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(The Daily Meal)   Chain restaurants worth eating at, presented as a 10-course prix fixe slideshow. We begin with an amuse bouche of Cheesecake Factory and finish with a subtle yet flavorful In-N-Out Burger   (thedailymeal.com) divider line 221
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14859 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Jan 2012 at 8:10 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-01-03 07:57:12 PM  
Good thing they included In-N-Out *and* Five Guys, so we can avoid the usual burger flame war. Mmmmmmmm... flame broiled burger... *drool*
 
2012-01-03 08:12:13 PM  
10. Cheesecake Factory
9. Chipotle Mexican Grill
8. Five Guys
7. Jason's Deli
6. California Pizza Kitchen
5. Outback Steakhouse
4. Ted's Montana Grill
3. Houston's
2. Melting Pot
1. In-N-Out Burger
 
2012-01-03 08:12:24 PM  
kjmcommercial.com


/DNRTFA
 
2012-01-03 08:13:55 PM  

Osomatic: Good thing they included In-N-Out *and* Five Guys, so we can avoid the usual burger flame war. Mmmmmmmm... flame broiled burger... *drool*


you can get an *okay* flame broiled burger at burger king. you have to ask for it "off the broiler" though, otherwise they nuke a pre-cooked burger.
 
2012-01-03 08:15:42 PM  
Five guys is good, no recent experience with the others.

/I'll have a a 20oz cup of fries, please...
 
2012-01-03 08:16:43 PM  
Chipolte, California Pizza Kitchen, and Melting Pot all suck.
 
2012-01-03 08:16:56 PM  
Haven't heard of half of these, disagree with most of the ones I've tried. Chipotle's is OK, but not nearly as good for you as they pretend to be.
 
2012-01-03 08:17:03 PM  
Actually a very good list. Eaten at all but #9, #3, and #1. I will say I had an awful experience at Melting Pot. Combining wine, very low lighting, uncooked food, and no timer....yeah I god food poisoning on my anniversary. Melting Pot is better as a cheese and chocolate place. Forego the cooking your own chicken and shrimp.

I'd throw in Bonefish Grill and my local chain, El Dorado.
 
2012-01-03 08:17:47 PM  
ispythingsdc.com

Good enough for my daddy.
Good enough for my daddy's daddy.
Good enough for me.
 
2012-01-03 08:18:17 PM  
QDoba > Moe's > Chipotle

Also, this list absofarkinglutely fails without Skyline Chili.
 
2012-01-03 08:18:56 PM  
I was expecting to see at least one sub sandwich place on the list. Firehouse Subs maybe? Jimmy Johns? Most of those types of places do at least one sandwich really well. Except Subway, where they do a bunch of shiat really average and nothing particularly well.
 
2012-01-03 08:19:55 PM  

UNC_Samurai:

Also, this list absofarkinglutely fails without Skyline Chili.


Dear God no. Skyline is f$cking vile.
 
2012-01-03 08:19:56 PM  
I was expecting to see at least one sub sandwich place on the list. Firehouse Subs maybe? Jimmy Johns? Most of those types of places do at least one sandwich really well. Except Subway, where they do a bunch of shiat really average and nothing particularly well.

Yeah both of those are good. Jason's Deli doesn't specialize in subs but I bet you could get one there. I love me some Jason's Deli.
 
2012-01-03 08:20:16 PM  
I don't get the appeal of Outback Steakhouse. I was in one only once, despite it being two miles from my house. Ridiculously small portions (and lots of things were "extra") and the food wasn't anything that I couldn't get at "Applebee's". Everyone and their grandmother has the "Bloomin' Onion" things now. I much prefer Texas Roadhouse....hell of a lot cheaper and tastier, although noisy as hell.

Ted's Montana Grill is pretty good, although they aren't everywhere and their menu is fairly basic.
 
2012-01-03 08:21:29 PM  

UNC_Samurai: QDoba > Moe's > Chipotle


You've got that backwards.
 
2012-01-03 08:21:36 PM  

bearded clamorer: [ispythingsdc.com image 311x260]

Good enough for my daddy.
Good enough for my daddy's daddy.
Good enough for me.


Triple hashbrowns, smothered, covered, and topped, preferably cooked by an overweight cook with as much grease on his apron as on the grill, for the full authentic Waffle House experience.

Great coffee too.
 
2012-01-03 08:21:53 PM  
McAlister's Deli
Houlihan's
Maggiano's
Steak N Shake
And bring back Dalt's!
 
