Two years ago I picked a fast food restaurant (Culver’s) and a sit-down restaurant (Applebee’s) and decided that I was going to eat through the entire menu for each of them! Food, trying new things, adventure… why wouldn’t everyone do this?
Unfortunately, I did not come up with very good methods for recording my thoughts on the food I tried. I am almost done with Culver’s, and when I pick my next fast food place I’ll find a proper method for keeping track of everything. But for Applebee’s, I have taken a picture of everything that I’ve tried, and while I might not remember all of my impressions since I made no notes after I ate the food, I’ll do my best to sum up my opinions in a short “12 dishes in!” blog.
I actually did 13 dishes this time, though, because the last 2 on the list were tried together, and it feels wrong to separate them. Also, this is mostly in order, but I know that the middle ones have some mix-ups, so just ignore that.
- Bourbon Street Chicken & Shrimp
This was quite a while ago as it was the very beginning, but I thought the picture looked really appetizing. While I am a big fan of almost all kinds of meat and am not a picky eater, I remember this one having a flavor that was disappointing. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as I was expecting; it must’ve been the actual taste of the bourbon that I didn’t anticipate. But everything was cooked wonderfully, and I’m sure I would try it again because chicken and shrimp is a hard combo to pass up.
- Spinach Artichoke Chicken Cavatappi
I don’t remember much except that it was very green. I think it was good, but I don’t recall it being particularly amazing, and not one that I would try again over other pasta dishes. But I would eat a LOT of pasta dishes, so that just means I like everything else better.
- Four-Cheese Mac & Cheese w/ Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders
This was a good comfort dish, although I sometimes have a hard time when I have whole pieces of chicken on my pasta and then I have to finagle how to cut it so that it actually works in bite-sized pieces. While this wasn’t anything fancy or anything I loved, it’s certainly a good option for something basic and filling.
- Hand-Battered Fish & Chips
Sometimes I really don’t like fish, and sometimes I really do, and for this dish I really do. I’ve probably over-hyped it in my head by now because I don’t expect to like fish and so when I do I’m pleasantly surprised, but then my mind thinks it was the best thing ever and so the next time I try it it’s not as good as I thought it was, and so finally on the third time I have -both past memories, the good and the bad, which leads to the more accurate “ah this is good but not the life blood of food” reaction. Also, I tried this the night that the cast and crew of Nunsense went out to dinner when our second show got rained out, so that’s definitely a fun memory associated with the fish as well.
- Chicken Fajita Rollup
I have no memory of trying this one… wait, maybe I have one. I think this was really good! I know I tried something with tortillas with my sister across from me who got a similar thing, and maybe we both tried each others. That’s probably what happened with the brisket tacos! Anyway, the event isn’t strong in my memory, but now that I think about it I think the fajitas were really good.
- BBQ Brisket Tacos
See above comment. Also, not a fan of BBQ, so even if I liked them when I ate them I wouldn’t order them again by myself.
- Grilled Chicken Breast
This I also don’t remember… but it’s grilled chicken breast, which is a great way to cook and eat chicken in a really simple way… you can’t go too wrong with that, right? I’m sure they didn’t.
- Chicken Wonton Stir-Fry
I was hanging with a friend of mine when I tried this one. I think it was quite tasty, but it didn’t have gripping flavors that demanded that I try it again in the future. But I also have to try the shrimp version of the same dish, so we’ll see if I can remember what the stir-fry tastes like after 2 attempts.
- “8” Oz Top Sirloin
I remember this being a really satisfying meal. When you just want some good meat to chew into (that’s a phrase now) with some healthy broccoli and a side of seasoned potatoes, something that’s simple and flavorful and doesn’t make you feel like you ate out of a bucket of grease, this is a great dish for that. I tried it medium well, I think, maybe medium rare. I think I would go rarer. We’ll see.
- Caprese Mozzarella Burger
I don’t remember this either. This is one that looked intriguing but I would probably never get on my own, so it was nice to have a chance to try it. I wish I had more of a memory for how it tasted. I think it was okay but not great. How’s that for a descriptive review?
- Quesadilla Burger
This had really good flavor and everything, and it tasted just like a combination of quesadillas and burgers… and yet somehow it didn’t entirely work for me. Like, if I feel like a burger I think I want a BURGER burger. Maybe I should get this when I’m in the mood for American Mexican food? Definitely worth the try, but I don’t think it’ll be repeated often.
- Classic Chicken Parmesan
My sister ordered this and let me have a portion of it so that I could cross it off my list. It would probably have been better if I had ordered it, so that the pasta was hot. But the chicken was pretty good, and I’m sure the whole dish would’ve been lovely. But as I ate, I did remember that while I love chicken and pasta, chicken parmesan with marinara sauce is not my favorite combination of those foods. It’s one that I always think is a good basic food, but one I don’t actually enjoy as much as I think I’m going to.
- Riblet Platter
Got these when my sister was in front of me so she could eat some. For having BBQ flavor, they were pretty good (remember, I’m not a fan of barbecue?). HOWEVER! Who in the world decided that ribs were a great dish to make and serve to people when it is all slathered in sauce? Ribs are ridiculous to eat! You eat them in the privacy of your own home when you can gnaw the bones or where you have a sink right next to you, or else the waiter has to bring extra napkins over because the plethora of bones makes it RIDICULOUS to eat! Who would ever intentionally choose that method of consuming meat over other methods? I barely managed to eat everything with a knife and a fork and was indignant at having to grab it with my fingers. Ribs are NOT going to be on my menu again anytime soon. Worst way to eat meat in public. Get your act together, somebody!