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An American chain of casual dining restaurants.

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Applebees

  • Aug 22, 2002
  • by
Rating:
+1
Pros: good prices and quick service

Cons: b-r-r-r-r-r

The Bottom Line: What is it? "Eating good in the neighborhood"? Sounds about right.


I’ve decided I have become proficient at making bad choices. Perhaps it is because when Surg & I decide to finally go out to eat somewhere we suddenly become stealth. As invisible diners, we seldom are shown a table, we never converse with a waitress, we never get served – but on the plus side – our food is never bad and we never have to pay a bill.

We both find our tastes are basically the same – meat & taters. Nothing fancy with wine sauces, no need to put a swirl of green junk on our plate for aesthetics – just drop the slab of meat and dump a side of taters and give us a table.

Another endless game we have is finding a decent burger. Hell, you’d think we were trying to document vital data for NASA with the stumbling blocks we’ve found looking for a good old fashioned burger (and Wendy’s ® can shove that slogan up their patootie). From my many trips to South Carolina to visit friends I remember a tasty burger at Applebee’s, so I convince Surg to make the plunge with me. Mind you our experiences at Max & Erma’s ® and T.G.I.Fridays ® had been abysmal failures.

Driving up to the restaurant
It is 4 PM on Sunday and it seems everyone has decided to have an Applebee’s experience. The queue is outside. We sigh, she parks and I go in to register. Turns out the party outside is a large one waiting for a table where they can all sit together (nearly impossible with Applebee’s booth and round table situation, but that ain’t my problem). Our scheduled waiting time for a table in smoking: 15 minutes.

I wave Diane in and we both note there are 8 empty tables in the smoking section, yet we still have to wait for a table?

Following us into the restaurant is another couple, requesting a table for two, nonsmoking. The assistant managers response was, 25 minutes or so. They look around at the empty tables and scratch their heads, asking why the long wait. His response, "We are really disorganized today."

We should have left then. Sigh.

It’s Happy Hour, all drinks and appetizers are ½ price!
Ah, ha – that explains the bustling atmosphere. We were seated as promised in 15 minutes and enter the worst experience of our lives.

Why does management insist on keeping a restaurant at deep freeze temperatures? And it wasn’t just me, as is usually the case, people were huddled in little groups, some lips were an unhealthy shade of blue. We considered slipping over to the WalMart across the way for a cheap pair of sweats but instead I wrapped my legs in napkins. The girl across from us was suffering from nipplous-erectous. It was cold damnit.

Each table had an air conditioning vent directly over the table, no chance of escape.

Just bring me my food Jerry, and a blanket on the side
He didn’t concur that it was freezing since he was running his tail off from table to table ……. Grabbing a quick smoke and a snack from another table. Yes, good old Jerry, our wait person, had many friends in attendance and each time he got a chance he passed one of their tables for a hit off their cigarette, or a taste of their appetizers.

Although they offer a pretty decent menu with everything from basic food like steaks to the exotic Fiesta Lime Chicken ™, full salad selections, children’s menu, outstanding appetizer selection and the great Riblets (I’ve had ‘em and they are good) – we stuck with the basic burger and fries.

Applebee's also offers a complete dessert menu but the main item offered was ice cream in some way, shape, or form. No way, no how was I lowering my body temperature any more. In addition to brews, the also have a full hard liquor drink selection and a lot of those frothy drinks with umbrellas in them.

Hold the pickle, hold the relish
Naturally we had specifics, we are plain people. Jerry, even though his mind was on the two hot blondes sitting at the bar and his friends appetizer plate and cigarettes, got our order down pat. And he couldn’t stop bringing us fresh drinks, even before the one we had was empty (at least Diane, who was drinking the dreaded Coke. I was having the other white drink, water, and never got a refill). Naturally it could have been a guise to pass his friends table once again, but I prefer to think he was just being thoughtful.

Although we asked for well done, the evil manta to cooks, our burgers weren’t charred beyond recognition. In fact, they were cooked perfectly, which isn’t easy considering the thickness of the meat. The fries were hot, recently cooked, and not flavored which suited me fine. It is getting harder and harder to find basic fries anymore at restaurants.

"J-j-j-j-u-u-u-s-s-s-t-t-t brrrrring the bill Jerry", said through chattering teeth
Well, he really wanted to, but he had another stop along the way. More friends? Probably cause he was toking their cigs as well. What the Hell, I’m a smoker and I try to forgive Jerry, but I’m cold and I wanna get the Hell out of this icebox.

His one redeeming quality however was when he picked up the check and money. Jerry, my hero, said “I’ll be right back with your change”. To me this is the A#1 sign of a good wait person. The brain dead bimbo that asks me, in a hauty voice “Do you want any change back?” and even repeats herself, will get zero-nada-zip-nothing from me in the tip department and they will get reported to management. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. That is just rude and inconsiderate.