2012-01-03 08:22:08 PM  
Outback has been nothing but mediocre everytime I've gone.
 
2012-01-03 08:22:17 PM  

Passive Aggressive Larry: I was expecting to see at least one sub sandwich place on the list. Firehouse Subs maybe? Jimmy Johns? Most of those types of places do at least one sandwich really well. Except Subway, where they do a bunch of shiat really average and nothing particularly well.


I dig Firehouse and Jersey Mike's a lot, but here in Austin we also have great chains like Thundercloud and Texadelphia
 
2012-01-03 08:22:46 PM  

natmar_76: 10. Cheesecake Factory
9. Chipotle Mexican Grill
8. Five Guys
7. Jason's Deli
6. California Pizza Kitchen
5. Outback Steakhouse
4. Ted's Montana Grill
3. Houston's
2. Melting Pot
1. In-N-Out Burger


Thanks for ruining the suspense, jerk. I loooooooove slideshows.
 
2012-01-03 08:23:37 PM  
I don't get the appeal of Outback Steakhouse. I was in one only once, despite it being two miles from my house. Ridiculously small portions (and lots of things were "extra") and the food wasn't anything that I couldn't get at "Applebee's". Everyone and their grandmother has the "Bloomin' Onion" things now. I much prefer Texas Roadhouse....hell of a lot cheaper and tastier, although noisy as hell.

All I'm going to say is that I've been to a number of restaurants, and although I cook a pretty good filet mignon, the best filet I've ever had was a takeout steak at an Outback.

Also, Applebee's sucks cock. And Texas Roadhouse is great if you like gristly pieces of overcooked steak. The one I live near is particularly awful.
 
2012-01-03 08:23:46 PM  
The Melting Pot is awesome, if you go there "just" for dessert. You've been warned.
 
2012-01-03 08:23:51 PM  

MBZ321: I don't get the appeal of Outback Steakhouse. .


Outback is hit or miss. The one by me used to be awesome, then went way downhill. Now it's under new management and is good again.
 
2012-01-03 08:24:09 PM  

natmar_76: 10. Cheesecake Factory meh
9. Chipotle Mexican Grill meh
8. Five Guys meh
7. Jason's Deli meh
6. California Pizza Kitchen meh
5. Outback Steakhouse meh
4. Ted's Montana Grill meh
3. Houston's never been
2. Melting Pot fondue? you gotta be kidding
1. In-N-Out Burger

never been

I don't think any of these are worth driving past a taco bell for.
Had a nice bowl of black-eyed peas the other night.
 
2012-01-03 08:24:33 PM  
They just opened a Chipotle's in Albuquerque, we probably won't go there. Yeah,call us foodie snobs,but why go there when we can eat at Sadie's,Los Cuates or Papa Felipe's.

Also, Blake's Lotaburger for a local chain that makes drool-worthy green chile cheeseburgers.
 
2012-01-03 08:24:52 PM  

UNC_Samurai: QDoba > Moe's > Chipotle

Also, this list absofarkinglutely fails without Skyline Chili.



You ARE kidding, right? Skyline is watery, flavorless crap. Their cheddar cheese is shredded plastic. Ugh. Awful, awful chili. I wouldn't feed it to my dog.
 
2012-01-03 08:24:53 PM  
As someone who is on the road a lot, that is a very good list. Never have gone to the Melting Pot but have to all the others. Very solid choices if you are in a strange town.
 
2012-01-03 08:25:38 PM  
Flatbread Company up in New England is a terrific chain, as is Amato's
 
2012-01-03 08:26:39 PM  

downtownkid: UNC_Samurai: QDoba > Moe's > Chipotle

Also, this list absofarkinglutely fails without Skyline Chili.


You ARE kidding, right? Skyline is watery, flavorless crap. Their cheddar cheese is shredded plastic. Ugh. Awful, awful chili. I wouldn't feed it to my dog.


Yeah, there's no middle ground with Skyline. You either love it or hate it.

I HATE it.
 
2012-01-03 08:27:57 PM  
I think Whataburger is better than
In-N-out.

/there, I said it
//from the east coast fwtw
 
2012-01-03 08:28:05 PM  

UNC_Samurai: QDoba > Moe's > Chipotle

Also, this list absofarkinglutely fails without Skyline Chili.


Willy's > QDoba > Moe's > Chipotle

/FTFM
 
2012-01-03 08:28:12 PM  
5 guys is killer. Jason's started here in Southeast Texas, and they do it right, excellent all around. The Sgt Pepper with a cup of broccoli cheese soup is great.

