I am not the biggest fan of restaurant chains like Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Red Lobster etc. In fact, I am not a fan at all. When I was in college many years ago, I learned that the food from several franchise restaurants were pre-made. It (the food) is mass produced, cooked and bagged far away so that each place gets the same poor quality as each other. In kitchen of each restaurant, they unwrap the food, heat it up and present it. So naturally when I discovered this I was hurt. *Do not laugh* I felt betrayed *I said no laughing*. No wonder, no matter where you went, as long as you’re having food from that particular restaurant, it always tasted the same. They thrive on being consistent. I was not having it. I like my food cooked fresh and preferably within the hour of me ordering it. And so began my boycott of places like these. Now, to be honest, if a friend invited me to one of these joints, I would go out of respect and consideration for their taste but I would never choose one of these joints as a first choice.
Anywhoos, recently it would seem as if I have gotten over myself (a little). I mean these places still would never be first choice but when in need of casual, economical dining, my PIC (Partner In Crime) and I sometimes head to one. So on Veteran’s Day, as many of these restaurants were offering goodies to former and active duty military personnel, I suggested that we take advantage. After trying Chili’s, which had an hour wait, we ended up at T.G.I Friday’s. The last time I was at any T.G.I Fridays was on summer break in 2004, so I was somewhat curious to see if much had change. Uh….not much. To be honest, I couldn’t remember what their menu was like 7 years ago so I cannot comment on if much has changed on that end but I’ll tell you this much: the burgers are still gross!
Pictured above was my PIC’s appetizer: Jack Daniel’s sampler of baby back ribs, Cajun shrimp and sesame seed style chicken. Why do they call it the Jack Daniel’s sampler? Not a hint of whiskey anywhere in sight (or taste) but I’ll be honest, the ribs weren’t half bad. I love shrimp but didn’t care for the shrimp or chicken on this plate…..because….I had my own
I actually enjoyed these wings, they were soft, I guess from all the double & triple cooking (being mass produced and all) I only ate about 3 pieces because my stomach had shrunk. The littlest thing will fill me up and I wanted to be ready for my burger because I was really looking forward to it. While we had our appetizers, we ordered two drinks. I had the Long Island ice tea…
I won’t lie. The bartender really made my drink strong. By the time I left the restaurant I was tiipppsssaaayyyy. But my PIC’s drink on the other hand was the watery-est (Yes, I’m aware that, that is not a word) thing I ever tasted. He is not like me. He doesn’t like to fuss. Me? I would have sent that drink back but hey, I’m not gonna help fight anyone’s battles if they’re content with not fighting for themselves. So he drank his Mango lemonade (without the promised vodka) in peace.
And as a passionate mango lover, (mango is my favorite fruit), I was very disappointed that they named this atrocity after my beloved fruit. I tasted a hint of lemon but not even a drop of mango. FAIL. Anywhoos, the moment I spent the previous 40 minutes waiting for, finally came. My Southwest burger was in front of me. Now this is what they promised: “An awesome burger with an amazing kick! Topped with melted Pepper Jack cheese, sautéed peppers and onions, crispy Cajun-spiced fried onion strings with chipotle spread and fresh sliced avocado”
THEY LIED! Firstly no avocado came with it and when I notified the server of this, she said “Well miss, I didn’t make the burger”. Really? Now, I can get pretty rude if provoked but thanks to the long island ice tea nicely in my system by then, I just didn’t have the energy to go at her. I kindly told her “I know you didn’t make it but it says avocado and I would like some avocado”. By this time, I was already turned off. I waited for my avocado, assembled it onto the patty, added some ketchup and mustard and took a bite. Then another, and then one more. And then decided that that had to be the most flavorless burger I had ever had in my life. McDonalds would have given me a better burger, seriously. Meanwhile on the other side of the table, my PIC was having the same terrible experience. He had ordered a New York Cheddar and Bacon burger, and he hated it. So with 3/4 of my burger and my PIC’s 1/2 a burger uneaten, I asked for the check, paid and hurriedly left. Thinking to myself the entire time “This is why I don’t go to places like this!!!!” TGIFridays, I won’t be back anytime soon.
Bye For Now…..