HOME > Chowhound > Chains >

I don't care if I never set foot again in a...............

steakman55 Feb 7, 2009 05:25 PM

Wendy's, Applebee's, TGI Friday, Ruby Tuesday

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. c oliver RE: steakman55 Feb 7, 2009 05:39 PM


    1. k
      KevinB RE: steakman55 Feb 7, 2009 06:42 PM

      When I read your title, all of the last three and Bennigans occurred to me. They all offer pedestrian fare with trumped up names and muted flavours, insincere, inconsistent, and frequently inept service, and an atmosphere that makes conversation (as opposed to shouting) almost impossible.

      But I'll stick up for Wendy's. For a fast food joint, they're OK - a lunch of their chili with a baked potato is incredibly cheap, filling, tastes fine, and nutritionally, surprising good - only 510 calories, 10g of fat, 11 g of fibre (half the daily requirement), 22 g of protein, and 70% of your vitamin C, and 30% of your iron.

      Compare that to a Big Mac and small fries - 760 cal, 40g of fat, 6g of fibre, 27 g of protein, 40% of your iron, and only 4% of your vitamin C. Plus, I find after eating a Big Mac and fries, I'm still hungry, but the Wendy's meal (perhaps because of the fibre) fills me up. I'd choose the pigtails over the arches any day of the week.

      12 Replies
      1. re: KevinB
        monku RE: KevinB Feb 7, 2009 07:47 PM

        Agree on the chili at Wendy's.....it ain't bad.

        1. re: monku
          lynnlato RE: monku Feb 8, 2009 08:34 AM

          When there isn't a finger floating in it.

          I know the finger thing was a set up, but I can't help but think of it whenever someone mentions Wendy's chili. Not fair to Wendy's, but just the same...

          1. re: lynnlato
            Davwud RE: lynnlato Feb 9, 2009 01:54 PM

            I usually order three fingers of chili when I'm there.


        2. re: KevinB
          soypower RE: KevinB Feb 7, 2009 08:34 PM

          Caesar Side Salad - Romaine, Shredded Parmesan, Bacon Bits, & Garlic Croutons

          For $1.29? Awesome.

          1. re: soypower
            kchurchill5 RE: soypower Feb 8, 2009 07:00 AM

            True, I don't like that much fast food. I do eat the occasional Whopper Jr, I admit. But Wendys isn't bad. Hey it is fast food what do you expect.

            When I go to Bennigans, Applebees, etc, Rubys, TGIF, I try to stick with what will be good. Don't get a steak or a pasta dish, we all know it is premade and not fresh. Heck anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant knows that. But a good burger, chicken sandwich, nachos or something like that is a better and safer bet. My homemade pasta ... I made, same with steak or a good roasted chicken and vegetables. But a burger of sandwich, french dip, blt, etc. I think they all do a descent job.

            I meet clients a lot at those places ... clients like it, and I stay with the safe calls, and overall ... they are ok. And for a post before, same goes for Chilis, Denny's I only do breakfast and Cracker Barrel actually has a few good things ... Olive garden, their soup and salad I totally admit I love (even though my pasta fijole (sp?) I like better) however, when it comes to lunch out. That is a nice lunch for the price. Melting Pot, over priced. Subway, I get the veggie sub toasted. Personally, I like them and go back often, I like a few of their subs.

            Maybe I am lucky here and I have good managers and staff at these places. Burgers are cooked to order, nothing overdone, usually no wait and descent help. I think the staff plays an critical roll in these types of places.

            But I realize that food from those places is not mine and also don't expect too much. I take it for what it is worth. But I have been to some that will never go back again too, but I don't even think they are around any more.

          2. re: KevinB
            sbp RE: KevinB Feb 8, 2009 05:10 PM

            Agree wholeheartedly; and not just because I worked at a Wendy's in 1979. (I think they've rotated out the chili since then). Yes, their burgers, like all fast food burgers, are too thin and only come well done, but they are tasty and juicy and the toppings are fresh.

            Applebee's is the worst of the worst.

            1. re: KevinB
              Firegoat RE: KevinB Feb 9, 2009 08:38 AM

              Do Bennigan's still exist?

              1. re: Firegoat
                monkeyrotica RE: Firegoat Feb 9, 2009 09:02 AM

                The last time I was in a Bennigan's was in 1990. We ordered some nachos and after half-an-hour, were presented with FIVE largish Dortios-style chips and a ramekin half full of lukewarm Cheez-Wiz. Haven't set foot in one in 19 years.

                1. re: monkeyrotica
                  Suzy Q RE: monkeyrotica Feb 9, 2009 01:49 PM

                  I don't think I've even SEEN one in 19 years. Looks like they're still around, though, and opening new locations:


                  1. re: Suzy Q
                    kchurchill5 RE: Suzy Q Feb 9, 2009 02:09 PM

                    We have 3 locally. Where do you live :)

                2. re: Firegoat
                  alkapal RE: Firegoat Feb 18, 2009 05:04 PM

                  most bennigan's went bankrupt (their parent). some were (somehow) independent, and remain open. here in d.c. area they closed.

                3. re: KevinB
                  ItalianNana RE: KevinB Feb 21, 2013 06:12 PM

                  Second the thumbs up for Wendy's. the recipe for their chile is all over the net and tastes just like a cup of the real thing!

                4. Suzy Q RE: steakman55 Feb 7, 2009 07:02 PM

                  I don't mind any of the four you've mentioned enough to hate them, but I'd finish your sentence with "Ted's Montana Grill" in a second. Yuck.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Suzy Q
                    fldhkybnva RE: Suzy Q Feb 12, 2013 01:58 PM

                    Oh, really? I love Ted's or at least did the last time I was there in 2009.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                      monkeyrotica RE: fldhkybnva Feb 25, 2013 12:59 PM

                      My last two trips to Teds involved a painfully dry bison burger, painfully slow service, which is a shame because my kids really liked their shakes.

                    2. re: Suzy Q
                      RetiredChef RE: Suzy Q Feb 25, 2013 10:46 AM

                      Wow, I always mention Ted's as a chain that does it right.

                      1. re: RetiredChef
                        fldhkybnva RE: RetiredChef Feb 25, 2013 12:12 PM

                        I'll stand by Ted's until I make another visit.

                    3. b
                      Brioche For The Girl RE: steakman55 Feb 7, 2009 08:14 PM

                      Cracker Barrel, Applebee's, Chilis, Denny's, California Pizza Kitchen.

                      1. coney with everything RE: steakman55 Feb 8, 2009 04:32 AM

                        IHOP, Olive Garden, BennirubychiliTGapplebees.

                        1. q
                          queencru RE: steakman55 Feb 8, 2009 04:55 AM

                          Any bad Tex Mex place. I've never seen the thrill- Don Pablo, Chipotle, Chili's and most importantly, the annoying fact that lots of airports only have various iterations of bad Tex Mex restaurants for sit-down meals.

                          1. b
                            beachmouse RE: steakman55 Feb 8, 2009 06:33 AM


                            1. m
                              Mr Siegal RE: steakman55 Feb 8, 2009 06:34 AM

                              Melting Pot!

                              1. iluvcookies RE: steakman55 Feb 8, 2009 06:42 AM

                                TGIF... we have one situated right next to our local Pizza and Brew (a lovely, small, local Italian chain in Westchester Cty, NY) and I am amazed that there is a line out the door for TGIF. Went to this TGIF once and I don't get it. I think they deep fry everything. Guy Fieri (who I think is GREAT, btw) really should hawk something else since this took the shine off his star for me.

                                And Applebees... esp when I have 3 good diners within a mile of our local one. They won't cook a burger medium and their med-well is like a hockey puck.

                                And Olive Garden. People wait on line for this? But at least they have a halfway decent wine selection (for a chain).

                                1. rockandroller1 RE: steakman55 Feb 8, 2009 08:04 AM

                                  McDonald's, Wendy's, TGI Friday's, Olive Garden

                                  1. k
                                    kkachurak RE: steakman55 Feb 8, 2009 08:09 AM

                                    Rainforest Cafe. Just the worst dining experience ever.

                                    I'd also have to agree with Subway, Applebee's and IHOP. They are all flavorless institutions with horrible food and horrible service.

                                    1. Sam Fujisaka RE: steakman55 Feb 8, 2009 08:25 AM

                                      I must be lucky. I've NEVER BEEN IN an Applebee's, TGI Friday, Ruby Tuesday, Bennigans, Olive Garden, Chang's...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                        lynnlato RE: Sam Fujisaka Feb 8, 2009 08:37 AM

                                        Keep it that way, Sam. :)

                                      2. c
                                        cheetobrain RE: steakman55 Feb 8, 2009 08:59 AM

                                        Mine probably won't be popular, but:

                                        Subway, Jimmy John's, Potbelly, any sandwich place really. I just don't like subs or sanwiches.

                                        PF Changs and Big Bowl - I find the food at both of these chains very greasy, I always leave feeling a little ill.

                                        Whataburger - ok, I haven't eaten here since 1992, but eyuck, it was nasty then.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: cheetobrain
                                          kkachurak RE: cheetobrain Feb 8, 2009 10:09 AM

                                          I recently went to a Jimmy Johns for the first time at the University of Central Florida campus and really enjoyed my spicy Italian sub. And I love Quizno's. But I have to absolutely agree with you on Subway... it is truly horrid.

                                          1. re: kkachurak
                                            cheetobrain RE: kkachurak Feb 8, 2009 10:30 AM

                                            I know, people LOVE Jimmy John's. Just not a sandwich gal. I'm a pain in my lunch friends' booty because I won't go to JJs or Subway. :)

                                            1. re: cheetobrain
                                              James Cristinian RE: cheetobrain Feb 8, 2009 12:11 PM

                                              Maggiano's for forgettable "Italian." Two words, "freezer burn."

                                        2. c oliver RE: steakman55 Feb 8, 2009 01:29 PM

                                          Okay, I'm going to use more words and try my response again. Is it just those four chains that you don't like? Why? I've never eaten in a Ruby Tuesday's and not in TGIF in many years. But I've had better than average fast food at Wendy's and I've had good for what it is at Applebee's. I've also had dreck at non-chains. I also agree with others that you should order to their strengths rather than their weaknesses. For instance, I'd have pretty low expectations if I went to a steak restaurant and ordered fish. I love fine food but I'm not a snob about food. Well, that was a lot more words but I'd be interested in your response, steakman :)

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: c oliver
                                            James Cristinian RE: c oliver Feb 8, 2009 02:43 PM

                                            What, more words than one? The only one of the four that I have eaten at is Wendy's. I find it borderline disgusting.

                                            1. re: c oliver
                                              kchurchill5 RE: c oliver Feb 8, 2009 02:55 PM

                                              Agreed, sometimes I go where others go or just want something quick and on the road. A quick burger, sandwich, etc. I love great food but I'm not a snob about it. I can eat a mcdonalds burger and I'm just fine. It's not great, but I'm guess I'm easy with that. I don't have high expectations for these places so therefore I'm no disappointed. They are fast food or chains and what you get it what you get. Now a nice restaurant ... ordered a nice dinner and got bad service and food ... I would be disappointed. I guess I can eat anywhere and never complain, but when I cook, I like to cook good ... however ... there are days ... no time 15 min to make dinner for 6 people. Well, I take shortcuts when need be.

