Friday, April 21, 2006, around 8 PM
The Place: Applebee’s
When I think of Applebee’s, I think back to a few years ago when I lived in Tempe, Arizona, with 4 other roommates in a house that was a 5 minute walk to an Applebee’s. This was right around the time when all of my friends and I were turning 21, and so Applebee’s was the place to go with my roommates and other friends to get drinks and some food on our birthdays. There wasn’t a birthday special or anything, but we could walk there (and back), and they had a reverse happy hour after 10 PM where all of the appetizers and drinks were half price. The drinks were pretty good, and the appetizers were worth the half price that we were paying for them. A good time was generally had by all, and we could stagger our way back to the house safely. We ended up doing this for pretty much all of our birthdays for an entire year or two.
This was our second trip to Applebee’s for this project. See this post for the drama that led us to Applebee’s this time.
Typical American bar and grill.
For an appetizer we ordered the spinach and artichoke dip. It is served warm with tortilla chips. I love the dip. Some of the chips we happened to get this time were stale, but there were almost enough good chips to make it through the dip. I ordered the oriental chicken salad wrap. Basically it’s their oriental chicken salad wrapped in a tortilla. Considering I like the salad, I liked the wrap. The only thing is that they served the dressing on the side, which was nice for the sake of not making things too soggy inside the wrap, but you can’t really dip the wrap into the sauce because all of the stuff would fall out. Also, the dressing is pretty strong so you don’t really need a full dip’s worth of dressing. My solution was to dip my fork into the dressing and wipe it off onto the bite I was about to eat. I had to do this for almost every bite, which became a little tedious, but besides that, I enjoyed the wrap. I ate half and took the other home to eat the next day. It was still yummy.
(Edit: We went back a few months later and I ordered the same wrap. This time there was still the dressing on the side, but the inside was drenched in a similar sauce, so much so that half of the fries that came with the wrap were also drenched in the sauce. Go figure)
Apparently they were adding a few things to the menu the next week, so our waitress listed off a few things and said that we could order them if we wished. She mentioned the quesadilla burger, and I was intrigued. I didn’t end up getting it, but Erik decided to try it. Pretty much it was a burger, inside of a quesadilla. Meaning: Hamburger patty, salsa, onions, mayo, and cheese, inside of a toasted tortilla. I didn’t actually try the burger, but Erik did not particularly like it. The waitress, when describing the entree, did not mention the mayo or the onions. Normally Erik likes mayo on his burgers (not so much with the onions), but the mayo definitely did not work on this one. I believe that some sort of quesadilla burger could work, but definitely not the way that Applebee’s did it that night. Maybe we should’ve asked for guacamole. Guacamole makes everything better.
Our waitress was probably a college student, but she was fairly ditzy. She was an ok waitress, but had a few quirks. Erik ended up telling her that he didn’t really like the quesadilla burger and the waitress kindly offered to take it off the bill, except that the conversation was something like this: (E=Erik, W=Waitress)
W: How was everything?
E: Uh, I didn’t really like the quesadilla burger. I didn’t know there’d be mayo on it, and it definitely didn’t work on there.
W: Oh, well then you shouldn’t have to pay for it if you didn’t like it.
E: (confused) Uh, I mean, uh, I guess, I mean, I still ate half of it, uh, enough to get full.
W: Are you sure? I can take it back.
E: Uh, no I am full enough.
W: OK. I’ll get the check.
And then she brought the bill WITH the burger included. What? You don’t allude to the fact that you shouldn’t have to pay for something and then make them pay for it! The whole conversation was just very awkward. A waitress should not make you feel awkward. Ever. She should have just taken it off the bill, or apologized and done nothing. But instead she put us on the spot to decide if we wanted it on the bill or not. Argh.
It is fairly reasonable and you get quite a bit to eat. $7-9 for sandwiches ($8-$10 these days. -Erik, April 2014), a little more for some of the heartier entrees.
It’s definitely not my favorite of the American generic chains. There is nothing inherently bad about Applebee’s, but nothing special, either. Oh, and the reverse happy hour deals aren’t as good any more–I think half price on certain appetizers, and $1 off certain drinks. And only Sunday through Thursday. Boo.
How often would I go back?
Twice a year (although our friend Kellan is obsesed with the place, so I’ll probably end up going every few months.) (what’s this?)
(Edit: We ended up going back towards the end of May, right before we went to see X-Men 3 on the opening night midnight showing. I don’t understand why he likes the place so much. -Kira, May 2006)