Your Top 3 chain restauraunts, and why.

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Posted 12/3/2012 by molove in NSBR Board
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Gabby Pea

PeaNut 82,634
April 2003
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Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted: 12/3/2012 7:26:28 PM
I will start with Taco Time.
Local PNW fast food Mexican, but it's super fresh.

I'm thinking about the other 2.

Simple Crafter

PeaNut 220,574
August 2005
Posts: 2,382
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Loc: Boise, ID

Posted: 12/3/2012 7:28:48 PM
Ruth Chris steakhouse
Cheesecake Factory
PF Changs

Slow Poke Pea

PeaNut 857
June 1999
Posts: 6,168
Layouts: 37
Loc: Central Florida

Posted: 12/3/2012 7:30:09 PM
Bonefish Grill - good, fresh seafood

Seasons 52 - healthy and delicious

Panera - love being able to mix and match, love that their broccoli cheddar soup, love that the calorie count is on the menu board.



PeaNut 35,127
April 2002
Posts: 1,958
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Loc: San Diego, Ca (north county inland)

Posted: 12/3/2012 7:32:38 PM
Chipotle - Because it's something I can select ingredients as I watch them make it, and ensure I get the lean & green items I need for my meal requirements. Also, because I read an article on them and their beginnings once, and think they are a cool company. I like that they use free range and/or organic foods.

Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes - Again, I like being able to eat healthy, and being able to select from good fresh foods. The kids also love it here, so everyone is happy.

Gosh, I don't know what my 3rd is right now. We go out to Pho' all the time, but those aren't chain places.

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PeaNut 265,707
June 2006
Posts: 12,559
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Loc: Northern Virginia

Posted: 12/3/2012 7:37:45 PM
Top 3 is hard.

For quick/inexpensive meals:
Panera, because I can always get a healthy and tasty meal there.
Chick-Fil-A, because I love me some spicy chicken and cole slaw, I own it
TIE: Potbelly or Five Guys, depending on whether I want a healthier sandwich or a foil-wrapped greaseball.

For sit-down meals:
Cheesecake Factory, because the food is reliably good (albeit with a few duds on the menu)
California Pizza Kitchen, for tasty pizzas and salads and a good kid's menu
Local chain in Northern Virginia - Great American Restaurants - includes Coastal Flats, Sweetwater Tavern, others - really great food, very fresh, always a good pick

I think that covers most of our eating out these days, to be honest. I can walk to Panera and Potbelly from work, Five Guys and CFA are big supporters of our preschool, and we go to Sweetwater or Coastal Flats a couple times a month. Yum.

But we also like Noodles & Company... and we like Chipotle... and and and... we just like eating out

Candy store Pea

PeaNut 104,447
September 2003
Posts: 6,858
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Loc: In the Tundra

Posted: 12/3/2012 7:39:06 PM
#1 Tony Romas...there is only one in Minnesota.
#2 Noodles and Company...they are cheap.
#3 Boca Chica....local Mexican restaurant that has a great lunch buffet.


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PeaNut 180,214
December 2004
Posts: 31,028
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Loc: stalking the crease

Posted: 12/3/2012 7:39:22 PM
There are only really 3 we go to, TGIFridays, I like their food. The other is Chili's. I've been digging their Monterey Chicken lately. Ruby Tuesday's salad bar is heaven on earth.


PeaNut 116,261
November 2003
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Posted: 12/3/2012 7:39:30 PM
Carrabba's - I love their bread and dipping oil. And I've never ordered any entrée from there that I didn't like.

Panera - Good food at a reasonable price.

Chipotle - A recent favorite. Good quality, yummy food.


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PeaNut 479,777
August 2010
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Posted: 12/3/2012 7:40:26 PM
Fuzzy's Tacos

It's difficult to find vegetarian fast food, but those three are the best.

ETA Jason's Deli.

