Stay at Home Moms

S/O Chain Restaurants

Which ones will you tolerate? Which will you refuse?

I've taken the kids to Applebee's, Chili's for lunch. But I wouldn't go there on a  Friday night. However,  we've been known to get take out from Olive Garden. And call me lame....I like Alice Springs Chicken from Outback. Shh....

But for steak, we'll only go to a great steak house. That is one thing that I can't cheap out on. I don't even like the chains that much... 

Mom to Big Sister (2008) , and boy/girl twins (2010) Life is busy!
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Re: S/O Chain Restaurants

  • DochasDochas
    Tenth Anniversary 250 Answers 2500 Comments 100 Love Its
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    Houlihan's, Sbarro and Panera.  My husband used to be able to get me to the Outback but I didn't like it the last couple of times so I'm pretty sure that's out now.  I went to Red Lobster once and didn't hate it so I would go back there.

    If we're including fast food - McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts and sometimes Burger King.

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  • Hooters wings are awesome-we go there a lot. Love Olive Garden for their unlimited soup and salad for lunch. I don't mind Fridays too when were traveling. 
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  • I will go to Red Robin, The Old Spaghetti Factory, and Azteca.

    I don't like many others because it's not a good value for your money and/or the food is so heavily salted that it's almost inedible. 

    ETA:  I think The Old Spaghetti Factory is one of the best kid-friendly restaurants because of the kid's menu.  It's not just grilled cheese sandwiches, cheeseburgers, and chicken fingers.  They have kid sized portions of their regular food instead.  It's fantastic. 

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  • I actually really like chains

    Smokey Bones, Texas RoadHouse, Longhorn, Uno's, Red Robin, Chili's, Olive Garden, Macaroni Grill, On the Border. All great

    Ok is 99, Fridays 

    hatred Applebees and Ruby Tuesday

    CJ :-)
  • Love Chipotle!  Panera,  

    I really don't care for Applebee's at all.

    Most chains fall into the "ok" category.  I'm not super anti chains.  Usually I can find something I like about places, like for example, Olive Garden because I could happily eat their breadsticks and salad all day. Some of the steakhouse chains have good bread.  That sort of thing.  We don't really eat out a lot.  

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  • NandaBNandaB
    5000 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its Third Anniversary
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    image KC_13:
    Hooters wings are awesomewe go there a lot.


    Hehe this does NOT jive with my mental image of you.

    I'll eat pretty much anywhere. I like chipotle, and panera for 'quick' food. And I really really like Yardhouse. We got one in our area a few years ago and I am so glad it is still here. Oh and El Torito. I have a special place in my heart for their chips and salsa.
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  • CnAmomCnAmom
    10000 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
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    Love: Chili's just for the chips and salsa, Carraba's, Chipotle, Qdoba, Red Robin (could seriously eat those fries all day long), Red Lobster (The biscuits!).

    The only one I can think of that I hate is Applebees.
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  • Starbucks is pretty much the only chain we go to. Although I don't mind Chipotle and Panera.
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  • image NandaB:
    image KC_13:
    Hooters wings are awesomewe go there a lot.
    Hehe this does NOT jive with my mental image of you. I'll eat pretty much anywhere. I like chipotle, and panera for 'quick' food. And I really really like Yardhouse. We got one in our area a few years ago and I am so glad it is still here. Oh and El Torito. I have a special place in my heart for their chips and salsa.

    what can I say, I like to surprise people. :) 

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  • I like Chipolte, Panera, 54th Street and Buffalo Wild Wings.  I hate Applebee's, Red Robin and Chili's.  Olive Garden and Red Lobster are ok.  
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  • The ones we usually end up going to are Chili's, Rosas, Texas Roadhouse or BJs Brewhouse.

    I really dislike Applebees as well. There are two within three or four miles of us and they're always packed.
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  • roxy_jjroxy_jj
    Seventh Anniversary 250 Answers 1000 Comments 25 Love Its
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    I don't mind chains too much and will eat at them when we're out with the kids.  When I'm out with only DH, I of course prefer to eat some place better. 

    I hate Olive Garden and Applebee's and won't eat at either of those places.

    Ms. A  - 2007, Mr. C - 2009
  • I like Starbucks coffee, so if I can't find a good local coffee shop I'll go there.

    I really try to avoid any fast food, although in a pinch while traveling I'll eat Panera or McDonalds.

    I have had some okay meals at Outback but it has gone way down in quality over the past few years. I ate at Cheesecake factory once and was not inclined to go back. I go for a local diner or luncheonette instead of Applebees/ TGIFridays. Not any healthier most likely but much tastier usually. I ate at Olive Garden once and that was one time too many. That was absolutely nasty.

    There is a local Mexican chain I loooove (Surf Taco) and a local burger joint (with two locations so almost a chain) we like a lot.

    Chain pizza is an insult lol! But then I live in an area with 3-4 local pizza joints per small town, all of which thrive, so chains wouldn't have a chance. 

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  • And wow, I haven't heard of most of the chains other people have mentioned lol!
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  • I will go to Smokey Bones! Hands down, all time favorite restaurant.  I will also go to Red Robin, Applebees.  I don't mind many chain restaurants, though I LOVE some local places here too.  I do a mix.

