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Best upscale chain restaurants?

Oh I forgot...what's upscale to some may not be to others. In my area...the upscale chain restaurants are Cheesecake Factory, PF Changs, McCormick and Schmick's, Ruth Chris, Bravo, California Pizza Kitchen, Gordon Bierch, Kincaid's, and I may have forgotten one or two. We don't have Flemings, Maggianno's Little Italy, Texas De Brazil, Morton's, Roy's, Chammps, and alot of others. I live in the Virginia Beach and Norfolk (Hampton Roads) area of Virginia and we usually get retailers/restaurants last...if at all due to our area not being affluent and consisting of alot of military population.

Jul 08, 2008
Carter876 in Chains

'FESS UP! You know you love chains!

I don't understand why some say they don't like or respect chains but everybody dines at them. The suburbs are loaded with them. Some of the chains are really great and they became chains because of how delicious they are. Here is my list:

Panera Bread: Another one for the cinnamon crunch bagel..w/ either honey nut or hazelnut cream cheese...I also like the dutch apple bagel with honey nut cream cheese...they are sooo good. French toast bagel is pretty good as well with honey nut. I also love the strawberry poppyseed salad, black bean soup, and southwest tomato and corn soup...its the one with a tomato base...soo soo good.
Cheesecake Factory: Miso salmon and cajun jumbalaya pasta...great.
P. F. Changs: Honey shrimp, sea bass, and lemon pepper prawns
Macaroni Grill: lobster ravioli, shrimp scampi, free basil bread, and some steak dish I ordered
Smokey Bones: pulled pork BBQ and beef brisket but it definitely needs the sauces that are on the table...and both sauces are good
Olive Garden: soup (pasta fagoli or something like that), tuscan chicken
Logan's Roadhouse: rolls w/ whipped butter, rib eyes
Chipotle Mexican Grill: steak and barbacoa tacos and burritos
Qdoba Mexican Grill: burritos, tacos, nachos, and tortilla soup...their chicken is better than Chipotle but Chipotle has better steak and barbacoa. I rarely eat at taco bell now since Qdoba and Chipotle came to our area...
Chick-Fil-A: Chicken Sandwich (original), nuggets, fries, fruit cups, chicken biscuits, chicken mini's....SO SO GOOD!
McDonald's: plain lil hamburgers...pretty good and simple and their fries are good
Red Lobster: garlic biscuits, and most grilled/broiled fish
Picadilly's: carrot souffle...taste like yams
Dairy Queen: oreo blizzards, strawberry sundaes
Bonefish Grill: most grilled fish with mango salsa or pan asian sauce
Applebee's: oriental chicken wrap
Ruby Tuesday: salad bar, crabcake (not the best but it has lump crab meat), mini burgers
Carrabbas: some lemon garlic spinach dish I ordered...it was wonderful! also had a decent ceasar salad and normally I am not fond of that type of salad...
Chili's: chicken fingers, southwest eggrolls, ribs
Hardee's: only breakfast...they use country ham...ham and egg biscuit..yum but not good for you...and their cinnamon and raisin biscuits..yummy...and I'm on a diet...lol
KFC: honey BBQ wings, original wings
IHOP: carrot cake pancakes...yummy they are really good...strawberry cheesecake pancakes are great as well (this was on some specials since late last year....they still have the carrot cake pancakes and will do the strawberry cheesecake ones like next month or something)....IHOP is much much better than Denny's
Cracker Barrel: turnip greens, roast, pancakes, bacon, chicken and dumplings, meatloaf....just wonderful
Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees and Smoothies: wonderful smoothes...much better than tropical smoothie cafe...their smoothies are so good that I haven't tried their coffee yet

This is all I can think of now...lol

Jul 08, 2008
Carter876 in Chains

Southern Style Chicken at McDonald's?

I tried it 3 times. One time they were giving them away at a festival I attended. They are pretty good when the bread is fresh. One time I had one and the bread wasn't the freshest. As far as the other two times...its pretty good but not on CFA level. The two pickles on the top are overbearing in my opinion. CFA has them on the bottom and somehow they seem to work there better. The breast at CFA seems a lil bigger but varies with each sandwich and location. The CFA sandwich doesn't seems like the chicken was frozen but with McD's all their food comes off as pre-frozen to me. The bun with CFA sandwiches is mashed a lil but I like it and I also like their seasoning better than McD's. The thing about CFA's is that they are not as prevelant in my city; however, McD's are ubiquitous. CFA's generally prefers suburban markets and I don't live in the suburbs and have only one in my city. The suburban city next to ours has about 7 or 8 locations...so that is the reason why I don't dine at CFA often, but I really like their food.

Jul 08, 2008
Carter876 in Chains

Best upscale chain restaurants?

I would like to know what are some of the best upscale restaurants that you guys eaten at? Also..name some dishes that you guys thought were great? I like seafood and my favorites are McCormick & Schmick's followed by Bonefish Grill. Cheesecake Factory is great as well. I ordered the miso mahi mahi from McCormick & Schmick's and it was fantastic. I ordered various types of fish at Bonefish Grill. The rainbow trout was alright but the halibut, grouper, and artic char were outstanding. I would recommend the miso salmon and cajun jumbalaya at Cheesecake Factory. The price points are pretty high at upscale restaurants due to them being "upscale" but they blow the Ruby Tuesday's and Applebee's out of the water.

Jul 08, 2008
Carter876 in Chains