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PeaNut 539,539
January 2012
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Posted: 12/3/2012 7:42:32 PM
I LOVE Souplantation too! I'm there for lunch with a girlfriend at least once a week.

California Pizza Kitchen. I love their thai chicken pizza and their spinach and artichoke dip.

Rubios - Best fast food fish tacos.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 359,333
January 2008
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Posted: 12/3/2012 7:43:04 PM
Melting pot~ I love fondue but it is so expensive that I haven't been in forever.

Red Lobster~ It is our go to for birthdays and stuff. My friend took me last year but I haven't been in forever before that.

Texas Roadhouse~ I love their rolls and I think their prices are reasonable.

PEAceful Pea

PeaNut 14,521
April 2001
Posts: 37,572
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Loc: Washington State

Posted: 12/3/2012 7:46:31 PM
Panera...yummy and close to our house.

Chipotle...yummy and close to our house...I am sensing a trend here.

I am not sure about the third, there isn't really one that stands out above the others.



PeaNut 510,579
June 2011
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Posted: 12/3/2012 7:50:40 PM
Moe's Southwest Grill

Five Guys Burgers & Fries

Taco Johns

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PeaNut 142,772
April 2004
Posts: 9,916
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Loc: Northern Indiana...Fighting Irish Country

Posted: 12/3/2012 7:54:30 PM
Red Lobster...coconut shrimp and those biscuits!!

Panera...asian chicken salad

Buffalo Wild Wings...everything!



PeaNut 570,639
October 2012
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Loc: pea formerly known as GIPfunny

Posted: 12/3/2012 7:54:42 PM
There aren't a lot of chain food options where I live besides the basics like Burger King, Wendy's and McDonalds. I haven't been to half of the names listed here.

Chili's- Love the type of food they serve.

Taco Time - BUT I have found they are not consistent with their cleanlieness and food. I refuse to eat at a couple of locations.

Cheesecake Factory - For the cheesecake, the food is okay except for the orange chicken.

ETA: Forgot about Texas Roadhouse! Love their rolls too. If you are a regular, they remember your name. Just ask my dh.

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PeaNut 123,471
January 2004
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Posted: 12/3/2012 7:58:49 PM
Panera (I could eat there, every day)
Runza (OMG... not only their runzas, but their hamburgers are wow)
Cracker Barrel (they get it right 99.9% of the time)


Texas Roadhouse (when I want to indulge in chicken fried chicken and hubby says the steaks are decent for the area)

Cheesecake factory (rarely get to eat there but have not been disapointed, yet)

Olive Garden (love their soup, and hey, I think their italian is great, no matter what the food snobs say. Millions of people can't be wrong )

People not perfection

PeaNut 35,457
April 2002
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Loc: Right where I should be

Posted: 12/3/2012 8:03:46 PM
Panera (Bacon turkey bravo, good bread, soup, etc.)
Carino's (Italian nachos, house salad dressing and the chocolate cake)
Corner Bakery (soup, salad, sandwiches and simple baked goods)


PeaNut 568,835
October 2012
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Loc: In the boot state at the parish line

Posted: 12/3/2012 8:22:11 PM




Same reason for all the choices: great food, great service, great drinks... There's nothing I can gripe about

boring + nerdy

PeaNut 52,817
October 2002
Posts: 27,974
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Loc: Oregon

Posted: 12/3/2012 8:24:37 PM
Burgerville is the only one that comes to mind. Fast food, but with quality ingredients that are mostly local. Their rosemary fries are especially fantastic.


PeaNut 102,454
August 2003
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Posted: 12/3/2012 8:25:05 PM
Chipotle-because it is just plain delicious!
Five Guys-because they have the best burgers around
Chick-Fil-A-because they have great chicken and I love their milkshakes

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Sometimes you harm the cause more than you help.