                                              But a nice dinner when I have the time is the best. I'm also not too concerned about organic or only the best. I do try but sometimes. But regular asparagus from Publix or any grocery store is ok for me compared to the 3 dollars more per lb from my whole food store ... I dare any of my friends to tell me which was which... LOL.

                                              Ok, my point being ... if you don't like that kind of food don't go. If you go and don't like it, just don't go back. Personally, all my friends go so ... I go with them, not a big deal.

                                              Don't take anything serious, this is just my opinion.

                                              1. re: kchurchill5
                                                Ruth Lafler RE: kchurchill5 Feb 18, 2009 08:37 AM

                                                I think it really depends on where you live and what your choices are. I live in the SF Bay Area, and there's no reason ever to go to a chain: there are too many non-chain places where you can have a decent meal for a reasonable price. On the other hand, when I'm traveling I occasionally find myself in a place where chains are the best option, especially if I'm with a group of people who don't want to check out some weird local place I found through chowhound <vbg>.

                                                What gets me about chains is that with some exceptions they aren't that cheap and in some cases they aren't that fast/convenient, either. I read about people waiting hours to eat at Cheesecake Factory for the privilege of paying fairly high prices for oversize servings of mediocre food and shake my head.

                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                  c oliver RE: Ruth Lafler Feb 18, 2009 10:46 AM

                                                  You completely sum up my feelings. When we're in SF or NYC our choices are so huge. And the Cheesecake Factory phenom just amazes me. A few months ago we were in Macys in SF where there's a CF (as you know). People were in line to get on the elevator to even go up to the floor where the restaurant is. And this is right in the middle of Union Square where there are gazillions of places to eat within minutes' walk. Or just the Cellar at Macys would probably be a better choice. I've eaten at CF a couple of times because someone else really wanted to. It's probably fine if your other choices are food courts in malls but in the middle of SF, I just don't get it.

                                              2. re: c oliver
                                                steakman55 RE: c oliver Feb 8, 2009 06:20 PM

                                                As for Wendy's, the burgers taste steamed not cooked on a griddle, and the fries are piddling at best. On the other hand, I admire Mcdonald's for their double cheeseburgers and fries. For the casual dining stores of Applebee's, TGIF, and Ruby Tuesday, they have gone steadily downhill, in my opinion, at a pretty rapid rate the past few years. I ate in a Ruby Tuesday a couple of years ago and have to say that there was absolutely nothing on the menu that appealed to me, but I ordered anyway, and my expectations were confirmed.

                                                As for Bennigan's, I apologize for leaving it off the list, but the ones I know have all closed and I honestly thought it had gone out of business and did not want to speak ill of the dead.

                                                1. re: steakman55
                                                  c oliver RE: steakman55 Feb 8, 2009 06:38 PM

                                                  Thanks, s55. I can't even remember Wendy's fries so they're probably ------ not memorable :) Yeah, we are definitely MdD's double cheeseburger/fries eaters when we're on the road, which is a lot sometimes. My 88 y.o. MIL like Applebee's --- probably because she can indulge in all the super fatty stuff - but we don't mind their salads. Boy, Bennigan's is a name from way, way back for me. Like decades. So no opinion.

                                                  1. re: steakman55
                                                    NorthEncantoGirl RE: steakman55 Feb 13, 2013 03:10 PM

                                                    Nope--Bennigan's still breathes, at least in San Diego. I haven't been in, but I see it from the freeway...

                                                2. e
                                                  EdwardAdams RE: steakman55 Feb 8, 2009 04:10 PM

                                                  Macaroni Grill, unless I want to be pickled for posterity. I've never had so much salt on my food. However, I want something to order at an Applebee's or other sit down chain so that I do not starve on long road trips.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: EdwardAdams
                                                    kchurchill5 RE: EdwardAdams Feb 8, 2009 04:15 PM

                                                    HINT, ask for no salt, I always do. Most of their stuff already is pre packaged as most people know and has salt. Asking for no salt usually works. Besides ... salt on the table if you want. Never failed me yet. It is the only thing special I ever ask for and never had a problem.

                                                    1. re: kchurchill5
                                                      Brennius RE: kchurchill5 Feb 10, 2009 04:35 PM

                                                      If the food is prepackaged and (evidently?) pre-salted, how does that work? Not that I'd eat at an Applebee's even at gunpoint.

                                                      1. re: Brennius
                                                        c oliver RE: Brennius Feb 10, 2009 05:06 PM

                                                        So you've eaten at an Applebee's and didn't like it? Or you've made up your mind that you wouldn't like it?

                                                        1. re: Brennius
                                                          kchurchill5 RE: Brennius Feb 10, 2009 05:52 PM

                                                          You won't get NO salt, but no added salt. most pre packaged always has salt but add additional too. I managed a restaurant similar to that for a short period and have a friend who runs a Perkins and a TGIF, I know the food, it isn't the best admit, but asking for no additional salt does help. I meet a client every week at Applebees, and I'm still alive, lol. Hey I look at it as 1 night not to cook. I sticks with basics and not all that bad.

                                                    2. b
                                                      bu dat RE: steakman55 Feb 8, 2009 08:00 PM

                                                      quiznos, bleh.

                                                      olive garden.






                                                      del taco

                                                      1. c
                                                        corgette RE: steakman55 Feb 9, 2009 09:00 AM

                                                        Taco Bell.

                                                        I can get down with fast food every now and then, but I find the stuff at Taco Bell is downright vile to look at, nevermind ingest. Aside from a teenage affair with the Cinnamon Twisties, I have no love for the Taco Bell.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: corgette
                                                          sunshine842 RE: corgette Feb 12, 2013 07:40 AM

                                                          I'm so with you on Taco Bell. I can't stand refried beans, and it seems that no matter what I order, or how carefully I look at the menu or photos, there's a great big puddle of those nasty, greasy beans. Blech.

                                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                                            James Cristinian RE: sunshine842 Feb 12, 2013 08:01 AM

                                                            I agree on Taco Bell, I think I've been twice. Now on the refried beans, good ones are not greasy at all, lard is used. Come to Texas and I'll treat you to some good refried beans and killer margaritas.

                                                          2. re: corgette
                                                            monkeyrotica RE: corgette Feb 12, 2013 09:54 AM

                                                            I can choke down Taco Bell, but only at 1am after drinking all night. They need to bring back the Chilito. My new hate is for Moe's Southwest Grill. Everything about the place is just irritating, from the loud decor to the loud music to the cutesy putesy names for the food, like the Art Vandalay Burrito or the Joey Bag of Douches. And the food is just D-Grade meat, fat, cheese, and more fat. At least Chipotle isn't trying to be "entertaining."

                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                              chileheadmike RE: monkeyrotica Feb 12, 2013 12:01 PM

                                                              My wife and I walked out of one without ordering. Pretty tough to figure out that menu.

                                                              1. re: chileheadmike
                                                                monkeyrotica RE: chileheadmike Apr 15, 2013 10:16 AM

                                                                Moe's Southwest Grill is like Chipotle's cheaper, slower, dumber, diarrhea-inducing younger brother. And, yeah, the menu is a mess, but I've noticed that about a lot of fastfood places (McDonalds, Taco Bell). They're turning what should be a simple transaction into a bewildering ordeal. The more choices you have, the more people will just stare blankly at the sprawling options and just give up. And this pretty much defeats the point of having a drive through: you always end up trapped behind someone ordering some oddball combination of items which the staff can't help but get wrong. How many possible combinations of meat, beans, and burrito skin do we really need?

                                                          3. p
                                                            pollymerase RE: steakman55 Feb 9, 2009 09:29 AM

                                                            Buca di Beppo, Joe's Crab Shack, and of course Applebees.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: pollymerase
                                                              RetiredChef RE: pollymerase Feb 25, 2013 10:48 AM

                                                              +1 for Buca, they make the olive garden look good.

                                                            2. m
                                                              meb903 RE: steakman55 Feb 9, 2009 11:32 AM

                                                              applebee's, cracker barrell, denny's, ruth chris, mortons, taco bell, olive garden, red lobster

                                                              1. Davwud RE: steakman55 Feb 9, 2009 01:58 PM

                                                                Cracker Barrel and what my FIL refers to as "The roast beef place." That being Arby's of course. Just dreadful.

                                                                I know it's popular but I fully don't understand Chik Fil A. Went there once and had a miserable chicken sandwich.


                                                                19 Replies
                                                                1. re: Davwud
                                                                  cheetobrain RE: Davwud Feb 9, 2009 05:34 PM

                                                                  ha! Arby's is so off my radar I didn't even think of it, but I'll add that to my list as well. It's never even a consideration when I am out looking for fast food.

                                                                  1. re: cheetobrain
                                                                    c oliver RE: cheetobrain Feb 9, 2009 05:38 PM

                                                                    We had a wrap at Arby's a couple or more years ago and it was pretty tasty.

                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                      kchurchill5 RE: c oliver Feb 9, 2009 06:06 PM

                                                                      Not my favorite place, but never bad ... like I said, I'm very easy. I enjoy great food, but can eat anything and it doesn't other me.

                                                                      1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                        c oliver RE: kchurchill5 Feb 9, 2009 06:11 PM

                                                                        I really appreciate your weighing on this thread because you are obviously are great cook and, yet, are not a snob. I think any criticism of "chain" food leans towards at least a little snobbery. As you say, eating with friends is more important than just eating. Well, actually, I took what you said and added to it :) BTW, I read you regularly. Thanks for all your help.

                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                          Samalicious RE: c oliver Feb 9, 2009 06:25 PM

                                                                          I don't think criticism of chain food equates snobbery whatsoever. One either likes a place or not. There are chains that are fine, people make choices.

                                                                          1. re: Samalicious
                                                                            c oliver RE: Samalicious Feb 9, 2009 06:39 PM

                                                                            I don't disagree with you but don't you think that there are some people who are snobs about chain food? As in "oh, I would never eat *chain* food." Quick to criticize, slow to praise. I've almost never read this board for that reason. They serve a purpose.

                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                              Samalicious RE: c oliver Feb 10, 2009 02:49 AM

                                                                              I agree w/ you on that, a lot of the time it's "oh the food is terrible there and there's not enough of it either." ;)

                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                Davwud RE: c oliver Feb 10, 2009 03:35 AM

                                                                                I fully agree. There are people out there who competely discount anything that comes from a chain simply because it comes from a chain. The is most definitely snobbery.


                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                  steakman55 RE: c oliver Feb 10, 2009 03:34 PM

                                                                                  As the one who started this thread, let me say I love McDonald's...at least their fries, egg McMuffin, and double cheeseburgers, particularly when just made. And my family regularly goes to Chili's which I think is head and shoulders above the Bennigans/Fridays/Applebee's crowd. Longhorn puts out a decent steak for its price and if you aren;t expecting prime beef. I also crave Jimmie John's and think Chik Fil-a is pretty good.