    I will NOT go to Olive Garden.  I like the bread and salad? That's it. ICK.  My sauce that I make is seriously 40x better and I just think it's so gross.

  • Spin313Spin313
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its
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    We have a lot of chain restaurants around us. I like Chili's, Champps, Red Robin, Max and Erma, Red Lobster, J Alexander, Papa Vinos, Maggianos, and even Olive Garden. The only ones I don't really care for are Applebee's and Macaroni Grill.

    But two of my favorite restaurants are local places.
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  • I like Panera, Starbucks and Olive Garden. We also get Pita Pit and Jimmy Johns sometimes. I have a rather large hatred for Ruby Tuesday, and we almost never eat at Applebee's or Chili's.
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  • I could eat soup, salad and breadsticks from OG weekly. We have a new one and its really good. The other older ones suck like normal.

    Other than that, we eat at Outback once a year when we drop DD off at camp and at Cracker Barrel on the way home from camp. I eat at Zoe's every once in awhile and we eat at a local Greek chain all the time. 


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  • I'm not a total food snob, I just choose not to go to chains if I can avoid it. But if someone wants to go to a chain, I can usually find something to tolerate.

    I refuse to go to Red Lobster. Yuck.

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  • jnksmomjnksmom
    250 Answers 2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 100 Love Its
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    We like several chains but we also don't have a lot of local places near us. We eat Buffalo Wild Wings, Red Robin, Texas Roadhouse, Cracker Barrel, and Carrabba's most often when we eat out with the kids or family. 

    I don't like Applebee's or O'Charleys. I like the breadsticks and salad at Olive Garden but don't really care for their food.  

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  • I like Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera, Chipotle, and McDonald's.

    Don't really care for Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Applebees, Chilis.

    We eat at mostly local joints if we go out
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  • Where we live, it is pretty much local restaurants, so it is rare we go to a chain restaurant.  When we go shopping in bigger cities (read: 30-60 miles from home maybe 6 times a year), we will usually pick from Buffalo Wild Wings, Red Robin, or Texas Roadhouse.  We have eaten at Applebees and Chili's, but I don't care for it unless it is the only option.  We used to go to Outback, but it has been over 5 years since we went, because the food and service in the two nearest us went WAY downhill about the time Texas Roadhouse came into town.  I like Panera and Qudoba, but DH doesn't. so we rarely go their, either.
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  • Chain Restaurants: Chili's, Macaroni Grill, Wood Ranch, Lucille's BBQ, IHOP (for breakfast).

    Fast Food: In N Out and Miguel's Jr.  

    We won't do Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Red Robin or Applebees. Denny's is definitely a big no.


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  • I was also obsessed with Zaxbys when I lived in Atlanta.
    Mom to Big Sister (2008) , and boy/girl twins (2010) Life is busy!
  • We'll eat at chains when we're traveling. Chipotle and Red Robin are both good for kids. And Chik-Fil-A is totally a guilty pleasure if we run into one!!

    We are lucky enough to live in a city that has tons of local options. And DH is a big snob about chains, he really hates them overall. Though McDonald's breakfast sammiches and fries will always be delicious, forever and ever. 

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  • Chain restaurants we love include: Chicken express, Nobu, Rudy's BBQ, Sonic, Maggiano's, Taco Cabana, Carrabba's, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris steakhouse, Short stop burgers, Texadelphia, and PF Chang's China Bistro.

    Only two of these exist within 100 miles of where we live. We left them all back in Texas. :(

    Chain restaurants don't do well out here because I live in the land of foodies, food trucks, and generations-old "mom & pops". We have a KFC, Taco Bell, CA Pizza kitchen, Panera, Chipotle, McDonald's, Chili's, Outback steakhouse, and Applebee's within city limits but we RARELY eat at them as they just don't compare. They rarely have any foot traffic either, it's not surprising to see restaurant turn over every few years. The only thing that lasts out here is In-and-Out burger.

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  • I will eat Olive Garden salad for lunch quite happily. I like Chipotle. Jason's Deli is great. Locally Portillos, Maggianos, and Coopers Hawk come to mind. I'm lucky that I live in an area with lots of more interesting options, so we don't eat in chain places too often. 

    The chains I really dislike and will avoid at all costs are: Red Lobster, Applebees, Panera (gross chicken and they are all loud and crowded), Red Robin (I only had once but I thought it was terrible), Chik fil a, Burger King (I make exceptions for Icees). 

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  • Applebee's, Olive Garden, Joe's crab shack, Cheddar's.....I think the list would be shorter if I mentioned stuff I don't like. 

    Red lobster, BOB EVANS, Dixie Caf?, Ihop. That 's it.

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  • image Chapter79:

    I will go to Smokey Bones! Hands down, all time favorite restaurant.  I will also go to Red Robin, Applebees.  I don't mind many chain restaurants, though I LOVE some local places here too.  I do a mix.

    I will NOT go to Olive Garden.  I like the bread and salad? That's it. ICK.  My sauce that I make is seriously 40x better and I just think it's so gross.

    If you're going to the one on Central Ave, perhaps we've sat next to one another without knowing it :)

    I don't mind most chain restaurants in a pinch, they're just not typically my first choice.  We have local places much closer to my house.  I'd have to drive further for a chain so why bother??

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  • I could eat olive gardens breadsticks 24 hours a day.
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