Normally, I would never do a review about a corporate chain restaurant however I feel that this one in particular deserves the hat tip.
Until yesterday, my last experience with an Applebees was on Veterans day a few years back. The experience back then was horrific. I, as a Veteran, went with my family to the Monroeville, PA. Applebees for the Veterans Day Luncheon. The food was horrific, the service was disrespectful and I wish I could remember the servers name because I would completely "out" her here. She was crass and curt, and pretty much made every hint that she had no respect for the men and women of the armed forces community. The food was under cooked, the glass containing my soft drink was filthy; it was enough to ensure nobody would ever return to that restaurant.
I have never been to another Applebees since. Until yesterday. My wife and I were out running errands and decided to grab lunch. We pass the Applebees restaurant located out by Century III Mall on Lebanon Church Road, just outside of Pittsburgh.
We were both starving and figured why the heck not. We park and enter, figuring we were going to have a long wait with it being the lunch rush. The place was fairly busy, but we were greeted instantly as we walked through the door. A warm smile and friendly attitude was afforded us by our hostess and we were seated immediately.
The new menus were placed before us, drink orders taken immediately and specials were explained in a non-demeaning manner. Not even 2 minutes into our experience and things were looking up. Each table has these new touch screen devices on them which have a variety of features. From a menu that you can order off of, games for kids as well as a trivia app for "bigger kids".
My much better half and I peruse the menu and are intrigued by items on just about every single page. For matters of brevity, I will get to it. For an appetizer we ordered these spicy chicken and cilantro won ton tacos. They arrived at our table in a matter of minutes. Served with a nice mellow coleslaw and lime wedges, the balance of flavors was spectacular. The bite of the cilantro played off the spice of the chicken. The lime squeezed over top gave a bright acidity that played and enhanced the flavors all around which was elegantly balanced out by the coleslaw. Not to mention that the crunch of the won ton was fun and exciting. These are a definite "MUST HAVE" if you decide to go.
For our entrees, my wife ordered the 5 cheese macaroni with honey glazed chicken strips. I didn't get to try any of it because my wife was so enamored with the dish that it was gone before I could try some. So,...I'm pretty sure she gives it her seal of approval.
I myself ordered the Brunch Burger. A beautifully seasoned hand pressed patty cooked to perfection with bacon, cheese, a hash brown and a expertly cooked fried egg on top with a side of onion rings. Let me start with explaining one thing about this heart stopping monument to burger lovers everywhere; Burgatory should WISH they could make a burger this good! Recently, I had ordered a similar burger at Burgatory. It was bland, too bready, and not even remotely cooked right. Not to mention WAY over priced for what it was. A pathetic attempt at a gourmet burger.
Applebees on Lebanon Church Road does not have this problem. I would seriously order this burger at least once a week. The egg dripping down the sides of the burger mixing with the ketchup, the crunch of the hash browns and the texture of the hand pressed all beef patty was pure delight.
I had just about given up on corporate chain food. The friendly crew and professional management staff at Applebees on Lebanon Church Road have guaranteed that I and my family will be returning for more amazing food off of their much improved menu.
I give Century III Applebees 5 out of 5 STARS! And that's saying something, because I never give a perfect score. Great Job Gang!
CEO Spike Bowan is the Pittsburgh based Actor/Director/ Author/ Creator of the Alternate History Genre/Fiction saga "War in the Backyard".
Grunt Geeks PODCAST!!!!
Friends of Ours!