Monday, September 27, 2010

Off the Chain

Off the Chain!

It's "off the hook" - no really, it's "off the chain!"

Taking a quick cue from ComoWhineAndDine, I was just about inspired to take my own journey to a chain restaurant. We sort of avoid them like the plague. Like an over-peppered, mushy broccoli-d, and throw everything-with-overseasoned-fries plague.

For the hell of it.

Actually after the fourth Saturday in a row, of spending precious time at the always amusing Bass Pro Shops, it was just hunger that inspired me. Out there, just above the I-70/63 junction, any of the nearest food options require fighting weekend lunch hour traffic by Clark Lane. If you've attempted making a quick getaway from the Wendy's drive-thru there, you totally understand that traffic there sucks. Actually, it sucks all the time, not only lunch.

Closest options were Longhorn Steakhouse and Ruby Tuesday's. There also is the New Deli, but my appetite was calling for more than a toasted hoagie and chips. Better try there next time we take a jaunt to Bass Pro though. Longhorn is a steakhouse that makes lots of people happy. But for our group of three, it was automatically vetoed since only one of us consumes beef.

Would Ruby Tuesday's suffice? It was a new location (i.e. cleaner, but less experienced), but also a new menu. I am a mostly honest vegetarian, and having only a salad for lunch is a paltry if not L-A-M-E meal. Salad is a good side. And my germophobe ideals keep me away from salad bars anyhow. I did not know that you can add the salad bar to even the kid's menu- possible bonus points there. So anything apart from what the old menu was, might be welcome. Note: The salad bar has edamame too.

The new menu is fresher- upbeat. And when I say that, I mean they even have Sriracha (aka spicy heaven) as a dip option. I admit having a side of Sriracha kicks the wasabe mayonnaise dip from T.G.I.Friday's out of the park. There's plenty more sides to pick from and you can mix/match lunch specials. We've avoided Ruby's for about two years. The new sliders fad is taking over chain restaurants and local places alike it seems. I've yet to find vegetarian burgers in mini-form.

Black bean and rice sliders? Side of sriracha (or bbq sauce or dijon mustard)?


The vegg sliders had just the right amount of "break" so it was tasty and messy enough. Extra lettuce, tomato, and pickles too, with some non-cheesy smashers.

With $5 fruity cocktails for you others not interested in beers. The other two in my group enjoyed turkey burger sliders, and a chicken blt. Both say excellent, and it was all about the Applewood smoked bacon. Evidently everything is better with good bacon.

This is officially the first time I would recommend a chain restaurant that I myself, have boycotted the last few years. You have to hit up the north location- I still avoid the west location. There's windows that let natural light in around the entire dining area so you don't feel like you're in a dungeon. They offer a Sunday brunch, and I've tried imagining was a crab-cado omelet tastes like since reading about it- don't worry, they do have a bacon omelet too. We went again for lunch- just to be sure it wasn't a one-time fluke and I had the same thing. And again... It was off the chain!