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Jun 5, 2008 12:45 PM

What do you eat at mediocre chains?

After reading a thread on the worst places to eat, it seemed a common theme is that of food-lovers being dragged to these places for social gatherings. My question is what do you order when you are forced to go to places like Milestones, Boston Pizza, Kelsey's, Casesy's, Shoeless Joe's, etc? For example, at Richtree I always have the fish: You can't go wrong with grilled fresh fish. And at Spring Rolls, I usually have the pho, the thai fried rice, a salad or some of their fresh shrimp rolls, anything else has been a depressing experience. And at Shoeless Joe's, the waffle fries usually cheer me up.
I'm going to Jack Astor's tonight and would love for someone to tell me if there's something there that I would actually like! Suggestions?

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  1. Alcohol usually. I guess I hope to numb my palate

    Jack Astots - ick

    Seriously, I always end up ordering some sort of salad because I can't bring myself to order mains of food that is terrrible and I will just leave behind anyway

    2 Replies
    1. re: mac n cheeze

      Sigh. That's how I'm feeling. I may just eat when I get home instead.

      1. re: sway

        I tend to get the buffalo chicken fingers when I get dragged to Jack Astor's by my cousin and her herd of kids. They are not gourmet or fine dining by any stretch of the imagination but they are edible and reliable.

    2. Usually something vegetarian. I think there is less room for error when there is no meat involved and my risk of food poisoning is lowered. You can't be disappointed when your broccoli comes out overdone than rather a steak being overcooked. Probably not true; but don't ruin it for me.

      1. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with any of the chains you've mentioned, but when I end up at a chain place, I usually go with a simple salad or, like smr, chicken fingers. It's hard to screw those up, and with a little ranch to dip them in, it could be much worse.

        1. I have to agree with the consensus. Stick to the very basic and you should be ok. Now, the only chain you mentioned I am familiar with is Boston's. The BBQ Pizza I had was quite good. However, one of the people in my party was very disappointed in the chicken casear salad they had, it hardly had any chicken in it.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Fibber McGee

            Sorry all, they're all Canadian/Toronto area chains. The original thread was posted in Ontario, but it was moved here...
            For those of you who do know Jack Astor's, I had the shrimp tacos. Not shrimp should ever be that shade of brown. The very nice server looked at my barely touched plate and asked if it was okay. I told her I was very sorry, but it was pretty disgusting and the sauce was nasty. She very kindly took it off my bill. I usually expect indifferent service, so was pleasantly surprised. Next time, I will stick with common sense and have wings...sigh.

            1. re: sway

              Well, look at the bright side - the food may not have been good, but at least her reaction and service level was appropriate. There's certainly something to be said for that in this day and age of diminishing customer service!