Of course, the second sign of a good wait person was in Jerry’s favor as well, he made sure there were enough $1 bills in the change so he could garner a tip – smile. If Jerry can just stifle that smoking problem, he will probably do well.

And the verdict is
Overall, Applebee’s gets a 4 rating. Their food was good, service was quick, wait staff personable (except that brain dead assistant manager), selection well rounded and the prices are outstanding. For an upscale fast food restaurant, they are very passable.

Minus 1 rating for ambience. It is too loud, the lay out is too confusing and the décor does not match the music blaring over the speakers. The appalling chill in the restaurant is not specific to this location, I remember the ones in South Carolina were equally chilly but not as numbing as this one.

To learn more about Applebee’s, you may visit their website”

http://www.applebees.com/

You can even apply for a job through their web page. Not me, of course, because I respect my breasts.

Thanks,
Susi

p.s. Surg is still waiting for her dinnerware, which never showed up. Thank God it was burgers & fries.


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October 08, 2010
Ha, great review, Susi! Sorry about your poor experience there, but your review was just too funny! Thanks for sharing :)
 
1
More Applebee's reviews
Quick Tip by . October 20, 2010
posted in Dining Out
A tasty menu but the Applebee's I've been to had a long wait and chlorine flavored water. I've only been to the one a couple of times, maybe it was just mine.
Quick Tip by . June 07, 2010
Half-off apps after 10pm = wonderful
review by . December 13, 2008
A friend and I went here for lunch one day for a "girls day out."  It was the first time I'd been there so I wasn't sure what to order.  I went ahead and ordered he Chicken Penne.  And it was fabulous!   The ticket came to just over $10 a person so it's pretty cheap to eat there.  This is now my favorite restaurant in town! I love the staff, always so friendly and helpful. And their food is really nice. Service was quick and the waitress even stopped for some …
review by . December 13, 2008
In general and if they're an option local places do it better then Applebees. This goes for all the chain eateries. As a former employee (cook) of both chains (Applebees) and local spots, small businesses seem to put more 'love' into their food.
review by . May 30, 2008
Pros: Braille menus; numerous selections; relatively inexpensive, considering quality; tasty entrees; service; curbside delivery.     Cons: Ambiance; some entrees and sides are of inferior quality.     The Bottom Line: Four words: Three-Cheese Chicken Penne. Need I expound on such delights?     THE FIVE MAJOR FOOD GROUPS      These consist of cheese, garlic, pasta, crunchy bread, and more cheese. Particularly when I …
review by . July 24, 2005
Pros: Good service.     Cons: Sub-par food.     The Bottom Line: We are very displeased with Applebee’s. The atmosphere is agreeable, the service is always good, but the food is sub-par.     Ah Saturdays, made for rest and relaxation, for sleeping late and watching all of those TiVo’ed programs you recorded during the week and now have the change to watch. Yeah Right! Saturday’s are really for running all of those errands you were …
review by . September 03, 2000
Pros: Versatile; Fun atmosphere; Great food     Cons: Sometimes the food is a little cold     I had never heard of Applebees until about two years ago while performing at the Airport Playhouse in Bohemia, New York. After the first performance, everyone started singing the Applebees jingle, "You belong at Applebees!" When I asked what it was from, you could have heard a pin drop in the dressing room. I was simply told it was a tradition, and I had …
review by . July 02, 2000
Pros: Delicious food and good service     Cons: Limited menu, need menu for children     We have eaten at our local Applebee's Restaurant several times. Today we took our daughter, Jessica and our granddaughter, Brooklyn Jean there for dinner. The atmosphere is always friendly and the restaurant is clean. The bathroom has accommodations for babies and the handicap individuals.      Whenever I go there, I tend to order the same thing. So …
review by . October 13, 2000
Pros: Fifty types of chicken!     Cons: Bland, wretched cuisine designed to hasten the downfall of Western civ.     Oddly, the Applebee's web site offers more damnation of its restaurants than I ever could. From a section touting its children's menu:      This is your restaurant. No brussels sprouts or lima beans. We don't even try to sell liver. Kids love the yummy food on their own special menu at Applebee's. Your tummy will love it, …
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Susi Dawson ()
Ranked #81
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About this product

Wiki

Applebee’s International, Inc. is a United States company which develops, franchises, and operates the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurant chain. As of November 25, 2007, there were 1,965 restaurants operating system-wide in all 50 states, 17 countries, and one U.S. territory.

The Applebee's concept focuses on casual dining with mainstream American dishes such as salads, shrimp, chicken, pasta, and "riblets" (which is considered Applebee's signature item). All Applebee's restaurants feature a bar area and serve alcoholic beverages (except where prohibited by law).

In November 2007, IHOP announced that it had completed a $1.9 billion purchase of the Applebee's chain.
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