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Chain Restaurants

Okay, my brain was blanking out on what to write about when one's brain is blank, throw out a poll.  I know, I know...I'm missing some restaurants, I'm sure.  I debated on whether to put Cheesecake Factory on the list....but...nah...not enough of them I just chose the "sit-down" (or family-style dining, as it is known in industry vernacular) chains that seem to most commonly populate the "restauranty" parts of cities.  So, what is your favorite?  What restaurant did I omit that should have been included?  Rachel and I took the Eicher's to a Ruby Tuesday (dang, I guess I should have put that on the list) on our way back from Kansas in 2006.  Ruby Tuesday is definitely a national chain, and I do like their salad bar.  It was in Columbia, Missouri...we definitely seemed out of place in this college town.  We also took them to a Panera Bread in St. Louis, which I don't think they cared for very much.

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Cracker Barrel - But there are none yes NONE in So. Cal. 

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Yes, BUT you have KooKoo Roo Chicken (spelled right?) where YOU are and we don't! win some, lose some:) But, yes, Cracker B. is great!

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     I think Red Robin is a national chain also.  I've seen them in several states.  We have them here in PA, MD, NJ.  I tend to eat WAYYYYYYYY too many steak fries before my meal comes!

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Don't really care for chain restaurants, but I chose Applebees's due to their Weight Watcher Points meals (DH and I are  forever on a diet).  It wasn't bad for diet food.

Though, when the low-calorie dessert was brought, you needed a magnifying glass just to see it...

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My sister & husband were travelling to Florida last week so I referred them to the Yoder's Restaurant in Sarasota.  They said they had the best coconut pie ever.

We go to Atlanta Bread Company which is sort of like a Panera's but better.


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I'm also more into the mom and pop resturants.  I like "home cooked" foods, couple of my favorite resturants are Ryan's that is in Burlington, Ia and The Fort Colony Resturant in my hometown.  Yesterday my Mom and I ate lunch at the Fort Colony, I decided to have the House Special for lightly battered fried chicken strips and I just love it!! 

LuvMaerz's picture
Re: Chain Restaurants

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesnt work if it's not open."- Frank Zappa


gatewalker, we drove past Ft Colony yesterday.  I have never eatten there, but I have a real soft spot for chicken strips with honey mustard.... not good on the diet!  Ryan's is so good, too!  They have sooo much variety! 

(We were in Ft Madison yesterday b/c we ordered a small tv stand from "The Schnitzelbank."  They have really nice stuff there!!).

Re: Chain Restaurants that the furniture place in town?  Yeesh....I hardly ever go down town anymore except to see the dentist or buy a book :) 


The Chicken Strips comes with a sweet and sour sauce which is okay but next time I'll get the ranch dressing in place of the sauce.  I just love the Mega Bar at Ryan's, they also have a really nice dessert bar too.  I get just about almost everything on the mega bar when I'm at Ryan's. 

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I like Paneras - first went there when visiting my youngest when she was in NY state.  My other daughter worked for Applebee's for about 3 years.  I prefer local mom & pop type places more or Lone Star - which is more of a local chain.  But I tend to like 1-2 things on the menu & nothing else.  Chili just came to our town about 3 years ago & I only eat an appetizer there!

My youngest also worked at Cheesecake Factory in NY for a while and my oldest used to work at Cracker Barrel - I would probably actually chose Cracker Barrel, if I were pushed into a choice.


Can't Eat Out!

I know the rest of you will be like, "What?" I have sensitivities to a whole long list of foods, most noteable onions, garlic and anything in that family like leeks, chives.  Those two ingredients are in just about everything! I can't even be in an italian restaurant without getting nauseous, the smell is so strong! That is why I read this column, I have to break down the recipes into something I can eat!      

LuvMaerz's picture
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"A mind is like a parachute. It doesnt work if it's not open."- Frank Zappa

Panera does have some good sandwiches, and an EXCELLENT vegetarian vegetable soup.   Working in the clinic, drug reps would come through peddling their products (you other nurses know what I mean!), and would often bring us in a free lunch just to listen to them.  Often it was Panera, which was new to the area and we all liked.  Before that, they always brought in Jimmy John's or Subway, and we got SOOO sick of it after awhile.... but hey, it was still a free lunch.  Usually if we had a choice, we would ask for Kelly's, which is a locally owned Irish pub/restaurant.  They are famous for their secret-recipe cheese soup and jumbo cinnamon rolls.  Kevin knows what I'm talking about Wink!

When I was in Ohio at OSU for a training course, we ate at PF Chang's one night.  I had some scallops which were excellent!  Are they more of a local chain?  I had never heard of them before going to Ohio, and have not seen one since.

... and yes, Longhorn is deeelicious, too!

I will try most things once.  I mean, some things that are fairly common place anymore, like Hawaiian pizza or the chicken salad with apples/grapes/walnuts, are still intimidating to some people.  I guess the idea of fruit in a savory dish is a little weird...but as the song from my kids favorite show, "Yo Gabba Gabba" goes, "Try it, you'll like it!".

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Have to agree with not liking Panera Bread.  Recieved a gift certificate to there and took my husband for lunch.  Thought it was too 'yuppie' for me.  I mean sandwich with an apple?  Didn't see many things that sounded good to me so I ordered the French Onion soup in a bread bowl.  Wasn't that great :-(  Have to say thought at every faculty breakfast that we have, someone always brings their bagels for the group and those aren't bad.  I guess the only other chain restaurants  that I like that you didn't list is BW3 (beer, sports, and trivia games, got to love it) but not sure if it is outside of this area.  I also like Longhorn Steak House.  Nothing beats their rib eye steaks (I know not good for me but I don't eat it that often).  O'Charlie's has great frozen mix drinks, loaded potato soup, and yummy yeast rolls.  Great I'm making myself hungryWink

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Oh, yes, those O'Charley's yeast rolls...I could eat a whole basket of those....SIGH, and those Olive Garden bread sticks.  PF Chang's, by the way,  is a national chain, but I don't think they have anywhere near the number of places that the other chains on the polls do...another chain I like is Red that a national chain?

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