I really like the interior decor at Applebee’s. It’s a lot more like an intimate bar and grill than a coffee shop. The food is good (if typical) sports bar food, and the service is decent. I’d rank it as one of the better chains of this type, at least at this location.
Bacon cheeseburger includes fries, cookie and a side of chili
** (2 stars)
I’m always amazed a the value Steak and Shake offers. For the price of a burger at a fast food chain you can get a good sized specialty burger, a half a plate of fries, a large bowl of chili (or other side of your choice) and a cookie. And it’s table service. There are better burgers in town, but there aren’t better deals.
This place is a complete remodel of the Italian place that was here before. Although I miss that place, this is probably a better space for serving three meals a day for the attached hotel. It’s lighter and more open, and looks more like a diner.
There’s a large selection of various burger styles, but you can get pretty much anything you like on them. The patties are the smashed kind, so they’re all cooked all the way through. I had the Ranch Hand, basically a BBQ bacon cheeseburger, and it was very good.
The accompanying fries weren’t very exciting, but a side order of onion rings was nicely done.
Service was friendly. The kitchen was a bit slow, considering they weren’t busy, but we weren’t in a hurry.
Since the iHob advertising campaign generated enough traction for even me, a non-TV-watcher, to hear about it, we decided to try their now hamburger menu on its first day of introduction.
Of our party of seven, five of us had various burgers (there were two dedicated breakfast lovers), and we all enjoyed them.
I had the Brunch Burger, which included bacon, a fried egg and very crispy hash browns(!). It was an excellent burger, with a perfectly cooked thick patty and over easy egg. I was concerned the hashbrowns would be soggy, but they were very thin and extremely crispy, and added a nice crunch to the burger.
My only complaint is that the bun is very soft, and with such well-stuffed burgers it tends to disintegrate before you’re done with the burger. Other than that I’d rate it as one of the better burgers from a chain.
You have your choice of sides. I had the onion rings, which were heavily breaded and not crisp enough, although perhaps they could be ordered extra crispy. But you can also get pancakes as your side. That wounds like a fun way to get lunch and dessert!
This is a nice little sidewalk cafe and wine bar. The menu is extensive and we only had time for a snack, so I don’t have a lot of data points to go on. But I will say we were there in mid-afternoon, were the only customers, ordered a diet coke and espresso and pretzel bites, and the service was so slow we ended up having to take the pretzel bites to go. So I can’t recommend it if you’re in a hurry.
The pretzel bites, by the way, aren’t what you’re expecting. It’s actually a bowl of fondue with the pretzels floating in it. It was okay, but I wouldn’t have it again.
Based upon the name I was expecting sort of a dive bar, but it’s actually quite modern and nice inside. The menu offers a broad range of sports bar food, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good our selections were.
The nachos were actually better than any I’ve gotten in Chicago’s Mexican restaurants. They were spread out in a thin layer over a huge rectangular tray, so they stayed nice and crisp. We ordered them without the black beans, just our preference.
I had the ribeye, and it was a pretty darn good steak for much less than half what it would cost in any of River North’s steakhouses. About half of it needed to be trimmed away, but that’s what makes a ribeye so tender and juicy, and this one certainly was.
Service from our original server was a bit spotty, but the bartender and manager filled in nicely during her unexplained absences.
I was definitely favorably impressed, and will return.
My friends from the Midwest were excited about the local arrival of Culver’s, so I was looking forward to checking it out.
The Bacon Cheese Deluxe Single burger I had was good, better than most fast food burgers, and came with all the trimmings I like.
The specialty here is frozen custard, especially “concretes” made by mixing in ingredients. I had vanilla custard with mint flavoring and m&ms added. It was very tasty, fairly indistinguishable from soft serve ice cream.
It’s worth noting that custard is REALLY high in calories compared to alternatives. It’s also worth noting that the serving sizes are really large. I had a “mini” which, when I was a kid, would have been called a large. Between the caloric content of the custard and the size inflation, it would be easy to order a single serving that had over 1000 calories!
Service was very friendly. I was greeted on arrival and departure, and the food is delivered to the tables and the tables are bussed, all nice services not usually found at fast food places.