If you were a lad growing up in one of America's suburbs, chances are you had similar dates as a teenager. You picked the girl up, went to eat at some chain restaurant, went to the movies, and went home. The chain restaurant was both convenient and necessary. Convenient because it was adjacent to the mall or the cineplex, which are the agora of modern suburban society. They were also necessary because, what other choices were there? The ONLY restaurants near me growing up were the big chains.
We called them bitch restaurants, because that's where you took your bitch. It's not nice, but it's true. Look, not to stereotype, but I've never dated a girl who was decisive about what she wants to eat. "I don't know...whatever..." or "I want something...but I don't know what..." are common responses. Being a gentleman, you want to make your lady happy. This is the genius of the big chain bitch restaurant. You can get burgers, Mexican, salads, steaks, Asian, or pasta all at the same place. Chances are there will be something on the menu she'll like. So, here is a brief survey on the pluses and minuses of the big chain bitch restaurants.
I've been all over this great nation and there is one thing I've noticed: the same shopping complex exists everywhere. There is always a mall that has a Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, Target, and a Bed Bath and Beyond. In the parking lot of this shopping center, you will find a Chili's. I don't really know that many people actually get excited about Chili's. It's just kind of there, like clouds or back acne. They serve a burger or an Awesome Blossom, an unlimited soda from a plastic mug, and you can share a brownie sundae. It's the default bitch restaurant.
TGI Friday's is the downmarket Chili's. It's the place you go to when the wait at Chili's is too long. I must tell you that I have a personal hatred of TGI Friday's. Why? I have never eaten there and not thrown up afterwards. I don't know what it is. Maybe I'm allergic to Jack Daniel's sauce? Maybe my stomach hates salmonella steak? If I wanted to become bulimic, I'd just go there for lunch and dinner.
This is a classier Chili's without the vomit inducing qualities of TGI Friday's. The burgers at Ruby Tuesday are much better than the other two places. Though they are all the same restaurant formula, for some reason Ruby Tuesday just feels like they actually give a crap. Plus, their wings aren't bad. Not great, but not bad.
Usually you'll end up at Applebees with co-workers. It makes sense. It's nicer than the above places but it still allows for the variety of choices. It's an easy decision that will make everyone in your office happy. They have a line of dishes that were put together by Tyler Florence. He's no Escoffier, but at least you know that someone actually thought about the recipes and that they weren't just slapped together by some crappy food committee.
The Cheesecake Factory
This is the big time. If you take your girl here, you will probably get lucky. Maybe they put Spanish Fly in the raspberry iced tea or maybe she's just impressed that you spent $60 on a sandwich, pasta, and a slice of cheesecake. The Cheesecake Factory isn't really any better than any of these other places. It fools people into thinking that because it's more expensive. It's like the old saying, "You can dip a piece of poop in gold and call it a treasure, but it's still poop."
Article By Jack Tomas