When we’re on a road trip, I usually research possible restaurants for lunch along the way or for dinner wherever we stop for the night. I try to go for local places or chains that we’d never experienced and in this instance I’d picked out 3 promising possibilities…
This was my first choice for our dinner in Springfield Illinois. "Engrained Brewing Company, (a catchy name), was convenient to our hotel and it was one of the highest rated restaurants in town.
Upon arrival at Engrained, reality set in! It was Saturday night on a holiday weekend and the wait would have been more than an hour… I decided that the other 2 restaurants would have the same problem plus I didn’t want to spend our evening driving from restaurant to restaurant. We had an early departure time in mind for our final push on to Omaha with a lot of sights along the way!
Check out “Engrained” at http://www.engrainedbrewing.com/. We’ll try again the next time we come through Springfield.
There was an Applebee’s near our hotel and, as per the TV ads they’d recently reworked their menu. For many years now, we’ve considered Applebee’s to be a safe and reliable place to stop on our road trips…so we made the decision to stop at this one for dinner.
This iteration of Applebee’s had a ‘bar’ or counter area with stools for customers who would be so inclined. I also remembered that many if not all Applebee’s now have wood fired grills. As usual for this chain of eateries the restaurant was well lit and clean.
Laurie went for a bowl of the French Onion Soup. ($3.99) While I’ve seen better presentations, Laurie told me that she liked it and would order it again… That was a good start for our meal.
My entrée was an 8 oz. sirloin steak accompanied by roasted red potatoes with bacon pieces and drizzled with a chipotle cream sauce. ($19.99) Note the shrimp on top of the steak and the nice side of parmesan green beans.
The steak was a little undercooked for me but still OK. The flavor was good even if the steak was a little tough. I really liked the sides. Given the price of beef these days, you get what you pay for… All in all, this was a better than average steak for a family type restaurant chain.
Laurie paired her French Onion Soup with a Thai Shrimp Salad. ($11.99) The ingredients were fresh, the shrimp were cooked correctly and she liked the mix of textures between the lettuce, shrimp, crispy noodles and beans. She was happy with her dinner choice!
One aggravation sprang up when I went on-line to review Applebee’s menu before writing this posting. I couldn’t just look at a menu… No matter what I did, I was kicked to the on-line ordering system. The format isn’t reader friendly… The system also wanted me to sign in or join them on Facebook. All I wanted to do was to look at the darn menu!
Applebee’s continues on our list of safe and better than average casual dining chain restaurants. This particular Applebee’s is located at 2554 Sunrise Drive in Springfield Illinois. Phone: 217:528-7021. Applebee’s aggravating website is at http://order.carsidetogo.com/.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave