I find myself thinking more about salads as lunch time possibilities. I'm not sure how that happened. But I do enjoy seeing my lunch is a crisp, crunchy. This salad as the perfect mid-day meal item to satisfy my food cravings. Of course a salad with absolutely no carbohydrates. Sure GLOBer, the challah croutons in my Applebee's Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, ($9.99), looked really yummy. But the diabetes devil in me dares me to eat them :( The Romain lettuce in my lunch was special. Did you know most varieties of lettuce exude small amounts of a white, milky liquid when their leaves are broken. This "milk" gives lettuce a slightly bitter flavor and its scientific name, Lactuca sativa derived from the Latin word for milk. Maybe the 'milk' is what blends so well nicely with the delicious garlic Caesar dressing. The chicken breast strips were charred perfectly and added a sharp 'burnt' bite to the mix. The elements of my salad complemented the creamy, subtle flavor of the dressing. The grated Parmesan cheese blend not only added a nice touch to my lunch time presentation I usually end up thinking – as I do when I douse my slice of pizza with P. cheese -- how much do I really taste the Parm cheese flavor. Speaking of Romaine lettuce one head of romaine lettuce contains 44% RDA of Omega-3 essential fats. Surprised? It's not just nuts, seeds, and fish that have omega-3s.
Restaurant ignores 'big box' persona
By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor
While working at the University of Florida several years back, Applebee's on the corner of NW 13th St. and NW 10th Ave. was a reliable stop for a good lunch.
When I recently entered Applebee's big red brick building for a quick lunch, I took a place at the bar in the center of the dining room, and I immediately felt like I was entering an old friend's home after a long hiatus.
I have to admit Applebee's possesses all the franchise, big box lunch opportunities I have pooh-poohed in other franchise establishments. However, Applebee's doesn't seat 350 people. I haven't seen their staff hurrying customers in one door and rapidly out the other.
Applebee's does have a menu that tries to supply customers a giant number of meal time choices they think will satisfy every lunchouter in Gainesville. I copied off of their online menu the entree choices you can find: Salads, steaks, ribs, chicken, seafood, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, and sliders.
Having just written what I think are negative comments about Applebee's, I do have a special fondness for what I see as a very nice neighborhood restaurant.
Applebee's has some enticing lunch specials including an all-you-can-eat soup, salad, and bread entree for $6.99. This isn't the typical salad bar approach to lunch. Your lunch is served to you and your server will happily supply you with all the roughage you can eat.
In the Applebee's sea of choices I opted for the Reuben sandwich and French fries. The AKS -- Applebee's kitchen staff -- did an excellent job of preparing my lunch.
I was presented a nice stack of thinly sliced, very tender corned beef. My protein was complemented with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut sandwiched between toasty slices of rye bread. I added my own spicy mustard to this sandwich to top off a lunch time flavor bonanza.
To put it another way: The tender, salty corned beef and sharp cheese played off the bitter flavors of the sauerkraut and mustard to create harmony between toasted book ends. From the first bite to my last bite, all the sandwich's flavors made my taste buds sing.
The French fries were crisp and lightly seasoned.
My Applebee's lunch didn't surprise this professional eater. I've always enjoyed my visits to this handy, neighborhood lunch stop.
The Pluses and Minuses of Applebee's:
Applebee's (+) indicators: Good food, nicely prepared with an excellent customer friendly approach.
Applebee's (-) indicators: Too many choices for this lunchouter.
Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Applebee's. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!
- Phone Number: 335-0150
- Address: 1005 NW 13th St., Gainesville, FL
- Urban GLOB Location: 13th St
- Web Site: Applebees
- Latitude: 29.661519
- Longitude: -82.338473
James Monday, 01 August 2011 14:39 Comment Link
Oddly enough I had a similar Applebees experience today. Not only was my salad drenched with dressing and that Tomato soup horrible (something they should be ashamed to serve), but the kitchen was so slow, "all you can eat" means nothing beyond one serving if you have an hour or less for lunch.
Karen Monday, 01 August 2011 13:37 Comment Link
Ate at Applebee's today. Negative experience! Got the all you can eat soup and salad. Salad was DRENCHED with dressing! The Tomato Basil soup was TERRIBLE! We will not be returning for a while.