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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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14853 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 09:12:04 PM
Cheesecake Factory is disgusting. Been there twice, will never bother again.

Outback is also terrible. Had one of, if not, the worst steak of my life there.
 
2012-01-03 09:12:46 PM
I've never been in a Waffle House when the employees didn't seem like they were on drugs. Oh, and one of my friends has a rather hilarious story he tells about another Waffle House patron repeatedly calling him a "faggot", until my friend got sick of it and started making eyes at said patron. He's probably lucky he didn't get beaten up though.

/I think getting called anti-gay slurs at Waffle House is probably preferable to the roaches that always seem to be in the place
 
2012-01-03 09:16:44 PM
Outbacks, at least in my area, are very mediocre. Most of the time your steak is cooked half a degree cooler than you asked. They usually do the prime rib up OK, but quality wise the meat is nothing to write home about. Texas Roadhouse does a much better job.

Also, they closed all the Ted's around my area, are there still any open besides Georgia?
 
2012-01-03 09:17:06 PM

natmar_76: 10. Cheesecake Factory


How about no. I actually have never eaten there so I suppose it's unfair for me to judge but I don't want cheesecake for dinner. I don't even want it for desert because if I'm still hungry after dinner you didn't put enough steak and potatoes on my plate.


9. Chipotle Mexican Grill
Meh - it's a "Mexican" chain restaurant. I put the word "Mexican" in quotes because I've been to Mexico and eaten actual Mexican food.


8. Five Guys
Yeah, I'm out of it. I still haven't eaten there.

7. Jason's Deli
It's a deli - they make sandwiches. They're okay for what they are.
6. California Pizza Kitchen No
5. Outback Steakhouse No
4. Ted's Montana Grill
3. Houston's
2. Melting Pot


I never even heard of those last 3 places.

1. In-N-Out Burger

Texas Burger is better but there's nothing wrong with a bit of the old In-Out In-Out.
 
2012-01-03 09:20:12 PM

Lydia_C: 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.


Its kind of like cocaine. Having cocaine once is a "what's the big deal" experience. After you develop a taste for it, it kind of gnaws at you.
 
2012-01-03 09:26:23 PM

Darkviking: First a pizza thread, and now this? Don't the moderators know we're all on our new year's diet, or are they just evil?

/five pounds down, twenty to go


You've been here 10 years and you still don't know that the admins greenlite the threads?
 
2012-01-03 09:30:11 PM
Some of you guys are really serious about your fast food.
 
2012-01-03 09:38:23 PM
CPK is also gross.
 
2012-01-03 09:42:20 PM
A Five Guys just opened up in the next town over so I'm kind of excited to try it even though there's been a recent glut of gourmet burger places popping up.

And Outback Steakhouse is farking disgusting. WTF?
 
2012-01-03 09:42:31 PM

natmar_76: 10. Cheesecake Factory I go only for dessert
9. Chipotle Mexican Grill wouldn't go back, there is real Mexican food where I live
8. Five Guys Third best burger place in town
7. Jason's Deli I eat there whenever I visit my in-laws
6. California Pizza Kitchen Maybe bad luck, but the service always sucks
5. Outback Steakhouse I cook better than Outback
4. Ted's Montana Grill never heard of it
3. Houston's Only worth going for the night you seal the deal with your date
2. Melting Pot Fun with friends
1. In-N-Out Burger Best value burger place in town

 
2012-01-03 09:42:57 PM

Bathia_Mapes: Darkviking: First a pizza thread, and now this? Don't the moderators know we're all on our new year's diet, or are they just evil?

/five pounds down, twenty to go

You've been here 10 years and you still don't know that the admins greenlite the threads?


Admins...mods, they are all shadowy figures in the night to me. Still thinking about the pizza thread.

But to add my two cents on a good burger, when I lived in Little Rock there was a place called Cotham's that served a one pound Hubcap Burger. One of the best burgers I've ever had.
 
2012-01-03 09:43:58 PM

MAYORBOB: Outback Steakhouse? Are you freaking kidding me? The one time I went


lol

idiot
 
2012-01-03 09:45:17 PM

Bathia_Mapes: You've been here 10 years and you still don't know that the admins greenlite the threads?


No one really gives a sh*t about the difference between an administrator and a moderator. That's like correcting a comma splice.
 
2012-01-03 09:46:26 PM

UNC_Samurai: QDoba > Moe's > Chipotle

Also, this list absofarkinglutely fails without Skyline Chili.


The meat at Qdoba appears to be 50% fat and 25% gristle.

Moes is strangely flavorless.

So Chipotle remains my default burrito chain.
 
2012-01-03 09:47:18 PM
www.iwantabuzz.com
 
2012-01-03 09:47:58 PM
One day Izzo's Illegal Burritos will expand nationally from Louisiana. It will smite all the Chipotle's and Moe's of the world (as it did in Baton Rouge), and you will know true burrito bliss.
 
2012-01-03 09:48:13 PM
forgot to mention - above pic is burrito gallery express, jacksonville beach florida.

it'll blow yo mind.
 