                                                                                2. re: Samalicious
                                                                                  monkeyrotica RE: Samalicious Feb 12, 2013 09:57 AM

                                                                                  Definitely not a snob. Love me some good and greasy chain food, but places like Arbys and Taco Bell USED to be good ages ago, but the quality has slid significantly. Arbys used to do real roast beef; now it's this horrible injection molded foam rubber like beef substance held together with gelatin and smothered in nacho cheese. The texture of the meat is way to "spongy" for me. It's like I'm eating a sandwich that was used to wipe a cow's butt.

                                                                                  1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                    mwhitmore RE: monkeyrotica Feb 22, 2013 11:55 AM

                                                                                    I first ate at Arby's over 40 years ago, and it wasn't real roast beef then.

                                                                                3. re: c oliver
                                                                                  kchurchill5 RE: c oliver Feb 9, 2009 08:10 PM

                                                                                  Thanks much appreciated.

                                                                              2. re: c oliver
                                                                                sunshine842 RE: c oliver Feb 12, 2013 07:41 AM

                                                                                I don't know if they still offer it or not -- but Arby's used to make a peppercorn BLT that was worth going out of my way.

                                                                            2. re: Davwud
                                                                              beachmouse RE: Davwud Feb 9, 2009 08:18 PM

                                                                              We've also sworn off Chik-fil-A. Last year, we went to one on the way back from Mobile. All was well until spouse picked up the nutritional information flyer and there was a note that they sometimes used food coloring to keep their sandwich lettuce looking green.

                                                                              1. re: beachmouse
                                                                                monku RE: beachmouse Feb 9, 2009 08:29 PM

                                                                                Chick-Fil-A is the best fast food chicken sandwich. The classic Chick-Fil-A sandwich has no lettuce, just pickles.


                                                                                1. re: monku
                                                                                  monkeyrotica RE: monku Feb 10, 2009 02:26 AM

                                                                                  I've NEVER had lettuce on my Chick-fil-a. Plain with pickles. Same with the breakfast chicken and biscuit sandwich. And compared to the mechanically extruded, spongiform Mcnugget sandwiches you get at most fast food places, I'll more than happily put up with a little food dye in the lettuce.

                                                                                  1. re: monku
                                                                                    c oliver RE: monku Feb 10, 2009 06:46 AM

                                                                                    Do you think you had to "cut your teeth" on Chick-Fil-A? I LOVE them but they don't seem to have them here in NoCal. The last I had was in an airport somewhere when I was dashing to make a connection. I thought it was great even there/then. Mmmm.

                                                                                  2. re: beachmouse
                                                                                    twisterp RE: beachmouse Feb 10, 2009 05:29 PM

                                                                                    Lettuce on a chick fil a?? I've never heard of such...pure craziness

                                                                                  3. re: Davwud
                                                                                    twisterp RE: Davwud Feb 10, 2009 05:23 PM

                                                                                    Life without Chic Fil A, Whataburger or even an occasional Arby's roast beef, I just couldn't bear it. I can live without Applebee's & TGIF. I can barely pass a Golden Corral w/out shuddering, sure most of you don't have to worry about that thankfully.

                                                                                  4. Samalicious RE: steakman55 Feb 9, 2009 02:29 PM

                                                                                    I haven't eaten at McDonald's for over 10 years. I just got fed up with it. Customers causing a scene when they don't get the toy they wanted in their Happy Meal; ordering two hamburgers and one small fry and make sure the hamburgers are in one bag and the fries are in a separate bag and can I have a container of sweet and sour honey mustard whatever it is in the bag with the fries in it not with the hamburgers; gimme one coke with no ice and one with two pieces of ice and I'm gonna check those drinks right here in line thank you; people in the food prep area slopping sandwiches together from plastic bins, dimwitted counter help who get confused if they have to do anything more than punch the pictures on the register, it will be a minute on that Filet Of Fish every damn time one is ordered, customers wearing flip flops and sleeveless shirts who plop their diapered kids' butts on the same counter space where food trays are served and spend 5 minutes looking at the menu like something is going to be good and different this time but they always order two hamburgers and one small fry and make sure the hamburgers are in a separate bag. Thank you no.

                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Samalicious
                                                                                      caitlink RE: Samalicious Feb 9, 2009 03:12 PM

                                                                                      Same as some of the others.

                                                                                      Macaroni Grill - everything was extremely salty
                                                                                      Rainforest Cafe - the worst experience ever - even my kids did not want to eat the food
                                                                                      Chick-a-fila - tried it twice not sure what all the fuss is about

                                                                                      1. re: Samalicious
                                                                                        James Cristinian RE: Samalicious Feb 9, 2009 03:14 PM

                                                                                        I think you can pretty much say the same for tho other big two. I used to like a filet o' fish before I totally quit fast food about a year ago, and you're right, you almost always had to wait for it. The last time I went to McDonald's I had a freebie coupon for a quarter pounder with cheese. It was so disgusting after about two and a half bites I tore it in pieces and fed it to some stray dogs, even the vaunted fries were terrible.

                                                                                        1. re: Samalicious
                                                                                          monkeyrotica RE: Samalicious Feb 9, 2009 04:23 PM

                                                                                          Real conversation I've had at Mcdonalds:

                                                                                          "I'd like a hamburger, a coke, and a side of fries."
                                                                                          "May I help you?"
                                                                                          "I'd like a hamburger, a coke, and a side of fries."
                                                                                          "Would you like fries with that?"
                                                                                          "And what would you like to drink?"
                                                                                          "A COKE!"

                                                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                            sunshine842 RE: monkeyrotica Feb 22, 2013 12:15 PM

                                                                                            that's okay - my Pepsi at KFC today magically turned into Sprite.

                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                              cheesecake17 RE: sunshine842 May 7, 2013 04:20 PM

                                                                                              Ah, well, at McD I ordered an iced coffee. Skim milk. No sugar.
                                                                                              I got a cup filled with ice and cream, and a splash of coffee.

                                                                                              1. re: cheesecake17
                                                                                                alkapal RE: cheesecake17 Jun 20, 2013 05:08 AM

                                                                                                this is what the mickey d's end product should look like: http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/p...

                                                                                                skim milk will water the whole thing down.

                                                                                          2. re: Samalicious
                                                                                            mwhitmore RE: Samalicious Feb 22, 2013 11:58 AM

                                                                                            I would rather wait if that means the O'Fish was cooked to order.

                                                                                          3. i
                                                                                            ilikefood RE: steakman55 Feb 9, 2009 03:16 PM

                                                                                            McDonald's, and I don't mind telling you why, whether you're interested or not. Then I'm gonna tell you why i decided to tell you why. About 4-5 yrs ago I went to McD's for a snack of a regular cheeseburger to go. When I took a bite I realized they had forgotten the pickle.. Oh yea, and the cheese also. My "lovin it" for McDonald's had been waning anyway and that was the last staw. I vowed "never again". But one Friday afternoon about a yr ago I was hungry, a McD;s was close by and I couldn't shake the urge for a filet o fish. Thinking "Hey it's Friday, they're only 99 cents." that excuse clinched the decision.
                                                                                            Well it was $2.59 !!!! but as many of you know parts of your body below the brain can easily take over one's thinking, and in this case it was my stomach. Well, again it was basically about a slice of cheese. Or in this case, a 1/2 a slice of cheese !!, 1/2 hanging out of the bun as if the "chef" had tossed it from 10 paces. They nicely accommodated me w/ a full slice on a fresh filet o fish. But again I vowed never again.

                                                                                            Now what really prompted me to tell my tale was a 7 minute piece I saw a few days ago from ABC News, that couldn't have been better PR for McD's if they had produced it themselves, about - A SLICE OF CHEESE (actually billions and billions of slices of cheese that adorn the double cheeseburger. The conundrum for McD's was that they could no longer afford to keep the double cheeseburger w/ 2 slices of cheese on the 99 cent menu but they didn't want to disenfranchise their dbl ch burger loving customers. Anyway they came up w/ a solution to please everyone. They raised the price of the dbl ch burger to $1.19 AND offer a single slice CH burger for 99 cents. Happiness abounds and I'm glad McDonald's can totally relate to how important a slice of cheese is, but I still "don't care if I never again step foot in a ......" Guess.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: ilikefood
                                                                                              James Cristinian RE: ilikefood Feb 9, 2009 03:26 PM

                                                                                              You could have my cheese. I tried ordering a quarter pounder without cheese at multiple locations and about eighty percent of the time I ended up with cheese, despite requesting none from the order taker, the money taker, and the food giver. It just blew there little minds that I don't want cheese on a burger.

                                                                                            2. t
                                                                                              TampaAurora RE: steakman55 Feb 9, 2009 03:45 PM

                                                                                              Sweet Tomatos
                                                                                              T G I Fridays
                                                                                              Ruby Tuesdays
                                                                                              Longhorn Steakhouse
                                                                                              Olive Garden
                                                                                              Red Lobster
                                                                                              Lee Roy Selmon's
                                                                                              Bahama Breeze
                                                                                              PF Chang's
                                                                                              Pei Wei
                                                                                              Marble Slab

                                                                                              I do like Taco Bell and Wendy's occasionally. I will make special trips for that horribly delicious "Mexican Pizza." I will visit Cracker Barrel, IHOP, Denny's and Perkins when I don't know an area and its next to my hotel. I just found Mellow Mushroom and love it. Westshore Pizza is great "philly style" and still accepts my old college ID. Florida is the land of chains - especially the suburban areas I grew up in and around. I grew up near Dardenland and went to college in Outback territory.

                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: TampaAurora
                                                                                                bu dat RE: TampaAurora Feb 9, 2009 07:45 PM

                                                                                                coldstone is so freakin' nasty! thank you. that's another. ugh! and i'm not a snob b/c i love rite aid ice cream and br.

                                                                                                1. re: bu dat
                                                                                                  TampaAurora RE: bu dat Feb 10, 2009 08:48 AM

                                                                                                  I will and have traveled 30 miles for Rita's!

                                                                                                  1. re: bu dat
                                                                                                    stellamystar RE: bu dat Feb 10, 2009 10:40 AM

                                                                                                    Coldstone is gooey, sticky, chunky, and just FOUL. The shops are always gross as well.

                                                                                                  2. re: TampaAurora
                                                                                                    RWCFoodie RE: TampaAurora Mar 6, 2009 04:31 PM

                                                                                                    You just reminded me - I will never willingly set foot in an Outback again...

                                                                                                    1. re: RWCFoodie
                                                                                                      c oliver RE: RWCFoodie Mar 6, 2009 07:07 PM

                                                                                                      I've never been to Outback. What's wrong with it?

                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                        monkeyrotica RE: c oliver Mar 7, 2009 04:29 AM


                                                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                          c oliver RE: monkeyrotica Mar 7, 2009 06:34 AM

                                                                                                          So it sounds like it was more the non-food issues. That does make a difference.

                                                                                                        2. re: c oliver
                                                                                                          RWCFoodie RE: c oliver Mar 7, 2009 07:15 PM

                                                                                                          See monkeyerotica's link: just the most awful so-called "food", etc.

