Let’s Eat … Chain Restaurant Style

Quarantine has been a struggle, ordering take-out, cooking meals and missing the under-appreciated experience of eating out at a restaurant. We all have our favorite restaurants, cuisines and atmospheres, I wish I could give you a list of unique and family-owned restaurants that we can all eat at that but because that doesn’t make any logistic sense, I will break-down the top five chain restaurants to eat at once your quarantine is lifted.

Restrictions are beginning to lift throughout the country and restaurants are opening up with limited capacity or outdoor seating, it is time to get prepared, marking your territory and what restaurants you will hit up when the restaurant doors officially open in your area.

The ProcrastiNation Princess and I have eaten at two restaurants since we went into phase two in our area and were able to sit down and eat. I will tell you what, it was so relaxing and felt like a mini-vacation, I will never again take for granted the experience of dining out at a restaurant. I think quarantine has taught all of us to appreciate the little, mundane aspects of life that we have at our finger tips on a daily basis. Let’s get into the countdown:

5. Longhorn Steakhouse: The first of three steakhouses to grace our top five countdown. Longhorn was introduced to America in 1981 and is now headquartered in Orlando, Florida. (top 10 place to live in the country in my opinion). The menu at Longhorn is not as big as other chain restaurants but they do offer some phenomenal choices like the spicy chicken bites or the firecracker chicken wraps, you can then follow that up with a delicious and generous portion of steak or my personal favorite, the parmesan crusted chicken.

4. Texas Roadhouse: Founded in Indiana back in 1993 this modified steakhouse has a pretty cool vibe and his surrounded with TV’s that make it somewhat of a sports bar with incredible chain restaurant type of food. They give you free peanuts that you can toss on the ground along with complimentary bread with cinnamon butte, absolute delicious treat to start your meal. Their chop steak that they call, “road kill” is my person al favorite and if you want something covered in delicious gravy you need to go with the country fried steak. They have a knock off blooming onion that is a pretty good appetizer or you can go with the Texas chili.

3. Cheesecake Factory: Founded in Beverly Hills all the way back in 1972 and now has their headquarters located in Calabasas, CA. My problem with this place is that the menu is gigantic, I like a small concise menu but this restaurant offers so many options to its diners that it is appealing for a lot of people. The reason I like this place is because of the quality of food, followed up with the phenomenal cheesecake desserts. They have a phenomenal club sandwich along with an assortment of burgers. As an Italian, I am very picky with my pastas but I will say that for a chain restaurant, the pasta dishes at this establishment are a pretty good option.

2. PF Chang’s: A staple of Scottsdale, Arizona and the all-time favorite establishment of Raiders owner, Marc Davis, PF Chang’s gets our runner-up spot. Look, I moved out of New York and my Chinese food choices have gone way downhill, I miss Chinese food a lot. The hit and miss factor of local Chinese restaurants is very disappointing so the consistency of PF Chang’s and knowing what you’re going to get makes this place a very good option for a chain restaurant. DUMPLINGS for days.

1. Outback Steakhouse: THE GOLD STANDARD OF CHAIN RESTAURANTS. What a year 1988 was, the Dodgers won the World Series and Outback Steakhouse was founded. This is what a chain restaurant should be, in every single way possible. The wings, the cheese fries, the bloomin’ onion, the warm brown bread with butter, the New England Clam Chowder and those are just the appetizers. We move onto the main course, the Outback Burger, Alice Springs Chicken, Filet Mignon, Coconut Shrimp, the possibilities are endless. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM THE OUTBACK CREW WE WISH IT WERE OUR BIRTHDAY SO WE COULD PARTY TOO! What a song, it’s the “Hey Jude” of my generation!