2012-01-03 09:50:26 PM
For those arguing over Five Guys vs In-N-Out...

www.westchestermagazine.com

FTW
 
2012-01-03 09:50:35 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


No
No
Never tried it
Never tried it
No
Definitely No
Never tried it
Never tried it
No
Yes
 
2012-01-03 09:50:42 PM
Whataburger belongs on this list. Also, Outback is horrible, the meat is cheap and overseasoned in order to compensate for quality, and if they are going to include a chain steakhouse, at least go with Texas Roadhouse.
 
2012-01-03 09:50:47 PM

Moes is strangely flavorless.


You said it perfectly. I never look at Moe's and go, man I am really craving one of their burritos. It's always like, 'meh, it's (arguably but probably not) healthier than a burger.'
 
2012-01-03 09:51:36 PM

Sherjo311: forgot to mention - above pic is burrito gallery express, jacksonville beach florida.

it'll blow yo mind.


Thanks for the tip, I just moved to Jax Beach a couple months ago.
 
2012-01-03 09:53:24 PM
Does having five locations count as a chain?

createdintheattic.com
 
2012-01-03 09:55:32 PM

Frantic Freddie: 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.


God, I love Sadie's! Not many reasons to visit Albq, but that's one of them.
 
2012-01-03 09:57:01 PM

Und Becks: I think Whataburger is better than
In-N-out.

/there, I said it
//from the east coast fwtw


Yeah, there used to be a Whataburger in Nags Head and Hatteras which were "must" stops on any surfari to the Outer Banks in the late 60s and early 70s. It says a lot about the overdevelopment of that area that both have been replaced by McDonald's - which doesn't serve food but what appears to be and tastes like petroleum by-products.
 
2012-01-03 09:59:52 PM

Zap_Rowsdower: 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.


carnitas bowl with brown rice, beans, hot sauce, guacamole and as much lettuce as they can squeeze in the container is actually a very balanced meal and other than way, way too much sodium is pretty tasty.
 
2012-01-03 09:59:56 PM
Chipotle is OK, pretty bland, but let's not start calling it Mexican food, kind of a Mexican style, in the fact that you are wrapping stuff in a tortilla, but that is about it. You might as well say "Hey McDonalds has Mexican food!" The big mac wrap.
 
2012-01-03 10:00:10 PM

Gairloch: 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.


Only one (to my knowledge) exists outside the USA. Outback.

My question is, are any of them good enough to be worth a road trip to another country?

/probably not
 
2012-01-03 10:01:11 PM

kwame: MAYORBOB: Outback Steakhouse? Are you freaking kidding me? The one time I went

lol

idiot


Why would you return to a place that farked you over even one time? And yes, I do consider a leathery steak to be a farking-over of the highest magnitude. Unforgivable for how many steaks those cooks have to practice on. Or perhaps it's their subgrade meat they use. Here's a nugget I found on Wiki that will keep me out of the outback permanently: "The company and its founders are major contributors, via the Outback Steakhouse PAC, to the Republican Party, contributing $303,015 and $334,197 for the 2000 and 2004 election cycles, respectively." It makes sense that they don't give a flying fark about food quality.
 
2012-01-03 10:03:14 PM

Paleorific: Chipotle is OK, pretty bland, but let's not start calling it Mexican food, kind of a Mexican style, in the fact that you are wrapping stuff in a tortilla, but that is about it. You might as well say "Hey McDonalds has Mexican food!" The big mac wrap.


Apropos considering they were owned by Mcdonalds from 98-06.
 
2012-01-03 10:05:07 PM
Found a new favorite chain when I was in Charlotte NC, recently:

Genghis Grill (new window) Mongolian BBQ. Great concept: just pay for a bowl, load it up, sauce it up, choose a carb, let the cooks do their thing, and then chow the fark down. Add unlimited bowls thereafter for a nominal fee.

Went to their homepage to find the link and noticed they just opened one up in my hometown. I know where I'm going for lunch tomorrow!!
 
2012-01-03 10:05:26 PM

carnifex2005: 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.


You need a smatphone, google maps for brewpub and look for 4+ stars, hasn't served me wrong yet and I've done it in 37 states. Also the yelp app if you don't feel like bar food and a beer.
 
2012-01-03 10:05:44 PM
Sorry, my new years resolution is to not click any links from the Daily Feal.
 
2012-01-03 10:07:08 PM
Melting Pot and Outback are jokes. Melting Pot is terribly over priced and unsatisfying. Outback is mediocre at best.

I love me some 5 Guys, but I'm not certain whether I'm looking forward to the burgers or the fries when I eat there.

I adore Jason's Deli. I would probably kill for a New York Yankee.

Every time I'm in a place to get an In-N-Out Burger I never get to eat there. I'm dying to do so, maybe the next time I'm on the west coast.

Ohh, and I've seen some mentions of Fuddruckers and that might have been true once, but these last few years haven't been kind at all for those in the Atlanta area. They've become complete ass. . and then mercifully closed.
 