                                                                                                      2. re: TampaAurora
                                                                                                        translucent RE: TampaAurora Jun 18, 2013 10:37 PM

                                                                                                        Yes, Coldstone is terrible! Despite all their efforts, every ice cream flavor tastes exactly the same! I don't know how they do it.

                                                                                                      3. lynnlato RE: steakman55 Feb 10, 2009 04:16 AM

                                                                                                        Speaking of places I wouldn't want to step foot in... I saw a commercial for Little Caesar's Pizza the other day and it caught me by surprise. I thought this chain went under years ago. I haven't seen a Little Caesar's shop anywhere in a very long time. So, I went to their website and sure enough they are still around and i actually have 3 here in my hometown. They are in neighborhoods I don't venture into though. Anyone have one in their town?

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                          coney with everything RE: lynnlato Feb 10, 2009 04:28 AM

                                                                                                          I can't believe you don't get inundated with their ads, lynn.

                                                                                                          Got tons of them, Ilitch the owner is rich enough to own not one but TWO sports teams. Them $5 anytime pizzas must really add up!

                                                                                                          1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                            monkeyrotica RE: lynnlato Feb 10, 2009 05:37 AM

                                                                                                            Little Caesars peaked in the 1990s with 5,000 stores; now they're around 2,000. They expanded into Kmarts, but when they declared bankruptcy, those Little Caesars closed. Most of the ones close to me have shut down, but there are plenty in the VA/MD suburbs.

                                                                                                            That is one greasy pizza. We didn't call them Little Greasers for nothing.

                                                                                                            1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                              c oliver RE: lynnlato Feb 10, 2009 06:48 AM

                                                                                                              There's one in our town but I've never eaten it. But my husband played poker a few years ago at someone's house and it said it was gross. And he's a real pizza guy --- and this was poker food :)

                                                                                                            2. cuccubear RE: steakman55 Feb 10, 2009 08:24 AM

                                                                                                              I stay away from:

                                                                                                              Subway – because of the plastic tasting food and stale bread that cuts your gums when you bite into it
                                                                                                              McDonald’s – because of the everything-tastes-the-same greasiness
                                                                                                              IHOP – serviceable food, but emotionally, that place depresses me for some reason
                                                                                                              Cracker Barrel – bland food and lots of loud children

                                                                                                              But to prove I’m not a fast food snob, I do love the double at Dairy Queen, with onion rings, or a basket of chicken strips with fries. Mm-mm! Just wish it wasn’t so expensive.

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: cuccubear
                                                                                                                c oliver RE: cuccubear Feb 10, 2009 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                Yeah, that's what I'm likin'. I used to get that basket of chicken strips at DQ. And cost is an issue. Probably why when I do fast food, it's usually McD's for their dollar (now dollar plus in many places) items. If you do one of those "meals," it can get up in the $5 range easily and that's generally not my goal for that kind of food. Although when we're traveling, we'll get one meal and one sandwich and share the fries and drink.

                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                  cuccubear RE: c oliver Feb 10, 2009 09:21 AM

                                                                                                                  The best thing I can say about McD's is that wherever you go, they are pretty reliable in terms of quality. Basically, you know what you're gonna get. Not a very chowish attitude I know, but sometimes when you're traveling, you're just starved and you need something quick and cheap.

                                                                                                                  1. re: cuccubear
                                                                                                                    c oliver RE: cuccubear Feb 10, 2009 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                    Absolutely. We spent 3-1/2 months in Rio in 2007 and every once in a while had McD's which was identical. Also occasionally KFC which was the same except for eating in the restaurant, it came on a real plate with real utensils!

                                                                                                                2. re: cuccubear
                                                                                                                  monkeyrotica RE: cuccubear Feb 10, 2009 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                  Footlong Chili Cheese Dog for me, please. Make that two.

                                                                                                                3. stellamystar RE: steakman55 Feb 10, 2009 10:44 AM

                                                                                                                  Applebees (PS - I live in the same town as their HQ). They are everywhere!
                                                                                                                  Golden Coral

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: stellamystar
                                                                                                                    SIMIHOUND RE: stellamystar Feb 10, 2009 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                    Burger King. I just don't think they are any good. I try them about once a year when I am in a pinch and I still feel the same way each time.

                                                                                                                  2. f
                                                                                                                    foodtastegood RE: steakman55 Feb 12, 2009 10:11 PM

                                                                                                                    a cow pie

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: foodtastegood
                                                                                                                      Tripper RE: foodtastegood Feb 13, 2009 04:23 PM

                                                                                                                      Walmart....terrible in so many ways.

                                                                                                                    2. Calipoutine RE: steakman55 Feb 18, 2009 08:17 AM

                                                                                                                      Rainforest Cafe, Applebees, Golden Corral( shudder), Burger King, TGIF, Dennys, soup plantation/sweet tomatoes.

                                                                                                                      I do like Jimmy John's. They make a good sandwich, their cold cuts are high quality.

                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Calipoutine
                                                                                                                        The Ranger RE: Calipoutine Mar 7, 2009 06:57 AM

                                                                                                                        I've only been to one Rainforest Cafe; Downtown Disneyland. I'll admit we hit the Lotto that day and got lucky. Great service, excellently cooked food, and a manager that was walking the floor and actually talking to customers. We were sitting upstairs outside during a beautiful day, too, which added to the "ambiance."

                                                                                                                        1. re: Calipoutine
                                                                                                                          cuccubear RE: Calipoutine Mar 9, 2009 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                          Went to a Rainforest Cafe in Cancun. Didn't stay for dinner. The music was so loud just standing inside the door, I wasn't going to stay and scream my way through dinner.

                                                                                                                          1. re: cuccubear
                                                                                                                            The Ranger RE: cuccubear Mar 10, 2009 06:45 AM

                                                                                                                            > The music was so loud just standing inside the door, I wasn't going to
                                                                                                                            > stay and scream my way through dinner.

                                                                                                                            That's a deal-breaker for me, too. If we walk up to, or into, a place and the music is louder than the regular noise, or worse -- I get physically pounded by a bass -- we're not going in. My hearing is already bad; I don't like sitting there simply nodding randomly. It's also been proven my lip reading isn't as accurate when I'm not wearing my glasses. :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: The Ranger
                                                                                                                              monkeyrotica RE: The Ranger Mar 10, 2009 07:22 AM

                                                                                                                              And yet deafening background "music" is a selling for some restaurants, like Hard Rock Cafe. I guess some customers think this means it's "vibrant" and "happening" when you can't hear anything. Or maybe it's just that drunk people go a little deaf as the evening wears on. Or maybe they just have nothing to say.

                                                                                                                              I'll never forget my first time at Hard Rock. A group of gradeschool kids stepped off a tour bus and while the teacher was talking to the front desk, all the kids cowered with their hands over their ears, clearly in pain.

                                                                                                                              1. re: The Ranger
                                                                                                                                Kholvaitar RE: The Ranger Feb 12, 2013 07:00 AM

                                                                                                                                Jamba Juice just because of the loud music the two times I've been.

                                                                                                                          2. BobB RE: steakman55 Mar 4, 2009 08:12 AM

                                                                                                                            To extend the OP's reponse, I would say: any chain whatsoever. I'm not saying I'll never set foot in one again, just that I honestly wouldn't care if I didn't, there is nothing I'll miss in any chain that I can't get a better version of elsewhere.

                                                                                                                            On the other hand, I will do everything in my power to ensure that I never again enter an Applebee's, Olive Garden, or Macaroni Grill. I would literally choose a McDonald's over any of them, at least it serves honest junk food.

                                                                                                                            1. The Ranger RE: steakman55 Mar 7, 2009 06:54 AM

                                                                                                                              That's easy -- Left Bank. http://www.leftbank.com/

                                                                                                                              I've found three of the four to be some of the most unenjoyable dining experiences I've ever had often combined with grandly inept service. My biggest gripe was the need for a shoe horn to get seated at tables (and I'm not an XL nor is SWMBO) followed by managements' driving need to blast "hip music" throughout their echo-chamber enhanced dining areas; forget about conversations. The first experience, in Menlo Park, should have sent up flags but when it was repeated at the San Jose branch and then at the Pleasant Hill site, I knew we were never going to give them another cent from my Visa.

                                                                                                                              I've only been to one Ruby Tuesday and found it alright, sort of like a Red Robin; good for what it is but not something to search out.

                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: The Ranger
                                                                                                                                monkeyrotica RE: The Ranger Mar 7, 2009 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                I actually searched out a Red Robin because I'd heard people gush about their burgers. The first time I tried to get in was on a Friday evening. It was like some horrible marriage of Grand Central Station and Kafka's "The Trial." Deafening noise, forty-five minute waits, and kids rolling on the floor. The second time was on a Tuesday right as they opened at 11:30. The place was empty, yet they still cranked the music up as if it were a Saturday night and everyone was drunk. The burger was just alright but, yeah, no reason to search it out.

                                                                                                                                Sounds like this Left Bank place would sell like hotcakes in the DC area. Folks here are more than happy to pay through the a$$ to be treated like cattle. As for service, anything short of finding hair in your soup or getting a punch to the junk counts as par for the course.

                                                                                                                                1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                  alkapal RE: monkeyrotica Mar 8, 2009 09:49 PM

                                                                                                                                  >>Folks here are more than happy to pay through the a$$ to be treated like cattle.<<

                                                                                                                                  i know you're not speaking about yourself, and you're definitely not talking about me.
                                                                                                                                  but i'm curious, to which particular places are you referring?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                    monkeyrotica RE: alkapal Mar 9, 2009 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                    One word: Sequoia.

                                                                                                                                    Sequoia Restaurant
                                                                                                                                    3000 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007

                                                                                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                      alkapal RE: monkeyrotica Mar 9, 2009 04:46 PM

                                                                                                                                      haha!! hey bro', it's the *scene*. sort of like the "river club" used to be (oh gosh, is that place still around???). "everybody dance now!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b714Wi...

                                                                                                                              2. m
                                                                                                                                MDoodle RE: steakman55 Mar 7, 2009 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                Ruby Tuesday, Bob Evans, Applebees (or Crapplebees), Au Bon Pain, Cosi, Subway (the smell...the smell!)

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: MDoodle
                                                                                                                                  BBCaprice RE: MDoodle Mar 7, 2009 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                                  Really, how BAD is Applebee's? Red Robin's burgers aren't even as good as McDonald's for crap's sake............

                                                                                                                                2. c
                                                                                                                                  cstr RE: steakman55 Mar 7, 2009 02:52 PM

                                                                                                                                  Ditto, also add spaghetti factory, macaroni grill.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: cstr
                                                                                                                                    monkeyrotica RE: cstr Feb 12, 2013 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                                    I have to wonder if there's ever been a good restaurant with the word "factory" in the name.

                                                                                                                                  2. t
                                                                                                                                    TAGcaves4me RE: steakman55 Mar 8, 2009 03:45 PM

                                                                                                                                    Here is my take on this subject....I don't like ANY of the chains after anywhere from 5-10 years in....what happens is that the original franchise group (the founders), no matter HOW great the concept is in the beginning, either get stale or sell out the whole corporation, partnership, whatever, and the original concept gets lost.
                                                                                                                                    Give me an inidividually-owned establishment anytime, and I will never set foot (unless out-voted by dinner companions, and I am very vocal so that is tough), in ANY chain "restaurant". Give me quality dining or I will stay home!!

