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Bites Nearby: Applebee's

Restaurant offers clean facilities and good variety, but portions, service fall short.

When it comes to Woonsocket, there's one thing you can be sure about and that is the fact that we have plenty of restaurants. With so many eaterys, it was with much debate that our family finally decided to have lunch at our local on Diamond Hill Road.

Our first impression was very positive as Applebee's appeared quite inviting. It was very clean and pleasing to the eye with it's rich colored decor and unique collection of pictures and interesting paraphenilai covering the walls.

On Saturday afternoon, my family was seated promptly in a comfortable large round booth, but a rather un-enthusiastic waiter introduced himself and took our drink orders. Maybe he was having a bad day, but he barely had a smile to offer us this particular afternoon. The thing that struck me the most at this point was the fact that we were seated in the back of the restaurant. Perhaps this was because we were a party of five, but it was definitely an undesireable location, as we were right next to the table where the wait staff congregated, had team meetings and took their breaks. Maybe it's just me but the last thing I want to listen to when dining out is the wait staff complaining about their hours, shifts, coworkers and personal lives. It just takes away from the experience. In my opinion, Applebee's should have a private break area for their staff, not only for the patrons but for benefit and privacy of the employees as well.

When ordering, we found the menu to be fairly extensive with lot's of great specials, such as an all you can eat lunch for $5.99 or the 2 for $20 deal where you and another diner can choose one appetizer to share and two full sized entrees all for $20.

My husband and I ordered the 2 for $20 meal deal with mozzarella sticks for the appetizer. We also placed an order of onion rings, the two appetizers were good starters for our party of five to share. At this time the kids also placed their lunch orders but unfortunately our meals were not as prompt as the seating and the appetizer, it seemed like over a half hour before lunch arrived.

As mentioned, the environment was very pleasing and the menu was more than abundant, with a wide variety of options to please most anyone's preference and budget. The bad news, however, is that when our food finally arrived it fell a bit short on portion size and taste. For instance, at many bar and grill styled restaurants, the french fries come piled high next to a burger, but the fries at Applebee's almost seemed as though they were counted out as they are placed on our plates, at a dozen or so fries at best per order. As for the chicken fingers, they were over cooked and dry as was the chicken on the oriental salad.

Overall, was Applebee's a complete bust? Definitely not, but honestly there was nothing extraordinary going on there and certainly nothing to write exciting to write about. In my opinion Applebee's, in a nutshell "It is what it is": a chain restaurant.

Our order in full consisted of:

Three adult soft drinks at $2.39 each Expensive but refills were free.

One kid's soft drink $1.09

Onion rings $5.99

2 for $20 meal deal with mozzarella sticks, oriental chicken salad and a chicken tenders basket

Quesadilla burger, $9.29

Bacon cheeseburger, $8.49

Cheeseburger sliders, $8.19

Total lunch for five, $69.45 with tax.

John Larrabee September 10, 2011 at 02:42 PM
Applebees cant hold a candle to some of the locally-owned restaurants such as Pauls Family Restaurant, Christophers, Chelos and Barbaras place
STEPHEN WEBER September 10, 2011 at 04:34 PM
I never really cared for Applebee's .. I guess it's OK but definitely and it's clean but the Food is nothing to write home about like other places that I get a craving for on occasion... I'm very curious to see the ramifications of Walmart closing on Applebee's customer volume more than any other business on Diamond Hill ... I would think they will definitely lose some customers..

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