs (as long as cooked fresh), and FF.
                                                                                                                  Big Boy: Big Boy Combos & Hot Fudge cakes.
                                                                                                                  Del Taco: Double Del Meal (the No. 9 out west) w/ the large cup of crinkle cut fries.
                                                                                                                  Cracker Barrel: Chicken Fried Chicken, bring on the corn bread and biscuits.
                                                                                                                  Outback: Hands down, the Bloomin' Onion.
                                                                                                                  IN-N-OUT Burger: Double Doubles
                                                                                                                  IHOP: Their pancakes and the endless pot of coffee.
                                                                                                                  Original Pancake House: Pretty much any of their breakfast are good.
                                                                                                                  KFC: Original or crispy, cold slaw and some potato lube.
                                                                                                                  Wendys: Any square burger and a salad.
                                                                                                                  Marie Calenders: Their pies.
                                                                                                                  Polly's Pies: Another Western pie/food joint.
                                                                                                                  Etc. etc......
                                                                                                                  -BnF

                                                                                                                  1. ok...I will gladly play along...

                                                                                                                    Culvers: Butterburger with cheese,mustard,ketchup,and pickle with the Cheese curds (heart attack waiting to happen)
                                                                                                                    PF Changs: Mongolian Beef and Wonton Soup...I crave the soup...
                                                                                                                    McDonalds:Fish Sandwich and fries...
                                                                                                                    Panera: Asiago Bagel
                                                                                                                    Tony Romas: Spicy Wings
                                                                                                                    Johnny Carinos: Wedge Salad with Apples & Blue Cheese and Johnny's Skilletini
                                                                                                                    Chik fil a: Chicken Minis and Chicken Tender Salad
                                                                                                                    Cheesecake Factory: BBQ Chicken Salad
                                                                                                                    Red Robin: Bonzi Burger
                                                                                                                    Cosi: Signature Salad
                                                                                                                    Texas Roadhouse: Rolls and Ribeye with Baked Sweet Tater
                                                                                                                    Backyard Burger: Waffle fries and chili
                                                                                                                    Pizzeria Uno: Shroom Pizza....oh how I crave it...so glad I don't have one close by...
                                                                                                                    Buffalo Wild Wings: Wings spun dry in medium sauce...nothing better to watch football with...lol
                                                                                                                    Penn Station: Artichoke Sandwich with mushrooms
                                                                                                                    Sonic: Strawberry Limeade
                                                                                                                    Ted's Montana Grill: Bison Meatloaf & Fish Sandwich
                                                                                                                    Starbucks: Iced Latte & Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf
                                                                                                                    Burger King: Original Chicken Sandwich
                                                                                                                    Olive Garden: Pasta e Fagoli Soup & Breadsticks

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: baccimi

                                                                                                                      I use to work for UNo and I loved loved loved the shroom pizza.....

                                                                                                                      i wish i had some now

                                                                                                                      gooood call!

                                                                                                                      1. re: namreb

                                                                                                                        whenever I order this pizza everyone at the table laughs at me because I eat all of the shrooms off with a fork and eat the outside crust...lol...but those shrooms are soooo good...

                                                                                                                    2. two chains found in london come to mind:
                                                                                                                      caffe nero has decent coffee. i go there most mornings.
                                                                                                                      strada is a pizza/italian food chain. pretty decent. pizza ovens are wood-fired. good value.

                                                                                                                      1. I don't eat out THAT often and prefer to make it something other than a chain when I do, with one exception - the "Starbucks"-serving cafe' inside Barnes and Nobles. Does that count? I love the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, along with the jalapeño - cheese stuffed pretzels and the grilled chicken sandwiches. Used to love one of their "stratas", but they discontinued it!

                                                                                                                        Otherwise, White Castle is my favorite chain place, but there isn't one open here anymore and fulfilling a White Castle craving requires a 65-mile drive (one way!) to Hinckley. I don't understand how they have been open so long there (a town of maybe 8,000), serving people going back and forth to Minneapolis / Duluth, while Duluth couldn't sustain one.

                                                                                                                        1. Cheesecake Factory- Beef ribs, skirt steak, ranch house burger, chicken and biscuits, cajun chicken littles, honey wheat bread, macaroni and cheese, godiva cheesecake, chocolate tuxedo, brownie cheesecake, pistachio cheesecake, banana cream cheesecake, etc. I LOVE EVERYTHING CF!

                                                                                                                          Charlie Browns- Double cut prime rib, sweet potato fries, raisin bread
                                                                                                                          Bonefish Grill- Lobster tails, macadamia nut brownie sundaes, au gratin potato
                                                                                                                          Outback- Bloomin onion, porterhouse steak, baked sweet potato
                                                                                                                          Famous Daves- French fries, pulled pork, bread pudding
                                                                                                                          Red Robin- Royal Red Robin burger, shakes, fries, onion rings
                                                                                                                          Champps- Mile high pie
                                                                                                                          Grand Lux- Beignets, apple pie thing
                                                                                                                          Maggiano's- Steak medallions, chicken and spinach manicotti, chocolate cake, profiteroles, spumoni, mashed potatoes

                                                                                                                          1. Given a choice, I will choose an independant family owned restaurant over a chain. Usually because the food is better. Even if it is equal, I would rather support the little guy. But for me, the bottom line is whether I like the food and service. Sometimes I'm limited by where I am working as to where I can go for lunch. Many times I'll go to a chain restaurant or burger joint.

                                                                                                                            My favorite chain restaurant, and one I would drive out of my way for is Five Guys. I know that there is a wide range of opinions regarding their food, but I love their burgers and fries. And it's not that I don't have a lot of choices where I live regarding burgers.

                                                                                                                            1. I'm not sure how many there are. But if you're on the interstate and you see an Iron Skillet, they had a sign saying they were voted best chicken fried steak by truck drivers.
                                                                                                                              We bit and were glad we did. It was very good. Easy access to the highway makes it a nice plus.

                                                                                                                              http://www.petrotruckstops.com/iron_s...

                                                                                                                              DT

                                                                                                                              1. My parents took me to Cheesecake Factory a couple weeks ago, the one in San Francisco at the top of Macy's in Union Square.

                                                                                                                                I was completely satisfied with my food, and I'd go back as long as I can share my plate with someone! Mom ordered the factory chopped salad, I ordered the chicken fingers with mashed potatoes (not sure what they call it on the menu, might have been the cajun chicken littles someone else mentioned), and Dad ordered a slice of Kahlua cheesecake.

                                                                                                                                Between the salad and my entree, the three of us had plenty of dinner food. Seriously, there were enough chicken tenders and mashed potatoes for all three of us to have decent portions, plus I had enough to take home for another meal. The chicken tenders were perfectly cooked, crispy on the outside and very moist on the inside. The mashed potatoes were dense and rich. Surprisingly, nothing was over-salted.

                                                                                                                                My dad's cheesecake was just fine -- really sweet and covered in toppings, so I'm not really sure what the cheesecake tasted like under there!

                                                                                                                                All in all, it was a great value and a totally satisfying dinner experience. Oh and service was fantastic.