Sunday, May 4, 2008

Let's Get Ourselves Kicked Out of an Applebee's...or TGIFridays...or Red Lobster...or Outback...

As an elitist New Yorker (albeit displaced now) I still believe that the New York Times is the end all, be all of news (granted I get the Washington Post at home since I do live in the DC area) and read it online daily. Two articles today caught my attention.

The first: an excellent editorial by Thomas Friedman. I won't go too much into it becasue, well, our blog is about food not politics.

Which brings me to the second article: Chain Restaurant Reviews. (Let it also be stated, the Olive Garden they review is my Olive Garden, even if I've only gone 3 or 4 times in the past decade.) I think it was an interesting piece that shows us Chain Restaurants aren't as bad as we make them seem. I do have "beef" with them as a vegetarian though - so few options for us lacto-ovos! I'd love to go to Applebee's and order more than a French Onion Soup (which I'm SURE is made with beef stock) and a Caesar Salad (which I'm SURE is made with anchovies). Plus, not the healthiest options.

As a boring teenager in suburbia, I spent many a night in a TGIFridays and Applebees (OG was a bit too out of the way) and it was always good for teens on a high allowence. But it gets old quickly, especially if you are a vegitarian. Nonetheless the food was always fine enough and never too pricey.

The Pedant and I have found ourselves at chains every so often - although it's not our first choice (unless it's Bertucci's and more on that in a paragraph or two). I find Olive Garden ok, until the main meal soaked in fatty goodness arrives. It's just never as good as the bread sticks! We've gone to Applebee's with other people, and always refer to the joke in Talledega Nights. I think I may have been to Red Lobster once as a small, small child, but to me it embodies crap.

Now - onto Bertucci's. I must say that this is a favorite of mine with the caveat taht I'm often unimpressed with their dinenrs. Really, the way to go is for lunch. For under $10 you can get some of the most amazing bread this side of heavan, as much salad as you want and the portobello mushroom sandwhich on carmalized onion bread. Mmmmmm... It's like a gift to me!

The other ncie thing about chain restuaunts: as much diet coke as you want. Granted you pay upwards of $2.00 per soda, but if you're a diet coke fan like me, you can totally make it back by cup 3.

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