PeaNut 175,985
November 2004
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Loc: Buffalo NY

Posted: 12/3/2012 8:28:17 PM

cheesecake factory



Thrift Ninja

PeaNut 226,011
October 2005
Posts: 23,312
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Loc: Rite Aid

Posted: 12/3/2012 8:35:04 PM
* Famous Dave's! We love them so much, they catered our wedding.

* Morton's Steakhouse! Do I really have to explain why? It's delightful.

* Golden Corral! The fatty in me will always love all-you-can-eat mac 'n cheese.

Cake Diva

PeaNut 90,802
June 2003
Posts: 10,665
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Loc: Fergus, Ontario

Posted: 12/3/2012 8:37:05 PM
The Keg - we've never had a bad meal there - ever! The wait on the weekend may be long, but once you are seated you have appetizers fairly quickly after ordering.

Cheesecake Factory - we don't have them here in Canada, but we've enjoyed every meal we've ever had when in the US on holiday.

Kelsey's - we love their appetizers!!


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PeaNut 54,471
November 2002
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Posted: 12/3/2012 8:51:11 PM
Olive Garden--when we have relatives from out of town it's a place we can agree to. We can all find something we like

Sweet tomatoes-same idea, but just with DH and kids.

Seasons 52-we sell like it --healthy, good and fresh.

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shiny farmwife

PeaNut 40,275
June 2002
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Loc: Indiana

Posted: 12/3/2012 9:08:01 PM
Outback steakhouse
In n Out Burger (although we don't have one here)

Main reason is that they're safe for my dd who has food allergies. But we like their food too.

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 288,003
December 2006
Posts: 5,658
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Loc: Enjoying the spring in Ohio

Posted: 12/3/2012 9:13:02 PM
Cane's chicken

I think Panera is a bit expensive but the food is always very fresh.



PeaNut 434,842
August 2009
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Posted: 12/3/2012 9:18:01 PM
Friendly's - the kids love it and it has a great kids' menu...might not be the tastiest or the fanciest, but hey, whatever makes the kids happy

Applebee's - relatively good, relatively healthy options, and 7 days a week, 3-6 they have happy hour

Chinese buffets...some are better than others...but for the most part, they rock. Some nearby even have a grill where the person cooks the dish for you, and many have the people making suishi right in front of it's pretty cheap considering how much you get!


PeaNut 380,372
June 2008
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Loc: Central California

Posted: 12/3/2012 9:18:26 PM
Chili's - no matter where you are it tastes the same and it's always good.

Mc D's.....don't laugh but when I lived in Europe I always went to McDonalds when I was homesick.

I don't know #3


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PeaNut 153,004
June 2004
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Posted: 12/3/2012 9:30:11 PM
We don't have most of those around here! (NYC suburbs)

We generally avoid the chains, I guess. Service is usually lousy, food is "meh."

We do like Panera for a quick lunch

We have been to Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza several times. Our location is hard to park at, though... and sometimes that does figure into a decision of where to eat.

I guess Cheesecake Factory for third? Haven't been there in a long time, though.

Cute Girls Pea

PeaNut 89,634
June 2003
Posts: 11,522
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Loc: Seattle-ish

Posted: 12/3/2012 9:40:08 PM
Dick's Drive in --local to Seattle. LOVE. Yummy fast food-ness that's pretty cheap

Chipotle --feels heathy and it's yummy

those two were my obvious first two....I'm trying to select the third, but nothing completely stands out. I'm tied with mongolian grill --also healthy, or the Keg cause I love me some bread, steak, and baked potato. Or Red Robin based on cheese sticks alone.

Shameless Husker Fan

PeaNut 49,249
September 2002
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Loc: Husker Nation

Posted: 12/3/2012 9:43:20 PM
Chipotle: Love the fresh ingredients. Love the story behind the restaurant.

Panera: I would eat their creamy tomato soup every day.

Tie for 2 Nebraska chains: Runza and Valentino's Pizza.



PeaNut 104,457
September 2003
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Loc: Where The Grass Is Blue

Posted: 12/3/2012 10:07:48 PM
O'Charley's-fairly fast, inexpensive, and I love the loaded potato soup and southern fried chicken salad.

