HOME > Chowhound > Chains >

Discussion

TGIFriday's, Applebee's, or Chili's?

I haven't eaten at these places a lot, but they seem similar. Which is the best?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. My ranking would be...

    1. Chili's
    2. TGIF
    3. Applebee's

    5 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      I would agree with this ranking. I used to eat at these places a lot, but haven't been in years, so my thoughts might be out of date.

      I've always had good experiences at Chili's, mixed but generally positive experiences at TGIF, and fair to horrible experiences at Applebee's. Of course with chains, the quality of food and service at any individual location can vary drastically.

      Are there any specifics that you are looking for?

      1. re: CantRememberLogin

        Well, they are ubiquitous, so I was just interested as to which was the best, since they seems alike...Applebee's seems to be somewhat expensive.

      2. re: fourunder

        I also agree with this ranking but put both TGIF and Applebees way below Chili's

        1. re: fourunder

          I concur with those rankings, but remember that we're not talking about great food here in any case.

          1. re: Bob W

            Unless you consider deep fried foods a separate food group.....

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. if i had to choose it would be 1 tgifriday 2 chili's and then applebees.

              i always have an easier time finding things i want to eat at tgifriday's over all those places. beside i have to have my beloved fried green beans. none of those other places even have an app i want but tgifriday's.

              8 Replies
              1. re: vttp926

                LOL The last time I ate at TGIF's was at the airport in RI. Of course I had to try the fried green beans. Not tempura, but not bad. The dipping sauce was good.

                1. re: Bob W

                  Easy.

                  D. None of the above.

                  I have yet to be in a situation where those are my only choices. I'll admit to eating at TGIF on a couple of occasions when I was stuck at the Newark airport, but it sucked. I was more interested in sitting down and getting a drink. Otherwise, I just can't support any of those establishments.

                    1. re: observor

                      Again, with the exception of the Newark Airport (where they aren't the only choice, but the only one with seating and bar service at the United gates) they tend to be in areas where there are other options.

                      1. re: ferret

                        Oh yeah, like Ruby Tuesday's! Another winner -- NOT

                    2. re: ferret

                      Wow! It took almost a whole day before anyone flamed the thread with a snobbish "they all suck" post. While a chain is not usually my first choice, they can offer an acceptable repast. In fact, the restaurant critic for the local paper, who is not one to mince words, thought so, too. From this week's review:

                      "Can a restaurant critic who enjoys creative cuisine, pampered presentation and polished service in locally owned restaurants find happiness at a $20 meal with three courses for two people at a chain eatery?

                      The answer is yes, when the food is hot and flavorful, and service is friendly....on a recent Saturday night...

                      Chili’s was offering all of the above and more than 75 regular menu items, and crowds were waiting inside and outside the casual family restaurant in DeWitt."

                      She went on to say the food was decent and "Service from our eager-to-please waiter was as good as it could be on a hectic evening, but we had extra napkins, forks replaced, complimentary refills of soft drinks and a final goodbye." Some of the "local joints" don't usually fare that well.

                      FWIW - While I think Applebee's *does* suck based on several "second chances" and would be about the last place I would go, Chili's isn't too bad. DW and I would go there on purpose.

                      1. re: al b. darned

                        I am envious of people who are lucky enough not to have to deal with these as their only option. About 8 years ago, I worked 2nd shift and lived and worked in areas where these were pretty much the only options after work if you didn't want breakfast food. I think even the Denny's closed the kitchen then if it was too slow, so the options were really dire. Of the choices, I think TGIF and Chili's are pretty much a toss-up. Sadly I ended up at Applebee's the majority of the time since it was the only place open until 2, but I have to say the food is pretty unacceptable. I don't think I've gone back there since I moved out of that area.

                        More recently I lived in an area where the options were just so horrible generally that when guests were in town, the best options were Chili's/TGIF if you didn't want Chinese/Thai 5 nights in row or have the budget for finer dining.

                        1. re: al b. darned

                          Heh I was waiting for that flame too al b darned. Agree with the ordering most of the hounds posted. I took my friend to Applebees and he said the food was worse than the slop served at his high school cafeteria. He was shocked. Tried applebees a few years later with my friend John. I must be a glutton for punishment. Worst chicken caesar salad ever. It was slimy. The one at Costco food court is so much better. Luckily I drink and have a designated driver. I think of all these places as a spot to socialize, drink and snack. Chilis is the best of the three for sure.

                  1. The original comment has been removed