Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen No. 18

My 13 Favorite Chain Restaurants

I truly love one-of-a-kind, mom 'n pop restaurants. Whenever I travel I seek them out, kind of like "Drive-Inns, Diners, and Dives" on the food network. It's one of my favorite shows. However, I am usually found at some chain restaurant when on the road. Nope Mickey "D" is not on my list. I would never take my daughter there when she was little, and she wouldn't take her kids there. Unfortunately my son-in-law lived off of McDonald's so, the grand kids are there more often than I care to mention. Here are thirteen of my favorites in no particular order or price point.

1. Cheesecake Factory: The name says it all. All of the food here is great. The salads are wonderful and the portions are huge. Dessert speaks for itself.

2. Sonic Drive-Inn: This is my favorite burger place. They're done the old fashioned way, and there is nothing better than the foot-long coney. WoooooHooooo!!!!

3. Wendy's: Wendy's makes the list because of their chili. It's probably the best fast food chili around.

4. On the Border: I love Mexican food and this is one of my favorite places. I got hooked on their salsa years ago.

5. Abuelo's: Another Mexican restaurant. The menu is a more diverse and upscale than On the Border. It is my wife's favorite Mexican restaurant.

6. Papadeaux: "Holy Cow Batman!!!" This is some of the best Cajun food I have ever had. Again, great food, huge portions, and spiced the way I like. You gotta order the Crawfish Trio.

7. Joe's Crab Shack: Again, good food, large portions, and generally good service.

8. Slim Chicken's: This is so much better than Buffalo Wild Wings that there is really no comparison. The chicken is fresh and never frozen. That ensures that it is much juicer than BWW.

9. Jim N Nick's BBQ: I don't know how big this chain is, but I do know it is in Alabama, and I will seek it out anytime I am in that state. The pork is the best.

10. Texas Land and Cattle Co.: Yep, it's a steak joint, and it is great food.

11. Granite City Food & Brewery: A little on the upscale side, but a great menu, great atmosphere and good service.

12. Mimi's: Big time comfort food restaurant. The portions are huge. Many items can be a meal for two.

13. Copeland's: Based out of New Orleans, this is more upscale than Papadeaux, but the food is excellent, the portions are great, and the service is always outstanding. This is a great place for a special occasion.

Honorable Mentions: Chili's, Ruby Tuesday's, Outback Steak House, and Pasta House, Johnny Carino's, Chipolte's.


Sandee (Comedy +) said...

It's about 30 minutes until dinner and I guess you know that your list has my mouth watering something awful. Great list. I so love to eat good food. Have a wonderful TT. :)

MondaythroughSunday said...

Cheesecake Factory ~ YUM! I also LOVE P.F. Changs!

Nicole Austin said...

They all sound great, although I hadn't hear of a few of those. Love Cheesecake Factory!

Greatfullivin said...

You have great taste (pun) Whoops! i am with you on the one of a kinds. We rarely eat any fast food. Thanks for sharing and have a great TT.

Sandy Carlson said...

All of this makes me hungry. The thought of cheesecake right now....Where's that factory?

Nicholas said...

I like Wendys from time to time

Thea said...

We love a lot of those restaurants, too! And you can't beat Mimi's.

suchsimplepleasures said...

i'm starving...and i really want mexican...even though it's almost 11pm. but, we only have taco bell near me...none of the other mexican food chains!! boo hoo!

Open Grove Claudia said...

Boy, I can say that I haven't been to most of these places. I go to Wendy's because it's right next to a place where I see bands and my friend always is hungry. Funny how different people's lives can be!

Happy TT!

My TT is Food for thought.

Natalie said...

If you like Chipotle's then you should seek out Bajio's Grill, Cafe Rio and Costa Vida Grill. They're the same concept but so much yummier!

Sharon said...

Wow! I haven't heard or been to many of these. I need to get out more. lol

My husband and I LOVE Sonic, too. I wish there was one in our area.
They just opened a Granite City here, and we do have an Abuello's. Guess I need to check them out!

Fun & interesting TT. Thanks for sharing. :)

Angie said...

I haven't been to most of those, but the list still makes me hungry. Sonic is one of those places I have not been to, but apparently they are going to put one in our town soon, so I'm looking forward to trying it out!

SJ Reidhead said...

The closed our local Sonic to rebuild. I am in mourning. My best friend called, wanted to know if I was handling it okay.

The Pink Flamingo

Joyce said...

You're making my mouth water! I can't eat at a lot of those places because my diabetes forces me to be carb conscious, but I used to eat at several of those. Lots of the chain restaurants will post menus and nutrition info online, which I love, because I can study up ahead of time and know the calories, fat, and carb count of what I decide to order.

There is a Mexican restaurant called Abuelo's near Phoenix (Peoria). Did you mis-type it as Adbuelo's in your post? I've eaten there (before I was diagnosed) and it's very good.

the teach said...

I've heard of only one of these. Driller, the Cheesecake Factory. Where are all these others? Not in the NY area I don't think... :D

Anonymous said...

oh great, now I am hungry! *grin*

I wonder if they will have ANY of those where we are moving...hmmm

Oh yeah if you want to guess where we are moving come and see my Thursday Thirteen~

Darla said...

Oh, Texas Land and Cattle. Smoked steak. *drool* We are so going to eat there when we visit the States this summer.

storyteller said...

Mimi’s is a favorite meeting place for my sister and me (when she’s not on the road traveling). I have friends who love Joe’s Crab Shack and Cheesecake Factory, but many of the places listed are unfamiliar to me here in So Cal.
Hugs and blessings,

Bond said...

Not a huge chain guy, though I have spent some coin at the regs (MCD, BK, Taco Bell)

I love Steak & Shake (their duo-shakes are the best)...and also White castle... HEHEHEHE

I do like Papadeaux and Sonic also

~*angelle*~ said...

I don't think I've been to any of these except Wendy's. Some of them I've never even heard of!

Malcolm said...

One of your honorable mentions is my favorite... Outback Steakhouse. I love their Grilled Shrimp on the Barbie appetizer!

Rhonda said...

WHAT?! NO McDonalds?!!!!!

DrillerAA said...

No, no McDonald's. Not now, not ever!! Taking ground meat and pressing it into the shape of baby back ribs is just more than I can handle.
No, no McDonalds.

Gray Matters said...

I've never heard of some of these, but I do enjoy Copeland's on occasion.

Nap Warden said...

Cheesecake Factory...yum!

DoubleDeckerBusGuy said...

Cheesecake Factory wins... and although there are Sonics in Canada (and Ontario,) I have yet to try 'em... MUST do that soonly!

Travis said...

I love Applebee's happy hour. Azteca is pretty good for Mexican food. And my favorite Chinese is Maple Garden.

Love me some CheeseCAKE Factory too!

Ornery's Wife said...

Have never tried the Cheesecake Factory, but there is one in the new little shopping center near where we are staying. Maybe I'll drag Ornery over there next week for dinner. As for my favorite chain? Chipotles all the way! Mmm. Love the guacamole and chips with salt and lime. Oh, baby! I like that they serve fresh stuff and limit processing to a minimum. Oh, man, I wish there was one here!

BeckEye said...

I have a real thing for Chick-fil-A. That's seriously the best chicken ever.

Cheesecake Factory is overpriced and I wasn't that wild about the dinners, but the cheesecakes were to die for.

Now that I live in NYC, I'm not allowed to go to a chain restaurant (except fast food) or they'll kick me out of the city.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

mmmmm. cheesecake factory! my son used to be a chef there. before that is!

smiles, bee