Olive Garden-usually pretty quick and inexpensive. Love their breadsticks and salad.

Red Lobster-three words...cheddar cheese biscuits.


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PeaNut 38,879
May 2002
Posts: 6,070
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Loc: Phoenix area

Posted: 12/3/2012 10:09:20 PM
Subway. I can make 4 meals from a footlong.
Boston Market.

Not really sure I would call them "favorites" as much as "most frequently visited."


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 452,048
January 2010
Posts: 6,190
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Loc: Indiana

Posted: 12/3/2012 10:13:30 PM
Bonefish- gluten free menu, good food, great service, healthy options (I usually get the tilapia, asparagus, and jasmine rice.)

Texas Roadhouse- great food, great service, good food, healthy options (I usually get the grilled salmon, salad, and sweet potato.)

Red Robin- good food, great service, gluten free menu (I usually get the gourmet cheeseburger with a gluten free bun, and sweet potato fries, allergy free.)

The other two restaurants that we frequent are local restaurants. We dont eat at fast food restaurants.



PeaNut 53,649
October 2002
Posts: 1,188
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Loc: NorthCentral PA

Posted: 12/3/2012 11:03:44 PM
PF Chang's. Ooooooohhhhh......Ahhhhhhhh...........
Did someone mention other restaurants??? oops. Sorry. I got lost in the Chang.

Nearest one is 2 1/2 hours from my home. May have to go on Sunday, now that you put the thought in my head!


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PeaNut 231,165
November 2005
Posts: 4,633
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Loc: The Golden State

Posted: 12/3/2012 11:11:00 PM
Chipotle - fresh, healthy, local
Panera - love their Thai chicken salad
Habit Burger Grill - best burger, IMHO


PeaNut 79,850
April 2003
Posts: 3,399
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Loc: Right here!

Posted: 12/3/2012 11:14:28 PM
For lunch:
1. Panera
2. Chik Fil A
3. California Tortilla

For dinner:
1. Texas Roadhouse
2. Olive Garden (did not like Olive Garden in the town we used to live in, but we moved and the OG in our new town rocks!)
3. Cheesecake Factory


PeaNut 370,270
April 2008
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Posted: 12/3/2012 11:41:36 PM
Red Robin is my number 1 favorite. They have such a friendly staff and fun atmosphere. You never have to wait long for your food and it's always piping hot and just as I ordered it. Plus, bottomless fries! How can you go wrong with that? I love that their menu is pretty classic so everyone in the group can find something they'll enjoy.

Red Lobster is second. We don't have one locally so going is always a big treat. Everything I've ever ordered has been super good, and I especially love their biscuits and potato soup before the meal. The staff is always super nice too. The only real downside is that there's often an hour long wait for a table.

Everyone after those two is sort of a tie. I don't care for Chili's or Chipotle. We don't have a Panera but I hear so much about them I would love to try to find one.

What happens in NSBR, stays in NSBR

PeaNut 109,127
September 2003
Posts: 22,066
Layouts: 4
Loc: Colorado

Posted: 12/3/2012 11:47:08 PM

Tie for 2 Nebraska chains: Runza and Valentino's Pizza.
You have a Valentinos? I thought they were a local busines, but went out of business years ago...they are a chain? Who knew?

My picks:
Buffalo Wild Wings...we love wings
Olive kids love it and soup, breadsticks, and salad are yummy
If we are going on based on volume that we go, Old Chicago, based on food, maybe Texas Roadhouse. I like Outback better, but we don't have one close anymore.