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: TAGcaves4me
                                                                                                                                      EdwardAdams RE: TAGcaves4me Mar 10, 2009 09:02 AM

                                                                                                                                      All very well to avoid chains but when traveling and avoiding starvation, they are awfully hard to totally avoid, especially if you find yourself unfed late at night. I would be happy to find acceptable items on an Applebee's menu. That is the tough part.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: EdwardAdams
                                                                                                                                        Chowrin RE: EdwardAdams Apr 16, 2013 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                                        Four words: Grandma Utz Potato Chips
                                                                                                                                        I would seriously rather hit a grocery store for coldcuts rather than chains.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: EdwardAdams
                                                                                                                                          John E. RE: EdwardAdams Apr 16, 2013 08:06 PM

                                                                                                                                          Last July I ended up at an Applebee's with a relative (her choice) and the burgers were actually pretty good. It was better than the Red Robin burger I remember eating about six years ago.

                                                                                                                                      2. c
                                                                                                                                        cavandre RE: steakman55 Feb 12, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                        Carrabas...over salted & little other taste!

                                                                                                                                        1. w
                                                                                                                                          williej RE: steakman55 Feb 12, 2013 02:03 PM


                                                                                                                                          1. s
                                                                                                                                            sueatmo RE: steakman55 Feb 20, 2013 01:42 PM

                                                                                                                                            Subway for me. I can stand Ruby Tuesday though. Have you been to one in the last couple of years? I don't care for Applebee's either.

                                                                                                                                            27 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: sueatmo
                                                                                                                                              sunshine842 RE: sueatmo Feb 20, 2013 11:12 PM

                                                                                                                                              Subway is making a low-level invasion in France -- I hadn't been in one in several years, and happened to pass one when I was starving.

                                                                                                                                              The good news is it tastes exactly like I remember it in the US.

                                                                                                                                              The bad news is it tastes exactly like I remember it in the US.

                                                                                                                                              It will be interesting to see if it "catches on" -- the local franchises seem to be doing well.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                sueatmo RE: sunshine842 Feb 21, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                I don't care for the food as it is presented in way too much bread! And for some reason, I never feel that they are clean. Weird.

                                                                                                                                                I admit you could do worse though. I really, really don't ever eat at Burger King. I should have mentioned that before.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sueatmo
                                                                                                                                                  sunshine842 RE: sueatmo Feb 21, 2013 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Burger King just opened its first outlet in France (since they pulled out over a decade ago) at the airport in Marseille.

                                                                                                                                                  People are making special trips to the airport just to eat at BK, and they have had to close early several times now because they have sold out before the business day was over.

                                                                                                                                                  These are not tourists, by the way.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                    James Cristinian RE: sunshine842 Feb 21, 2013 03:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Any guess about how much horse meat is in them?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: James Cristinian
                                                                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: James Cristinian Feb 22, 2013 12:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                      after the level of testing this week? None, or you'd have heard about it.

                                                                                                                                                      The horsemeat was overwhelmingly in preprepared meals like lasagna -- very, very little in any other form.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                      sueatmo RE: sunshine842 Feb 22, 2013 03:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I guess BK has a loyal following in Marseille. I did at one time dearly love eating a Whopper.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sueatmo
                                                                                                                                                        sunshine842 RE: sueatmo Feb 22, 2013 11:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                        the French (ordinary people, not the press) were gutted when BK pulled out of the country -- there's another BK going into a highway rest stop near Reims, and people are actually booking *hotels* to go out and eat one of the first BKs in the north.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                          sueatmo RE: sunshine842 Feb 23, 2013 05:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Why can't I get good French food off the highway here?

                                                                                                                                                          Why doesn't some French food entrepreneur start a chain featuring cassoulet to go?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sueatmo
                                                                                                                                                            sunshine842 RE: sueatmo Feb 24, 2013 12:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                            You can't really get good French food in highway rest stops in France, either....or cassoulet to go.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                              sueatmo RE: sunshine842 Feb 24, 2013 02:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Well, see here is a business opportunity for someone!

                                                                                                                                                              What do French citizens find to eat ah highway rest stops in France?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sueatmo
                                                                                                                                                                MonMauler RE: sueatmo Feb 24, 2013 09:30 PM


                                                                                                                                                                I'm not sure if its from this thread or another, but the French apparently go far out of their way for bk.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sueatmo
                                                                                                                                                                  sunshine842 RE: sueatmo Feb 24, 2013 10:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  the same rubber ham and kitchen-sponge-bread sandwiches that are sold at every rest stop everywhere on the planet.

                                                                                                                                                                  Food at rest stops barely qualifies as food, no matter where you are in the world.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                    monkeyrotica RE: sunshine842 Feb 25, 2013 04:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Japanese rest stop vending machines are better than most American rest stop eateries.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: monkeyrotica Feb 25, 2013 05:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      which is not a terribly high hurdle to clear.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                        monkeyrotica RE: sunshine842 Feb 25, 2013 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I wonder whaat the likelihood is for rest stop eateies to get repeat customers? If you're never going to see a customer again, what's the motivation to deliver a good product? When I'm on the road, I do my research to see where the decent grub is off the interstate. Rarely have those 10-mile detours been a disappointment.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                                                          sunshine842 RE: monkeyrotica Feb 25, 2013 07:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Lots of people drive the same highways on a repeat basis -- folks who have to drive for a living -- people who have family who live down that highway -- people who have vacation properties down that highway....and by definition, most of them have to come BACK via that road.

                                                                                                                                                                          not everybody has the luxury of time to make that 10-mile detour (working folks....)

                                                                                                                                                                          and when it's a toll road, it's more hassle to screw around with the tolls than it is to pack a picnic or just settle for subpar.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                            monkeyrotica RE: sunshine842 Feb 25, 2013 09:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Some folks place a higher priority on spending the least amount of time and money as possible when travelling. I am not one of those people.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                                                              sunshine842 RE: monkeyrotica Feb 25, 2013 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              it all depends on whether you're traveling on someone else's time and money, or your own --

                                                                                                                                                                              and other people may be traveling with kids, dogs, or other fellow travelers who aren't patient enough to explore.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                monkeyrotica RE: sunshine842 Feb 25, 2013 10:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Agreed. Thanks to sites like this, I've found lots of off-the-beaten path eateries that are often a short detour from the interstate. And there are always regional chains that I'm on the lookout for, like Waffle House and White Castle and that one Howard Johnsons in upstate New York.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                              laliz RE: sunshine842 Jun 18, 2013 01:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              exactly. we just did a run in May from Minneapolis to PA and we were on toll roads and we ate what was available at the rest stops. it was a huge disappointment for someone who had never been to Wisconsin, but there were not going to be 10 mile detours on our 19 hour (each way) drive

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: laliz
                                                                                                                                                                                John E. RE: laliz Jun 18, 2013 03:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                When I was a kid we took a Winnebago from Minnesota to Maryland. The only food I remember stopping for was when we ate at a Howard Johnson's that straddled to toll-way.

                                                                                                                                                                                Nobody ordered a chicken salad sandwich, "no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce.."


                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                                                              GH1618 RE: monkeyrotica May 5, 2013 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              I expect there's a lot of repeat business along the interstates. many years ago, we drove I-5 often, and VIP's was a regular stop. When I am just going somewhere on a routine trip, a regular stop saves time. Under other circumstances, in an unfamiliar place, looking around is worthwhile.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                  Tom34 RE: sunshine842 Feb 25, 2013 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  High fat content inexpensive fast food sells if Governments allow it to be sold. Its likely taste buds have not changed, rather the Governments policies have.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                            Fydeaux RE: sunshine842 Feb 21, 2013 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I would have to guess that even in France there exist people for who food is merely fuel. I just hope they dont think that this is what all Americans think French bread to be.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                              Gypsy Jan RE: sunshine842 Feb 21, 2013 05:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Here in lovely Rosarito Beach, Baja, Mexico, there is a Subway shop that has been operating for about four years.

                                                                                                                                                              We also have a large McDonald's with a play gym area and a Burger King and an Applebee's.

                                                                                                                                                              I don't know how they stay in business, but, then, I never go there.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                fara RE: sunshine842 May 5, 2013 09:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                How in the world could that catch on in France with the same formula?? Weird

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fara
                                                                                                                                                                  sunshine842 RE: fara May 7, 2013 03:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Personally, I totally agree with you --- I'd far rather go to a regular boulangerie for a sandwich -- but Subway is growing exponentially in France.

                                                                                                                                                            2. b
                                                                                                                                                              beachmouse RE: steakman55 Feb 21, 2013 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I started to say Burger King, but at least the ones around here have Icees that are acceptable crushed ice products when you're utterly craving a Slurpee and there isn't a 7-11 for a couple hundred miles.

                                                                                                                                                              So I'll go with Taco Bell because there are just so many other superior counter service Mexican places out there that are infinitely better.

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: beachmouse
                                                                                                                                                                Tom34 RE: beachmouse Feb 25, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                At 01:30 hrs I can put down quite a few T/B plain original taco's but intoxication is likely to blame :)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                  zillabreeze RE: Tom34 Jul 10, 2013 03:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Oh yeah! TB reg tacos taste so much better when you've had several adult beverages! Sober, not so much.

                                                                                                                                                              2. r
                                                                                                                                                                rochfood RE: steakman55 Feb 21, 2013 05:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Tim Hortons...Dunkin Donuts

                                                                                                                                                                1. s
                                                                                                                                                                  StrandedYankee RE: steakman55 Feb 21, 2013 08:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Applebee's, Olive Garden, Chick-Fil-A, Logan's, Captain D's, Coldstone Creamery.

                                                                                                                                                                  Others as well, but those came to mind first.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. s
                                                                                                                                                                    SimonSaysWoof RE: steakman55 Feb 22, 2013 03:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Ihop - haven't been in a couple years. Last time I was there they screwed up breakfast more that I thought possible. Never again.

                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: SimonSaysWoof
                                                                                                                                                                      StrandedYankee RE: SimonSaysWoof Feb 22, 2013 07:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I can't remember the last time I got good food at an IHoP. A pity...20 years ago, I LOVED them.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SimonSaysWoof
                                                                                                                                                                        RetiredChef RE: SimonSaysWoof Feb 25, 2013 10:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        We must be very lucky because the IHOPS around us are very good. The food comes out looking like the pictures, the service is spot on and it's been our go to place lately for breakfast for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RetiredChef
                                                                                                                                                                          Tom34 RE: RetiredChef Feb 25, 2013 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Is IHOP a franchise......which might have an impact from location to location or are they corporate?

                                                                                                                                                                          Our local diners are far better with eggs / bacon / sausage / hash browns......can't speak to pancakes though.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. monkeyrotica RE: alliegator Feb 25, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Ha! I've eaten at THREE separate locations in three separate states, each one more abysmal than the next. The last two I went to have since closed. I wonder why?

