Chain of Fools

So I did it, I went to Applebee’s for the first time since God knows when; and let me tell you what, it was freakin’ terrible. My expectations were obviously pretty low to begin with. But hey, it was really entertaining and gave me a ton of material to write about. Upon walking into Applebee’s, it was really depressing. The place was a ghost town, dark and gloomy. The one thing I did find hilarious was that every table had a tablet computer. Need your server? Press a button. Order food? Press a button. Play trivia or other games? Add .99 cents to your tab. Brilliant. Make the food disappear? Not a button for that unfortunately. One positive was on Wednesday’s LIT’s were on the special. And luckily for us they were all out of well liquor. Nothing says class like a top shelf Long Island for $4. I think they forgot the booze in it though. I was surprised by complexity of their drink menu. They had a section of modern mixology. Hey, at least they are trying. The American Mule was pretty tasty as a matter of fact. The margarita, not so much; it was super sweet and tart. It did come with a tin shaker so I could pour my own to drown the lack of flavor of the food. Oh well, on to the menu. The Applebee’s I remember from high school was chicken tender baskets, sizzling platters, and riblets. Don’t worry, they are still there. There was a section of healthy options with quinoa, whole grains, and even cavatappi. Am I still at Applebee’s? The pictures on the menu make everything look so appealing. That photographer definitely earned his paycheck in this case. Looks are definitely deceiving. To start, we got pot stickers from the immense appetizer section. Farm to table? More like bag to table. Yikes, they were the size of a quarter. Another LIT please. For dinner, we chose from the 2 for $20 menu. Seems logical right? Two salads and two entrees for 20 dollars? When in Rome. You know it was going to be bad when the server asked me to cut into my Bourbon Street Steak to see if was cooked to my liking. Well done city. Not even close to medium rare. The cow was already dead, no need to kill it again. I felt like I was in the movie Waiting. Nothing sets off the flavor of steak like some ketchup. However, I was not going to send it back for chef mike to cook me another. The fresh veggie of the day was unseasoned broccoli. Awful. Let’s just say it was a big mi-steak to go with the sirloin. I will say this, our server was super nice and chill, attentive and always around. Can’t say the same thing about some of the nicer restaurants I’ve been to. I guess I’m spoiled because I am exposed to so much great food in the service industry and I am willing to spend the money. The average American is not like me though. Chains do serve a purpose for those who want an affordable option for their family. Are all chains this bad though? Are Americans really this clueless about food or do I just care too much about where I eat and drink? I think it lies in the middle somewhere. On to the next chain though, I’m a glutton for punishment. Ruby Tuesday? TJI Friday’s? Chili’s? Stay tuned. Cheers foodies!

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