Applebee’s is a national restaurant chain with locations in all 50 states. The Lasco Press primarily reviews locally owned small business eateries. But, if something significant catches our eye (or palate) we want to share the experience with our readers. National food chains offer name recognition and consistent menu offerings. Travelers often frequent these restaurants on the road. Knowing they can find an atmosphere and food quality just like the location in their hometown.
My wife and I travel frequently and we often try new food experiences, especially when recommended by the locals. However, when we want a familiar dining experience Applebee’s is one of our go-to restaurants. My favorite dishes include Fiesta Lime Chicken, BBQ Brisket Tacos, and the Quesadilla Burger. For my wife, it’s the Oriental Chicken Salad. The 2 for $20 Promotion is a great deal for a good meal when watching the budget.
We are fortunate to have several Applebee’s in Southeastern Michigan. We recently moved from the Brighton area to Grand Blanc. It’s closer to the grandchildren. So, we have had to find new locations for our favorite food craves. Unfortunately, that has produced a few challenges. The one restaurant we frequented most often is a well-known theme steakhouse. After four visits to their location nearest our new address, we will not be going back. If we just have-to-have some of their famous dishes we will drive back to Brighton.
The final nail in the coffin occurred when speaking to the steakhouse manager about our dissatisfaction. It was easy to understand why that location underperforms the chains normally exceptional quality. But, enough about that. Let’s focus on the positive. The lesson we learned was, regardless of the size of the restaurant chain it’s local management that sets the bar for food quality and service.
Back to Applebee’s, I can honestly say we have never had a bad experience dining at one of their “Neighborhood Grill and Bar” locations. Some locations better than others, but generally good quality and consistency. Their current promotion for All-You-Can-Eat Riblets caught my attention. The wife and I arranged to meet at our local Applebee’s in Grand Blanc on Hill Road, just adjacent to Interstate 475.
As we walked in the door we were surprised to see the restaurant quite busy. Especially considering it was a snowy Michigan evening and the roads were horrible. We would probably have eaten at home if the location had not been right on the way from the two separate locations we were coming from. The first thing my wife noticed? How clean the restaurant was. Spotless table and booth seats, a clean floor under the table. That’s a hot button for her, not so much for me.
My impressions are often gleaned from the level of service, is the staff friendly, are we waited on promptly. High priorities include, is my drink refilled without having to beg for another glassful and is the food good. Score A-plus for our Grand Blanc location. The manager Kathleen roamed the dining area speaking with guests and making sure expectations were met. No doubt the reason the staff was so responsive.
As for the Riblets, AWESOME. For some reason, I had never tried them before, even though I love almost anything barbeque. Kudos to the staff at our new favorite chain restaurant in town. We will keep coming back to that comfort atmosphere and the menu favorites we enjoy.
Wait! Don’t Miss Out on Dessert.
Oh, let’s not forget the all-time best dessert anywhere. The Applebee’s Blondie! Never tried one? Incredible goodness! The description makes my mouth water. “A rich, nutty blondie drizzled with maple Cream cheese sauce, sprinkled with candied pecans and served sizzling with vanilla ice cream.” WOW!
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