                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                                                          alliegator RE: monkeyrotica Feb 25, 2013 09:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a seafood fanatic, and I'm really glad that place didn't manage to turn me off to the fruits of the sea. I guess that's what you get when you order "paella" from a place that advertises by dropping a giant claw on mall shoppers.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alliegator
                                                                                                                                                                            Munkipawse RE: alliegator Feb 25, 2013 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            and least we not forget the sac-relig of seafood kings... Red Lobster! Wow have they taken a nose-dive in quality in the last few years.... Gag! Not even their cheddar biscuits is enough to make up for their mediocre food.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alliegator
                                                                                                                                                                              alliegator RE: alliegator Feb 25, 2013 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Ooops, I made a no-no in my post naming the restaurant. So, I'll never set foot in Joe's Crab Shack again. It's yucky :(
                                                                                                                                                                              And I've not been to a Red Lobster in years, but if the biscuits can't save it, it must be going downhill.
                                                                                                                                                                              Really, any seafood from a $-$$ restaurant just isn't going to cut it. I can be pretty lowbrow with some out my eating habits, but I guess I'm just a fish snob.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator
                                                                                                                                                                                monkeyrotica RE: alliegator Feb 25, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                I've pretty much given up on chain seafood eateries. However, I've had some very good luck with small mom&pop soul food/southern eateries. They're my go-to source for fresh fish fried good, hot and crispy. I'll take lowbrow and competent over chain mediocre any day.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator
                                                                                                                                                                                  Tom34 RE: alliegator Feb 25, 2013 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  RED LOBSTER = low quality seafood cooked by low skilled help.

                                                                                                                                                                                  A really good seafood meal starts with a high quality fresh raw product cooked by professionals, neither of which you will find at Red Lobster for $12.95.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                    melpy RE: Tom34 May 7, 2013 04:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I abhorred RL when I lived in MD. Then I moved to PA and at the time it was the only seafood place within 30 min drive. It was ok. Fast forward 10 years and they have gone down hill although have spent quite a bit on renovations.

                                                                                                                                                                                    A whole steamed lobster is rarely messed up. I can stand the wood fired lobster, shrimp and scallops with rice and broccoli. All other halfway edible items are gone and the quality of the food is subpar. Still no venue for shellfish but I can get a good piece of fish at a few places near me now.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: melpy
                                                                                                                                                                                      Tom34 RE: melpy May 7, 2013 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Chains like Red Lobster do have buying power but not on #1 or #2 grade products as the supply is tighter and too many high end restaurants are willing to pay the higher costs for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      My friends in the purveyor business tell me most of the chains are bringing in #3 or #4 grade seafood which is why they can set the menu prices as low as they do. A lot of people like it and good for them because it certainly is reasonable, just not to my liking.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I know a chef/owner of a small restaurant and he brings in a fixed amount of the freshest fish his purveyor has every morning and it goes on a special card on the menu. When its gone, the cards get pulled. Always delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Munkipawse RE: steakman55 Feb 25, 2013 11:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              and least we not forget

                                                                                                                                                                              1. John E. RE: steakman55 Feb 25, 2013 05:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                I actually read through this entire almost 4 year old thread and came up with an answer to the OP's question that has not yet been provided. Last Wednesday I went to a Trader Joe's (it was near the clinic where I took my father) and it seems I just don't get it. I have been in several different TJ's in two states and still don't get the appeal. If I never set foot in Trader Joe's again I don't think I would be missing much.

                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva RE: John E. Feb 26, 2013 07:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't get it either. Whenever I go there, I feel better for some reason as it's very homey but I don't get all the rage.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                    JerryMe RE: John E. May 20, 2013 04:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I know they have their own followers but I agree and thank you for adding this comment - there's nothing there that I feel is great. I've bought bread and flowers there for a gift and I know the recipients were thrilled that it was from TJ's but yea, it's not my first choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                    mollyschmolly RE: steakman55 Apr 12, 2013 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Three words that make my stomach turn: Long. John. Silvers.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mollyschmolly
                                                                                                                                                                                      monkeyrotica RE: mollyschmolly Apr 13, 2013 05:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Two words. Arthur Treacher's.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                      jbsiegel RE: steakman55 Apr 15, 2013 09:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Olive Garden, Famous Daves, Lonestar Steakhouse (do they still exist?)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                                                                                                                        juliejulez RE: jbsiegel May 29, 2013 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Lonestar is the only steakhouse option in my town :( We end up driving a bit further to go to Texas Roadhouse which always has huge waits, but we'd rather wait for that than go to the no wait Lonestar. Says a lot. The only time we go to Lonestar is to get drinks, as it's next to the movie theater.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. monkeyrotica RE: steakman55 Apr 15, 2013 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Cici's Pizza. Even for D-Grade cafeteria pizza, the stuff's atrocious. It's what they feed you in the stripmall food court in Hell. They seem to be ceding ground to the equally vile Mazzio's Italian Eatery. It's pretty sad when Little Caesar's is a step UP.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                          Reston RE: steakman55 Apr 15, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Krispy Kreme. I think the donuts are way too sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Reston
                                                                                                                                                                                            monkeyrotica RE: Reston Apr 15, 2013 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Dunkin Donuts. I think the donuts are way too flavorless.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                                                                              Tom34 RE: monkeyrotica Apr 15, 2013 11:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Back in the day, each store made their own. Around my way they are now made at some central location and brought in by van and something was lost in the process.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                jbsiegel RE: Tom34 Apr 15, 2013 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I used to LOVE watching them make those donuts. My local DD had a window into the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                                                                                                                                  monkeyrotica RE: jbsiegel Apr 15, 2013 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  We still have our DD store that makes them fresh. They have that nice red sign that lights up when there's "Fresh Donuts." It's the only time I'll buy them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And KK's coffee beats DD's any day. They spent a LOT of money developing that coffee and it shows. No need to drown it in syrup or flavored cream. To quote Willy Loman, "This coffee is a meal in itself."

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                                                                                    jbsiegel RE: monkeyrotica Apr 15, 2013 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm not a huge fan of DD coffee either. To be honest, I like our local Quick Check's coffee pretty well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                                                                                                                                      monkeyrotica RE: jbsiegel Apr 15, 2013 01:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Half the problem is stale coffe that sits getting baked on the warmer. Volume places like 7/11 and McDonalds do better fresh coffee than some speciality places.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. i
                                                                                                                                                                                            INDIANRIVERFL RE: steakman55 May 7, 2013 03:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Golden Corral. A mainstay of touristy Florida. You don't even get what you pay for. The only chain buffet that is even worse than Ponderosa.

                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                                                                                                                                                                                              fldhkybnva RE: INDIANRIVERFL May 7, 2013 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I haven't been to Golden Corral in years and have only been a few times but for some reason I remember their rolls being quite delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                sunshine842 RE: fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                that may have been Quincy's with the Big Soft Yeast Roll (their mascot was an anthropomorphized yeast roll) -- and yeah, they were darned tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva RE: sunshine842 May 8, 2013 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've never been to Quincy's but it was so long ago who knows. I remember big rolls which were quite shiny from I think a combination of a hefty egg wash and dose of butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                    fldhkybnva RE: sunshine842 May 8, 2013 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think these are them...however, now I want to seek out this Quincy's place if their rolls are similar. I haven't seen a Golden Corral around in a very long time but I assume they still exist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think Quincy's is long gone -- their rolls were oblong (but shiny and buttery and a little sweet)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Golden Corral is, as IndianRiver mentioned, a regular appearance in the Florida landscape.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                                                                                                                                                                                                  John E. RE: INDIANRIVERFL May 8, 2013 06:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I remember eating at Bonanza Steakhouses when I was a kid, before the companies merged them with Ponderosa. I wonder if they operate the same today as they did back in the 70s when I was a kid. There are two of them in Minnesota now, but neither is convenient. As a kid, I liked eating at Bonanza but I don't think they were an all-you-can-eat buffett like Golden Corrall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                3. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                  translucent RE: steakman55 May 17, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I read all the replies and I agree with all of them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Atomic76 RE: steakman55 May 18, 2013 12:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hot Head Burritos - crappy Chipotle knock off, tasted awful and their signature sauces made it worse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Long John Silvers - way too much MSG and salt in their food

