10 Chain Restaurant Menu Items You Must Try (and Where to Try Them) Slideshow
May 30, 2012
8. P.F. Chang’s Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo (Seattle)
Texture is key in this dish, with crispy egg noodles stir-fried together with mushrooms, bok choy, carrots, celery, and onions. The best part is the protein: beef, pork, chicken, and shrimp. P.F. Chang's double pan-fried noodles combo is satisfying and a healthy alternative to burger binging.
6. Outback Steakhouse’s The Melbourne (Boise, Idaho)
A cut is a cut is a cut, but there's no cut quite like The Melbourne. Lightly seasoned and buttery tender, this filet is everything a steak lover craves. No surprise, though — I've long been impressed with the meat that ushers from Outback's kitchen. Get The Melbourne with a Bloomin' Onion or seasoned fries.
5. Tony Roma’s Caesar Salad (Anaheim, Calif.)
The king of all salads is a heavy hitter at Tony Roma's, and no wonder. It has just enough dressing, topped with the right amount of nutty-salty Asiago, and a crunchy garnish of fresh croutons. Rarely do I crave salad, but when I do, this hits the spot.
1. Perkins’ Peanut Butter Silk Pie (Ames, Iowa)
Dessert — it's about time. The mere thought of this peanut buttery goodness makes me weak in the knees. First, it's good — the hard chocolate ganache like a candy bar on top of peanut butter. Then, theres the Reese's peanut butter filling and the whipped cream. I would create a special event just to dig in.
10. Mimi’s Cafe’s Monterey Chicken Burger (Denver)
An ooey-gooey treat with melted Jack, juicy broiled chicken breast, avocado, and garlicky pesto aioli, this sammy had us at hello. It's got all the components of a great sandwich, and it's remarkably kid-friendly. Mimi's Cafe Monterey Chicken Burger has lots of flavor and packs a punch, which makes a side dish mostly unnecessary.
9. The Cheesecake Factory’s Crabcakes (Chicago)
What makes a good crabcake? Ask The Cheesecake Factory: perfectly seared, moist, and tender inside, with all the crabby goodness you can possibly imagine. These are perfect if you don't want to indulge in a full seafood meal, but are craving something from the sea.
7. Texas Roadhouse’s Chicken Critters (Austin, Texas)
Sometimes you just crave fried chicken. That's when you make a pit stop at Texas Roadhouse to indulge in their crispy, meaty deliciousness. The key to these is frying them just long enough for a crispy shell and a moist interior. Mission accomplished — I could eat these (dipped in ranch) all day.
4. T.G.I. Friday’s Cajun Shrimp and Chicken Pasta (Centennial, Colo.)
Now, I don't usually "do" Cajun, but as soon as I had this dish, I was a convert. I mean, who can resist creamy Alfredo sauce spiked with Cajun butter, tender shrimp, and deliciously moist chicken? Dish that all up over pasta, and I'm sold.
3. California Pizza Kitchen’s Grilled Vegetable Sandwich (Fairfax, Va.)
Who goes to CPK and gets a sandwich? I do. See, you'd hardly notice there's no meat — not with portobellos and bell peppers building the core of a meaty vegetarian masterpiece. My favorite touch, though, is the sun-dried tomato aioli. And it's healthy!
2. Chili’s Grill & Bar Classic Nachos (Denver)
Classic they are, resistible they are not: melted, gooey Cheddar, jalapeños for a kick, beans, queso, and seasoned ground beef mounded on a bed of thin and crispy tortilla chips. This one is definitely a comfort for me, and gives me a boost whenever I'm dragging. Chili's Grill & Bar's classic nachos also pairs well with a Chili's margarita.