2012-01-03 10:07:22 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


The many here in NE Ohio would find their lack of existance quite funny.
 
2012-01-03 10:10:05 PM

MBZ321: 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


Outback Steakhouse was the first place I ate at when I arrived in the states for the first time. Small portions? Now I know why you're all so farking fat.
 
2012-01-03 10:10:44 PM

kent_eh: Gairloch: 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.

Only one (to my knowledge) exists outside the USA. Outback.

My question is, are any of them good enough to be worth a road trip to another country?

/probably not


None on the list, but one of the major factors in my decision to go back to Japan are:

CoCo Ichiban Curry House (new window) (a very popular curry shop)

and

Kookai Ramen (new window) (a not-so-well-known, but awesome, Ramen shop)
 
2012-01-03 10:13:28 PM

Roquefort: Chipotle was owned for years by Mcdonalds, and the menu never recovered from it.


False, McDonalds was a non-managing angel investor. They never had any input into the menu or where Chipotle sourced product from. Chipotle's management team did gain some insight into how to run a succesful franchising system from senior mcdonalds staff but that was the extent of the involvement.
 
2012-01-03 10:14:10 PM
Don't forget the DONG CHOW at Panda Express

Bad food at a mall wherever you are
 
2012-01-03 10:17:48 PM
And if you've got to eat fried chicken fast-food style, I'd go with Popeye's spicy. People tell me they love Church's for the biscuits, but I don't care about bread when I've got meat.
 
2012-01-03 10:19:13 PM

kyuzokai: Found a new favorite chain when I was in Charlotte NC, recently:

Genghis Grill (new window) Mongolian BBQ. Great concept: just pay for a bowl, load it up, sauce it up, choose a carb, let the cooks do their thing, and then chow the fark down. Add unlimited bowls thereafter for a nominal fee.


See? Who says you can't make a chain restaurant based on an empire known for killing hundreds of millions of people?
 
2012-01-03 10:20:25 PM
I'm thinking Mao Chow - Chinese food for the genocidal maniac on the go.
 
2012-01-03 10:20:36 PM

UNC_Samurai: QDoba > Moe's > Chipotle

Also, this list absofarkinglutely fails without Skyline Chili.


Too regional. Besides most people outside the greater Cincinnati area hate it just because they dont understand what it is. They look at it and grouse "THIS AINT CHILI!".

/lives 2 blocks from a skyline
//mmm 3-way
 
2012-01-03 10:22:43 PM
As a road warrior I agree with most restaurants listed, particularly Outback. Also Texas Roadhouse makes a Chicken Critter Salad that is off the hook. Seriously, it's awesome. Before I leave on business trips I go to google maps to figure out where the nearest Texas Roadhouse is to my destination.Their other menu items are hit and miss though. Also I would like to add that Applebees is a shiatty restaurant that serves food that has been pre-packaged and then warmed up just after you order. They suck.
 
2012-01-03 10:23:20 PM
I loves me some Chipoltle and I've only eaten at California Pizza Kitchen once but I enjoyed it. They closed the Outback SH here, we ate there once, it wasn't worth it.
 
2012-01-03 10:26:21 PM
Much better than In-N-Out, and no Bible verses on the burger wrappers or soda cups, either.

blogging.la
 
2012-01-03 10:26:44 PM

robodog: Roquefort: Chipotle was owned for years by Mcdonalds, and the menu never recovered from it.

False, McDonalds was a non-managing angel investor. They never had any input into the menu or where Chipotle sourced product from. Chipotle's management team did gain some insight into how to run a succesful franchising system from senior mcdonalds staff but that was the extent of the involvement.


[citation needed]
 
2012-01-03 10:27:53 PM
have most of these in Orlando.

10. Cheesecake Factory--went once many years ago, cared so little i never went back.
9. Chipotle Mexican Grill--if i want mexican, ill go get mexican.
8. Five Guys--tasty, greasy burgers.
7. Jason's Deli--decent sandwich place for the price, not spectacular
6. California Pizza Kitchen--never been
5. Outback Steakhouse--Longhorn, Texas Roadhouse are way better. Outback overspices every steak.
4. Ted's Montana Grill--don't have here
3. Houston's--went once, was a little too high falutin' for me.
2. Melting Pot--never been. I don't go out to pay money to cook my own food
1. In-N-Out Burger--edible, don't get the hype. Would eat there again but not if there is a 5 guys next door.
 
2012-01-03 10:32:20 PM
Maid Rite.

Not sure why I love it so, but I do.
 
2012-01-03 10:33:23 PM

kyuzokai: Found a new favorite chain when I was in Charlotte NC, recently:

Genghis Grill (new window) Mongolian BBQ. Great concept: just pay for a bowl, load it up, sauce it up, choose a carb, let the cooks do their thing, and then chow the fark down. Add unlimited bowls thereafter for a nominal fee.

Went to their homepage to find the link and noticed they just opened one up in my hometown. I know where I'm going for lunch tomorrow!!


LOVE some Genghis grill. Mongolian bbq FTW. Sadly I have to travel to Houston (closest location) to get it
 
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