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cracker Barrel - their food tastes too artificial, it all tastes like processed TV dinner stuff. I had their "brisket" once which looked nothing like the picture. It looked like pre-sliced lunch meat, had this really strong artificial smoke flavor and red food dye to give it a fake smoke ring. Disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Atomic76
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Christine RE: Atomic76 May 20, 2013 09:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hey Atomic, I just chimed in on your Hothead Burritos posting...we have a mutual loathing for it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cracker Barrel might be atrocious for other meals (don't have much experience with lunch or dinner there), but their breakfasts rock...they really do! At least we think so. Their breakfasts definitely have more flavor and seasoning than poor old bland Bob Evans. Just my .02 worth... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Christine
                                                                                                                                                                                                        John E. RE: Christine May 20, 2013 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have only eaten at a Cracker Barrell a single time. I was the youngest in the group by 25 years. As I recall the breakfast was really good, but could easily feed two people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I seem to recall their chicken and dumplings getting good reviews, but I almost never order that kind of food while dining out. I prefer to make comfort food at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Christine
                                                                                                                                                                                                          melpy RE: Christine Jun 19, 2013 04:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I do enjoy their breakfast sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Atomic76
                                                                                                                                                                                                          translucent RE: Atomic76 May 20, 2013 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chipotle is already so awful, yikes, I don't want to imagine a knockoff of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                          donw9876 RE: steakman55 May 20, 2013 02:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hot Head Burritos. (as posted already.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Claddagh Pub. (extraordinarily bad food in their Mason, Ohio location)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Arby's. A shell of a once fine fast food chain serving thinly sliced beef loaf and greasy fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                            shlbycindy RE: steakman55 May 27, 2013 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Outback. The service is terrible and the steaks are tasteless. A few months ago my family and I, there were four of us total, went to an Outback in Gastonia, NC. We waited 30 mins. before a waiter even acknowledged we were there. Then he continuously told us we should not have been seated in his area because he was already overwhelmed. I'm sorry but, that's not my problem. I didn't ask to be seated in his area and I didn't need to hear him mentioning this over and over. After we ordered we waited another 30 mins. to get our drinks and it was almost an hour before we got our order. I will never eat there again. Plus, our food was cold when he finally brought it to the table. What really made me even madder was the fact there were other waiters walking around chatting on their cellphones and goofing off. If he was so busy why didn't they help him? I did ask another waiter for a drink refill and he told me he couldn't do that because he was training a new employee. Did I mention I'll never go back there again?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: shlbycindy
                                                                                                                                                                                                              sunshine842 RE: shlbycindy May 27, 2013 06:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              like all chains, this sort of things seems to vary by location.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry this happened to you...but I've had quite pleasant evenings at Outbacks in numerous other states. (I'm not a huge fan, but find myself there from time to time).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tom34 RE: sunshine842 May 27, 2013 08:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Outback sells a steak meal cheaper that a good steak house pays for their steak. If you like cheap cuts of injected steaks at a reasonable price, Outback is the place to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sunshine842 RE: Tom34 May 28, 2013 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  please re-read the part about "I'm not a huge fan".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When you're with friends or business associates, throwing a foodie-diva hissy fit is simply unacceptable and you need to suck it up and go with the flow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tom34 RE: sunshine842 May 28, 2013 07:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not only then but also when with the in-laws who think its the best thing since sliced bread :-) I spent mother's day at Ruby Tuesdays. Ha, HA Ha Ha, Ha Ha. Absolutely terrible, but smiled the whole time, even when paying the @*%^)# check.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: Tom34 May 28, 2013 08:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yep. You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      John E. RE: sunshine842 May 28, 2013 08:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Your situation is how I have ended up at Texas Roadhouse however the best thing at Outback is the bloomin' onion, not the steaks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: shlbycindy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  John E. RE: shlbycindy May 27, 2013 09:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We received a gift card to Outback. The waiter sat next to me in the booth to introduce himself. I'm sorry, I don't need another friend. The steak was overdone and otherwise unremarkable. Somone at our table ordered a seafood pasta for about $14 and it did not come with a salad. We have not been back. There are too many better restaurants, including most chains, that are better. I actually like Texas Roadhouse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    translucent RE: John E. May 27, 2013 09:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But that's hilarious! He sat down with you??!!! Boy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: translucent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      James Cristinian RE: translucent May 28, 2013 02:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sat next to you, did he ask you for a date? I took the wifeacita and MIL once and my prime rib was still mooing it was so rare. Not a bad piece of meat at all, not overcooked for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Clams047 RE: John E. May 28, 2013 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "I actually like Texas Roadhouse."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now there's a place to which I will never return. Can't say anything about the food quality as the two times i attempted to eat there, I had to leave due to the extreme nose level before I ever placed my order. There won't be a third time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Clams047
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        James Cristinian RE: Clams047 May 28, 2013 03:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Please don't think this has anything to do with Texas, it's a chain out of Louisville. I've also read the noise is prohibitive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Clams047
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          John E. RE: Clams047 May 28, 2013 03:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Whenever I have been there it has been early enough so the noise level was tolerable. Every time I have been there it has been with a group of six or more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The steaks are decent, the ribs are overcooked, and the warm rolls out of the oven with the honey-butter are too addicting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            fara RE: John E. Jun 18, 2013 06:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't like the "charbroiled" taste of steaks, aka open gas grills. TR will make me a ribeye on a diner type griddle, which is great. Have to specify light on the seasoning. That said, now that we moved away from chain land, haven't been back. But try this if you're in a pinch!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Clams047
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            juliejulez RE: Clams047 May 29, 2013 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like it too. It is a bit noisy, but if you live in an area like I do, and the steakhouse options within a 30 minute drive are limited to Texas Roadhouse, Outback, and Lonestar, Texas Roadhouse is the best option. We go there every couple months because SO likes the food, and I don't think the steaks are half bad. Sides are overly salty but that's pretty typical. And yes, those rolls w/ cinnamon honey crack butter are really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              melpy RE: juliejulez Jun 19, 2013 04:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sides at TR are terrible! So far the chili, the whole potatoes, and the broccoli are the only ones we have found to be even edible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Steak in under seasoned and you have to order rare to get anything remotely pink. We have found the strip steal to be the best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I do have a sick love for the rattlesnake bites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: melpy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                John E. RE: melpy Jun 20, 2013 05:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I only ordered the chili once. It had way too much cumin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I did get an overcooked steak once. Fortunately, someone else at our table got what they thought was undercooked, so we traded (family member). Now, when I go with a group, I always order a steak 'on the rare side of medium rare' and it comes out fine. Yeah, they are a bit underseasoned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Clams047
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              blackpointyboots RE: Clams047 Oct 18, 2013 08:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Texas Roadhouse is some circle of hell. The two times I was dragged there the insanely loud bad country music made me want to gouge out what little hearing I have left. Sitting/standing in a jam packed entryway with screaming children for an hour seemed like a strange trade for eating some bad chain food. Not impressed with any of their sides and detest their cinnamon butter that they seemed to try to sneak into everything including the baked sweet potato without asking or mentioning it on the menu. The steak seasoning is off putting. It reminds me of way too much Lawry's seasoning salt. Wasn't really impressed with the steak either. I can grill a better one at home and spare myself the two hour trip through hell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: blackpointyboots
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                John E. RE: blackpointyboots Oct 18, 2013 09:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have been to Texas Roadhouse probably ten times. The cinnamon butter and fresh hot rolls are really good. I order the 10 ounce ribeye, and although it's not the best steak, it's not bad for the price. I also order the salad and steak fries. Is it gourmet? No, but it is a good value, especially when somebody else is paying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: shlbycindy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sockii RE: shlbycindy Jul 9, 2013 04:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I used to like Outback, at least when I was on the road and had to find something edible off the interstates. But the past couple years it has seriously gone downhill. I was just in one location for lunch and after being ignored endlessly sitting at the bar, finally got in my order for the Chicken-Artichoke Flatbread and it was pathetic: served lukewarm with a broken crust that was basically inedible anyway as it was as tough as cardboard. Never again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BuildingMyBento RE: steakman55 Jun 12, 2013 10:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Taiwanese street market. The worst in the world, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The only things I ever want in Taiwan are sweet potato milk and pumpkin milk, and those aren't exactly limited to Formosa either.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BuildingMyBento
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              John E. RE: BuildingMyBento Jun 12, 2013 03:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have never been to Taiwan, I've only seen guys like Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain walk the markets in Taipei. I do have a high school buddy who moved there over 20 years ago and he even has a Chinese wife. He was telling me once about the noodles from the street vendors and he made it sound pretty tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              suburbanite889 RE: steakman55 Jun 12, 2013 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Red Lobster… Their only saving grace is the cheddar bay biscuits, those set aside and their "opulent" selections that seemed so "gourmet" in the 90's, are now overpriced, dried out. And thats not even touching on their sustainability practices and water sources.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Antilope RE: steakman55 Jun 12, 2013 08:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                After seeing the nasty fast food employees in viral internet pictures performing disgusting acts on foodstuffs or restaurant equipment, I don't care if I never set foot in one of those establishments again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  laliz RE: steakman55 Jun 18, 2013 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Applebee's, TGI Friday, never been to a Ruby Tuesday

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: laliz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tom34 RE: laliz Jun 18, 2013 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Your not missing anything at Ruby Tuesday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      monkeyrotica RE: Tom34 Jun 18, 2013 02:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Disagree. You're missing the Bubblegum Mugaritas and the violent, explosive diarrhea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tom34 RE: monkeyrotica Jun 19, 2013 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One can only hope to make it home before it sets in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sunshine842 RE: monkeyrotica Jun 19, 2013 05:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm trying to think of a way in which Bubblegum Mugaritas could sound appetizing....nope...I got nothin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tom34 RE: sunshine842 Jun 20, 2013 03:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I never heard of one until Monkey mentioned it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Candy RE: steakman55 Jun 18, 2013 02:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sam's Club or Walmart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        monkeyrotica RE: Candy Jun 19, 2013 03:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Costco. Regardless of time of day, whenever I set foot through the door, all the cashiers would be open with nobody in line. By the time I was ready to check out, 3/4 were gone and the lines would snake towards the back of the store. Every. Single. Time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sunshine842 RE: monkeyrotica Jun 19, 2013 03:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          this happens to me at darned near any place that has a cash register.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You've stumbled onto another of the irrefutable laws of the universe, similar to why you never get the same number of sock out of the dryer as you put in....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NekoNekoFancyPants RE: monkeyrotica Jun 20, 2013 05:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'd agree with costco. My spouse has had a paid card revoked twice by some idiot. Oh it was just an 'Error'. And the whole checking if your stealilng while you leave just gives me a bad taste in my mouth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'd add Trader Joes. Just so darn medicore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NekoNekoFancyPants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              monkeyrotica RE: NekoNekoFancyPants Jun 20, 2013 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, I never understood the brand loyalty, but I can't remember the last time I bought frozen dumplings. City folks love them some Trader Joes, particularly in "food deserts" where your only options are the corner bodega or a lousy national chain. In that case, "mediocre" is the new "outstanding."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal RE: monkeyrotica Aug 21, 2013 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                city folks find trader joe's in food deserts? where in DC is that true? there is a grand total of ONE in d.c.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mellicita RE: steakman55 Jun 18, 2013 09:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Honestly, I don't think there are any fast food places or chains that I would really miss if they disappeared.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't mind going to one... I'll find something to eat and be happy to be out with friends.... but the food is generally stuff I would happily live without.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Firegoat RE: steakman55 Jun 20, 2013 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            McDonald's because they have a drive thru window.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Antilope RE: Firegoat Jun 20, 2013 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They call it drive thru, but they don't really mean it. They hope you drive by. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              tzurriz RE: steakman55 Jul 10, 2013 05:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bob Evans. /shudders

