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An American chain of casual dining restaurants.

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I knew There Was a Reason We Swore off Applebee’s

  • Jul 24, 2005
  • by
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 too busy and tired to take care of the rest of the week. And so this Saturday after breakfast the missus and I set out for Home Depot, to purchase our new Weber Genesis Sliver B BBQ grill (review to come), then off to Hobby Lobby, and then on to Michael’s. Lots of driving and walking, but in the end we found what we wanted, but by the time we were through it was time for lunch, and we were miles from home. Enter Applebee’s.

About The Restaurant

Applebee's specializes in quintessential American style food seeming to sample item from every part of the country except the New England. And by that I mean burgers, steak, ribs, and chicken dishes are the centerpiece of the menu, but they are increasingly adding Mexican inspired dishes to reflect the changing demographics of the country.

Applebee's was founded in Atlanta, Georgia, in November 1980. In 1982, the second Applebee's was opened in Atlanta and in 1983, the restaurants were sold to W. R. Grace and Co. which expanded the chains presence throughout the south. Today, with more than 1,600 restaurants, Applebee's is the world's largest casual dining restaurant chain. According to company literature for each of the past 12 years (1993-2004), Applebee's has opened 100 or more new restaurants. The company estimates the development potential of theApplebee's concept in the United States to be at least 3,000 restaurants.

Our Experience

Now my wife and I are not fans of Applebee's, in fact we decided the restaurant was not for us quite some time ago; the atmosphere was okay, as was the service, but the food was sub-par, and tasted decidedly ordinary, like t had just come straight from a microwave oven. But recently Applebee's has shown new life adding several new items to the menu that look inviting. So we decided to give Applebee's another try: we have once again sworn of the place. Why? Same ole song: sub-par food.

I was tempted this time around to try one the restaurant’s new Irresist-A-Bowls but I decided that that was too much food to eat for lunch, and opted for their new Blue-cheese Beacon Burger instead. My wife ordered Chicken Quesadilla Grande from the appetizer menu. Neither of use was satisfied with the resulting meal. My burger while cooked to order was virtually tasteless. The blue cheese was runny and equally tasteless, and the bacon’s hickory smoked taste was non-existent. The fries that accompanied the burger were okay, your standard chain-restaurant fair, but they ware not plentiful (my wife and I usually like to share). Luck for me the cost was minimal, checking in at $6.99.

My wife’s Chicken Quesadilla Grande was not at all grand. In fact there was hardly any grilled chipotle chicken, onions, tomato, or bacon at all between the copious folds of tortilla shells. And again the taste was, well lacking, and the cost was high for an appetizer: $7.99. My wife also had a raspberry lemonade that tasted more like raspberry Kool-Aid with a little lemon flavor added; another disappointment.

Other Useful Information:

Lunch is served between 11:00am and 4:00pm, and the prices on the lunch menu are usually less then the dinner menu. But then so are the portions. Dinner is served between 5:00pm and 10:00pm.

Alcoholic beverages are available for dine-in only. I am not a beer drinker but judging from the beverage menu Applebee's has a full array of domestic and imported beers, and the restaurant does offer low-carbohydrate options for those so inclined, as well as a number of desert inspired beverages including Mud-Slides.

Applebee'sgift cards are available in any denomination. They can be purchased at the restaurant, or on on-line. Like most chain restaurants Applebee's now offers to-go service.


As I stated at the outset we are very displeased with Applebee's. The atmosphere is agreeable, the service is always good, the food is sub-par, and the prices, while not as low as some chains, are reasonable given our location.

Our Location(s)

Aurora - Applebee’s
449 South Route 59
Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 375-9868
(630) 851-9954 (Fax)

Montgomery - Applebee’s
350 US Rt. 30 Bypass
Montgomery, IL 60538
(630) 966-8944
(630) 966-8947 (FAX)


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More Applebee's reviews
Quick Tip by . October 20, 2010
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 . August 22, 2002
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 …
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, …
About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #187
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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About this product


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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