Applebees can be decent

Applebees can be decent

I love shitty American chain restaurants that many New York food blog readers do not like. I grew up loving the likes of Chili’s, Applebees, Macaroni Grill, and Outback Steakhouse. Really, when I was a kid, the place to go for steaks was Outback. Sure, there was Ruth’s Chris but they didn’t have no Bloomin’ Onion so fuck that. But now those places are supposed to be avoided if you take your palate seriously. Within NYC city limits, I’ve actually been to Outback like ten times but only between 2000 and 2005. That’s probably the record for anyone with a food blog that’s been running for at least four years. Does that mean my palate got more sophisticated?! Nah, unlikely. I would still love a Bloomin’ Onion. The thing about chain restaurants like Outback or Applebees is that they are WAY BETTER IN THE SUBURBS. In New York City, they are overpriced and/or the service is very ugh.

So it was with great pleasure that I was able to show Steph what shitty American chain restaurants was all about in the suburbs last month. We went to an Applebees! I think the two entrees and one appetizer deal is in New York City as well, but the service is way better in the suburbs. I’ll tell you why. In the burbs, all the servers are high school students. Veteran restaurant goers in NYC probably prefer professional servers who are part-time art-history majors in night school, but see… I don’t need the server to tell me what’s in the food or what’s a good wine pairing at Applebees. You should never ask what is in your food at Applebees and if you even try to order wine there, you oughta just shoot yourself. Order a coke/pop/soda depending on which part of the country from which you hail. Then soak up the free refills you don’t get in NYC.

Why you want a high school student as a server is because he/she can be way more enthusiastic. Ours came by to refill the water, to ask if we want coke refills, and if everything was OK. I mean, this kinda shit doesn’t happen in the Times Square or Atlantic Terminal Applebees, both of which I’ve been to before.

We tried their boneless buffalo wings. They were really vinegar-y and super pungent. They tasted fine but just don’t try to bring it up to your nose. It wakes ya up. Their ‘new Southwest Shrimp Fettucini’ was alright. The pasta was actually al dente, and we counted… we got like 17 shrimps! That’s an unheard of number for shrimps in a dish at a ‘real’ restaurant in New York. I guess Thailand’s been working hard. This is one thing the suburbs do well. Sure, the plating was very messy and the flavor was kind of one note, but the shrimp were good. And lastly we also tried their riblets. I have no idea from which part of the pig the riblet is cut. It uh, isn’t just like smaller ribs. The bones are actually like flat disks instead of long bones. The meat was soft and sauce was overly sweet. I mean, I used to love this shit and now it still tastes semi-OK.

I don’t actually recommend Applebees over any of the other chains, nor do I recommend you go there in New York City. But if you’re traveling the U.S. and you didn’t have time to research what’s a good local place to eat… you could do worse than Applebees in the suburbs.

Posted by Danny on November 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm

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