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tzurriz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Goatjunky RE: tzurriz Aug 19, 2013 07:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Red Lobster. Why do my friends and family love it so much?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Goatjunky
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  John E. RE: Goatjunky Aug 20, 2013 11:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's probably the Cheddar Bay Biscuits, and I haven't been to a Red Lobster since about 2001.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Goatjunky
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alliegator RE: Goatjunky Aug 20, 2013 01:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My crew feels the same way about Olive Garden. When I visit, and it's special dinner time, someone will come up with "let's go to OG". Don't they see the sadness come into my eyes?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alliegator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      melpy RE: alliegator Sep 24, 2013 03:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ugh! So bad. And the wait time is 2 hours here. I think I would rather eat at McD's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Goatjunky
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      melpy RE: Goatjunky Sep 24, 2013 03:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Depends on if you live in a seafood desert. Quality seems to be better in a landlocked state.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    josephnl RE: steakman55 Aug 21, 2013 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In 'n Out. Never have understood the hype.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      rjw_lgb_ca RE: steakman55 Sep 19, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Having suffered through meals at places like TGI Friday's, Buca di Beppo, Applebee's, Chipotle (organic, sensibly-sourced but bland and gummy and dull), Buffalo Wild Wings (just plain BAD), etc., I thought that I had finished my tour through the Worst of America's Chain Restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And then I ate at a Joe's Crab Shack last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ATROCIOUS. Maybe the worst chain-restaurant meal I've ever had.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      First of all: Even on a Wednesday, what kind of chain restaurant with full bar HAS NO BARTENDER at any time while the doors are open?!? The servers were pouring drinks. At a rather slow pace. AND they ran out of wine glasses and served our BV Pinot Noir (dull wine list BTW) in large Manhattan glasses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then the food was just terrible. Even for a chain. Gloppy "crab dip" that didn't seem to actually have even a shred of crab in it. Flavorless fried calamari served with tiny amounts of indifferent cocktail and tartar sauces. The Great Balls of Fire-- basically fritters with jalapeño pieces and, in theory, shrimp and crab (again, none that could be detected)-- were utterly forgettable carb-bombs. My crab cakes' overall taste profile was "SALT and Old Crab and SALT"; the remoulade sauce was essentially an overly horseradish-laden mix of their indifferent cocktail and tartar sauces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What a travesty. Who in the world could think that this is even acceptable eating?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The exact words out of my mouth when my husband and I got home were: "Well, that's one place we never have to go to again, hmmm?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      He had wanted to check it out as a possible Happy Hour hangout for him and his co-workers. Last night's experience struck it of that list forever. Incredibly horrible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      CONCLUSION: I do not like Joe's Crab Shack. It is pathetically bad. Stay away at all costs. The end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rjw_lgb_ca
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        monkeyrotica RE: rjw_lgb_ca Sep 19, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yup. That's Joe's Crap Shack alright. I've been unfortunate enough to have been to two of them (Sterling and Tampa) and they were identically horrible. Surly servers, deafening music, rock hard benches, weak drinks, buckets of steamed frozen seafood that smelled of ammonia. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rjw_lgb_ca
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chileheadmike RE: rjw_lgb_ca Oct 23, 2013 01:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You liked it more than I did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pincus RE: steakman55 Sep 19, 2013 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Totally local, but Spring Rolls. Bland pan-Asian cuisine at inflated prices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            thingmaker RE: steakman55 Sep 23, 2013 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My husband was craving chinese food and dragged me to P.F. Changs (my first and last time there, I hope!). I ordered something miserable with beef, hubby got misery with chicken. It took half way through the meal to realize we had switched entrees. The mystery meat and chicken were indistinguishable from each other In taste, just a slight difference in color. Ugh!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: thingmaker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alkapal RE: thingmaker Oct 23, 2013 07:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i've only been once to pf chang's, but my dish was excellent -- beef a la sichuan. the meat quality was good, the vegetables crispy, and the tasty sauce lightly applied.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              we have too many real chinese places to go around here, and even better thai and vietnamese, but i don't sniff about p.f. chang's (because of my vast experience there. LOL).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              justicenow RE: steakman55 Sep 23, 2013 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Whole Foods. Overpriced and pretentious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: justicenow
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                globocity RE: justicenow Sep 25, 2013 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't find the pretense there. Seems pretty straight- forward albeit pricey. Though I bypass the hot food items, I find their sushi to be delicious. Great selection of cheeses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: globocity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tom34 RE: globocity Sep 26, 2013 03:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree. Whole Foods while pricey and not for everyone does have many high quality products all under one roof which for many is both convenient and economical vs driving from one small specialty store to another.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    fldhkybnva RE: Tom34 Oct 23, 2013 08:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Love it. I skip the hot foods. Great soup, salads, cheese and packaged store-made foods like hummus, salsa, guacamole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: globocity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    monkeyrotica RE: globocity Nov 9, 2013 04:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pretentiousness = $10 jars of free range, cruelty free artisanal pickles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tom34 RE: monkeyrotica Nov 9, 2013 06:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Are they tucked in at night and read a story like the steer?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: justicenow
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    josephnl RE: justicenow Sep 25, 2013 07:07 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: justicenow
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      translucent RE: justicenow Sep 26, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think the pretention level depends on which store you go to. The one in East Pasadena has customers in "come as you are" clothes, and the one in West Pasadena on Arroyo Parkway (?) has customers dressed like glamorous movie stars, and an actual escalator for shopping carts parallel to the escalator that you stand on. It feels very Rodeo Drive ish. But The East Pasadena one, although definitely overpriced, is still in the same parking lot as Sears and shares the general feeling of just plain regular people getting something for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: translucent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        globocity RE: translucent Sep 27, 2013 09:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sounds like the people are pretentious. Not WF. You can say that about a lot of places; the neighborhood or SES (socioeconomic status) determines the attitude of a store/shop.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not WF's biggest fan but I do appreciate it for the convenience (closer to me than many other shops), unique food items, and sushi, cheese, wine selection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Tripeler RE: steakman55 Sep 24, 2013 03:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A cheap sushi joint called

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Captain Blowchunks Discount Seafood Outlet and AYCE Sushi Bar. . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ...the horror was simply beyond description. Avoid at any cost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tripeler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        translucent RE: Tripeler Sep 24, 2013 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Why would an eating place be called Captain Vomit's?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: translucent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tripeler RE: translucent Sep 26, 2013 06:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Let's just say that it might as well be called that. But Captain Blowchunks has a sort of pirate/nautical ring to it that I like.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Besides, it only exists in my imagination, serving dishes called White Guy Rolls, Monster Truck Rolls, and Asian Lady Fantasy Te-maki. It's the sushi place serving oversauced and overspiced fish way beyond its freshness date. It's my worst sushi nightmare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        danweiss RE: steakman55 Sep 24, 2013 03:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ... in a KFC. Sorry guys, I don't like it at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: steakman55 Sep 28, 2013 12:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Trader Joe's - it's just not worth going in there anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            globocity RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Sep 28, 2013 06:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But will you set foot in a Trader Joe's Chowhound thread? There are about a dozen right now to choose from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: globocity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: globocity Sep 28, 2013 03:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ha! No, if I don't go to TJ's then I have no opinion on their products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              josephnl RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Sep 29, 2013 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When you say "anymore", you are implying that something has changed. What is it that's different for you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: josephnl Sep 29, 2013 04:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have moved on from dislike of TJ's , let's leave it at that. I don't want to start of sh*tstorm of TJ haters vs. lovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                jbsiegel RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Oct 19, 2013 05:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't go there either...never really saw the appeal. Ours is always stupid-busy, though. I guess my real problem with it is that I can't do a whole food shop there. Yes...they have some good stuff, but some of the basics (at least **my** basics) are missing. I don't want to have to go to two grocery stores to get it all done!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                StringerBell RE: steakman55 Oct 20, 2013 09:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Longhorn, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, any Darden restaurant- The quality at these places is so low, and the prices are high. I was dragged to Longhorn a few weeks ago for the first time and everything was just dreadful. The soup, salad, entree, appetizer, they were are all horrible. Darden restaurants all have the nastiest sauces, especially the "seafood" sauces. Ever had imitation bacon flavor? That's what their "seafood" sauces taste like, except for seafood. When I worked at Olive Garden I read the ingredients for their "butter" sauce. It comes as a dry mix that they stir water into. There was no butter in it and only traces of dairy products. It consisted almost SOLELY of things like maltodextrin, canola oil, modified food starch, etc. with natural and artificial flavors. It tastes like the artificial butter flavoring people put on popcorn. Nasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Applebee's- their entrees taste worse than $6 skillet entrees from the grocery store. I'm not kidding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Subway- bland, slimy meat, stale bread, and way too much bread compared to everything else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ruby Tuesday- I can look at their menu for 4 hours and not find anything I want to eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                McDonalds- rubbery "meat", especially the breakfast sausage. If you compress it with your fingers and let go it expands to the same size it was before. Low quality everything, menu stuck in the 50s. Except for when the out-of-touch Boomers in charge come out with new items like Caesar wraps that they mistakenly think the millennials will want.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Penn Station- bland, boring, only have white bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chipotle, Qdoba, Moe's Southwest Grill- Chipotle is a lot better than the other two, but they're basically high end Taco Bell. You can eat at a real Mexican restaurant for the same price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Five Guys- extremely overpriced for inexpensive fast food. I ate there one time and it was $12 for a burger, fries, and a coke. And it took about 15 minutes. The burgers are good but not exceptional, fries are soggy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Outback- The last 3 times I've eaten there (gift cards) I swore I would never go back. I'm serious this time. If anyone gives me a gift card I'm trading it in online for one to somewhere else. I would sell a $50 outback gift card for $15 before I would eat there again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Long John Silvers- One meal with 33 grams of trans fat? Why are they trying to kill what few customers they have left? Most of them are 60+ already.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Burger King- every time I drive by one I'm amazed they're still in business

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Arby's- Overpriced, the "roast beef" comes in as some weird gelatinous mass. Pretty gross.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Panera- They try to pass their food off as being high quality and fresh, but it isn't. The sandwiches are similar to the ones found in plastic wrap in gas station coolers. The soup comes frozen in plastic bags that they put in a water bath to heat, and they taste like Campbell's (although I'll admit the butternut squash one is pretty good). The portions are small and overpriced. Now they have tiny pasta TV dinners that they microwave and then hand to you for $8.50? I can microwave my own TV dinner, thank you. Not to mention they're a complete zoo much of the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: StringerBell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  josephnl RE: StringerBell Oct 20, 2013 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I absolutely agree with you regarding Darden restaurants except for one brand that is really pretty good...Eddie V's (and Wildfish which is pretty much the same). We've had pretty consistently very good meals at Eddie V's in La Jolla and Wildfish in Newport Beach (nothin CA).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    StringerBell RE: josephnl Oct 20, 2013 03:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe I shouldn't have said any Darden restaurant, since I haven't eaten at a few of them. Eddie V's online menu sounds pretty good. Darden has only owned them for 2 years though, hopefully they won't steadily lower the quality and raise the prices like they've been doing at their bigger restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When I worked at Olive Garden it was a constant downhill slide in quality. A lot of the sauces the prep people used to make, then they started coming pre-made from the factory in bags to reduce prep hours. Or it's a dry mix that they mix with water. They used to make the stuffed mushroom stuffing fresh with clams, cheese, fresh parsley, bread crumbs, etc., then they switched to getting frozen bags of pellets that looked like tater tots. Just stick one in the mushroom and let it thaw. The spinach dip comes frozen in bricks. Yellow soybean oil-based goop with artificial butter flavor goes on all kinds of things, bread sticks, vegetables, stuffed mushrooms, etc. They constantly came out with "new" sauces that were just alfredo mixed with something else. The "roasted" potatoes are just frozen potatoes they drop in the frier for a few minutes. The "roasted" chicken for the never ending pasta ball came frozen in huge bricks and smelled like canned tuna. Meanwhile the prices went up and up and up, much faster than inflation. I find it funny that as their same-store sales continue to fall the CEO points the finger at everyone but himself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: StringerBell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tom34 RE: StringerBell Oct 20, 2013 06:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree the quality of the chains was never the best and has certainly gone down hill in many cases. I don't know that I agree about the cost though in many cases, especially with the specials and the coupons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I know food quality and top quality steak or seafood is in the minority in terms of quantity from the purveyors and high in terms of cost. As you alluded to, if anybody thinks they are getting high quality at the chains they need to re-think food costs as a % of menu price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Your not getting top quality beef or wild caught cold water shrimp at the average chain. It just can't be done at the menu prices they offer. For many though, for many reasons, its acceptable. I happen to NOT be one of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        StringerBell RE: Tom34 Oct 20, 2013 09:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        High quality ingredients don't have to be expensive ingredients though. I can usually go to local places and leave feeling like I got what I paid for, whether it's $8-15 for a meal or $30+. I leave places like Outback and Olive Garden feeling like I got robbed. Price is all relative to what you're getting, and the food at chains is usually neither good quality nor cheap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. John E. RE: steakman55 Oct 20, 2013 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I posted here some time ago that I didn't care if I ever set foot again in a Trader Joe's. Well, last Friday one opened about 5 miles from my house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Show Hidden Posts