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PeaNut 27,168
January 2002
Posts: 22,427
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Loc: Hanging out by the state line

Posted: 12/3/2012 11:48:18 PM
1. Cheba Hut (great subs, 2 kinds of kool-aid and when I work really late the guy there always gives me free rice crispy treats.)
2. Culver's (simply the best fast food burger and fries I have ever had)
3. Panda Express (because I can go light with steamed veggies and green bean chicken or go bad with fried rice and orange chicken)

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PeaNut 99,833
August 2003
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Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina

Posted: 12/3/2012 11:51:45 PM
Waffle House
Cracker Barrel

Cheesecake Factory

Sullivan's Steak House
Red Lobster (around here) others at the beach for seafood

And then, of course, Starbucks for coffee

My favorite thing to make for dinner is reservations.
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shiny farmwife

PeaNut 40,275
June 2002
Posts: 23,848
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Loc: Indiana

Posted: 12/3/2012 11:53:09 PM
I'm so jealous of all of you that have a local Chipotle. We have to drive an hour to get to one so whenever we're in a town with one, we eat there. DD decided that's where she wants to go for her birthday this week.

Wash: "A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything."
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Gabby Pea

PeaNut 82,634
April 2003
Posts: 17,152
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Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted: 12/4/2012 12:07:20 AM
Kinda fun seeing these places I've never heard of!

terri k

PeaNut 411,419
February 2009
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Posted: 12/4/2012 1:18:18 AM
We tend to eat mostly at local places, especially for dinners, but my 3 fave chain places would be Chipotle, Smash Burger, and BJ's.

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 80,815
April 2003
Posts: 8,833
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Loc: The mitten state

Posted: 12/4/2012 4:13:29 AM
Red Lobster (mostly because of those biscuits!)

Those are the only three non fast food (and two are kind of anyway, what do they call those, quick casual?) chain restaurants that we eat at regularly.


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PeaNut 453,027
January 2010
Posts: 356
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Loc: Kentucky Y'all!

Posted: 12/4/2012 5:28:10 AM
Chipolte:It is fast and yummy!
Famous Dave's: I love ribs! The portions are amazing! Good bang for your buck!

5 Guys Burgers and Fries: I like the selection of toppings. The fries are AMAZING!

I miss IN-N-OUT Burger and Baja Fresh! When I lived in California, those were my go to places!

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Just content to be ME pea...

PeaNut 44,329
August 2002
Posts: 9,651
Layouts: 31
Loc: 8 miles from Galveston Bay

Posted: 12/4/2012 6:06:50 AM
Panda Express: You can get fresh prepared vegetables as a side instead of something starchy and some of the main dishes are good nutritional choices. I can get a cheap and tasty lower carb Chinese food meal there.

Jason's Deli: Lots of different choices on the menu, fresh food and healthy options, great salad bar, and a big open dining area that never feels crowded. They also have good iced tea, this matters...

Panera: Loads of choices, a yummy bakery case to splurge from, a comfortable dining area to take your time and enjoy your meal, healthier breakfast options, good iced tea which is a must.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 75,215
March 2003
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Loc: massachusetts

Posted: 12/4/2012 6:30:50 AM
I don't eat out much, but I love to work at Panera. When the walls are closing in at home, I take my laptop over there. The coffee is great, and everything I've tried off the menu has been good. Plus, the one near me is never busy in the mornings, so I can sit there for hours without feeling guilty.

Oh, and we did try the five guys that just opened near us. The burgers were great, and the fries were nicely brown. just the way I like them. I'd go back for sure.


PeaNut 452,927
January 2010
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Loc: Mass

Posted: 12/4/2012 6:43:42 AM
Panera.. - Frontega Chicken (mmmm good)

the "99" - their new menu with the balsamic salmon or chicken - good

Cheesecake Factory


PeaNut 378,405
June 2008
Posts: 2,152
Layouts: 9

Posted: 12/4/2012 6:58:14 AM
I think mine are more local

Eegees is only here, but there are 20 or so if them. Ranch chili fries, and watermelon eegees.....

Oreganos pizza - love everything.

Sauce pizza, there are three here, and I think more of them, delicious grilled cheese and tomato soup.
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