And I definitely 2nd the Waffle House, although I have been told there are none north of the Mason Dixon line
 
2012-01-03 08:28:34 PM  
The Cheesecake Factory is a horrible place to eat unless you're going specifically for their cheesecake, which is great. Otherwise it's just enormous portions of really mediocre food. Just like pretty much other chain restaurant of the same caliber.
 
2012-01-03 08:28:42 PM  
They missed 4 really good restaurants although they mentioned in passing Morton's. Roy's>Flemings>Ruth's Chris>Morton's they're all steakhouses pretty much but Roy's is Hawaiian and does some Asian fusion stuff very well. Flemings is head and shoulders above the rest in steaks though.
 
2012-01-03 08:29:41 PM  

UNC_Samurai: QDoba > Moe's > Chipotle

Also, this list absofarkinglutely fails without Skyline Chili.


Qdoba==moes==chipotle
 
2012-01-03 08:29:42 PM  
Seems to be a growing number of burger joints around. We've been getting Smash Burgers here in San Diego, Five Guys, and The Counter.
 
2012-01-03 08:30:01 PM  
Having tried a cheeseburger at In-N-Out Burger in Vegas this summer, I have to say I don't know why people go so nutty over their stuff. Yes, it was fine, but not exactly the pinnacle hamburger experience that some make it out to be.
 
2012-01-03 08:30:43 PM  
Oh, and my favorite SoCal Mexican food chain is Rubio's.
 
2012-01-03 08:30:49 PM  
Freebirds > Chipotle
 
2012-01-03 08:30:52 PM  
Triple hashbrowns, smothered, covered, and topped, preferably cooked by an overweight cook with as much grease on his apron as on the grill, for the full authentic Waffle House experience.

Great coffee too.


The only restaurant that refused to serve me was one time at a Waffle House. I wish I was kidding. My friends and I waited for 30 minutes and no one even asked for an order. No, it wasn't busy, wasn't even that late, and other people were getting their orders and food. There were, however, no other white people in the place. We must have missed the sign on the front door that said No Whites.
 
2012-01-03 08:31:01 PM  
Only 3 of the places in the list even have restaurants in Michigan, given my past experiences whenever someone makes a restaurant list... that's more than I expected there to be.
 
2012-01-03 08:31:52 PM  

adjmcloon: 5 guys is killer. Jason's started here in Southeast Texas, and they do it right, excellent all around. The Sgt Pepper with a cup of broccoli cheese soup is great.

And I definitely 2nd the Waffle House, although I have been told there are none north of the Mason Dixon line


You mean the Waffle House/iHop line
 
2012-01-03 08:31:55 PM  

adjmcloon:

And I definitely 2nd the Waffle House, although I have been told there are none north of the Mason Dixon line


Not true. They got one out in Lancaster, PA, and about 4 others around the middle area of the state. I think that is as far North as they go though. (NJ or NY don't seem to have any according to the locator).
 
2012-01-03 08:32:29 PM  
They list Five Guys and In and Out, but I'd go further and also add regional staples like Steak N Shake, and Culvers to that same list. All of them are great places for a chain burger while on the road.
 
2012-01-03 08:33:25 PM  

adjmcloon:
And I definitely 2nd the Waffle House, although I have been told there are none north of the Mason Dixon line


Not true.
 
2012-01-03 08:33:59 PM  
Freebirds > Chipotle.
Fuddruckers > 5 guys.
 
2012-01-03 08:34:15 PM  
The one time I went to cheesecake factory we spent more time waiting for our table than we spent eating.

/from the way things look every other time I go by, that doesn't seem to have changed
 
2012-01-03 08:35:04 PM  

NASAM: Chipolte, California Pizza Kitchen, and Melting Pot all suck.


Came here specifically to say this...so now I just get to agree, I guess.
 
2012-01-03 08:35:09 PM  
People still eat at chain restaurants? Wow...I mean, just wow. Are you new?

/Unashamed of my food snobbery
//Killer Burger is better than any chain burger joint ever
 
2012-01-03 08:35:37 PM  

adjmcloon: 5 guys is killer. Jason's started here in Southeast Texas, and they do it right, excellent all around. The Sgt Pepper with a cup of broccoli cheese soup is great.

And I definitely 2nd the Waffle House, although I have been told there are none north of the Mason Dixon line


There are a bunch of them around Indianapolis and Cincinnati.
 
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