Saturday afternoon I did an embarrassing thing. Well, embarrassing to the boy, that is.
At his baseball game.
I don’t know what I was thinking.
“Mom, you are eating an apple?! At my baseball game?!”
Perhaps he was embarrassed because it was a gala and not a granny smith?
Good thing he seems to be oblivious to the fact that I whip out my sliced up apple and peanut butter during weeknight games.
I guess he doesn’t realize I am not food shy. Although I have come to realize that I am a food snob.
Let me explain.
In an effort to redeem my coolness, Saturday afternoon after little league I took the boy to TGI Friday’s to watch the Islanders game and Knicks playoff game. And I even let the hostess seat us at the bar to eat.
Confession: I only agreed to Friday’s because it was next to Cold Stone Creamery.
Let’s discuss Friday’s for a moment.
I haven’t been a to TGI Friday’s in years.
I don’t really frequent the typical chain restaurants besides The Cheesecake Factory (obviously) and Panera Bread on occasion.
I couldn’t find a darn thing to eat on the menu. I was truly in shock. I never encounter a situation where I have NOTHING TO CHOOSE FROM on restaurant menus.
I used to go to Friday’s all of the time growing up. While I am a vegetarian now and definitely eat cleaner than I did, I recall ALWAYS ordering either the pizza bites or some type of salad with a giant baked potato on the side.
They do not sell baked potatoes anymore.
Funny, they can mash, fry and load up the skins but they can no longer bake?
I would have been better off eating at Wendy’s.
The menu at Friday’s is completely devoted to the carnivore. A carnivore not looking to eat much else other than food that leaves grease stains all over their plate, napkin and clothes.
I don’t like fried food. Not even because of the nutritional value (or lack there of), but because I do not like how I feel after eating fried foods.
I even stopped ordering tempura when I get sushi because I realized it was making me feel sick.
Not everything is all about calories people. Try going by how food makes you feel instead of monitoring numbers.
Anyway, even though I am a vegetarian, I am usually able to find many choices on restaurant menus or at least pick an entree salad and have them leave off the chicken or steak and still have a nice meal.
Oh wait, I am sorry Friday’s, you do offer a black bean burger.
As if I am not smart enough to know that your black bean burger is greasier (and higher in fat and calories if you monitor that) than a typical meat burger.
So what did I order? A side salad as my entree with avocado instead of the shredded cheese. Pathetic.
And Friday’s idea of a salad? Some shredded lettuce with three cut up grape tomatoes and maybe, and I mean MAYBE, two slices of cucumber. And that’s not just for their side salad. All salads.
If you enjoy Friday’s, please forgive me. I still like the atmosphere. But they really need to step up to the plate and give better food, more variety and obviously fresher and less fried options.
As the boy watched the games, I couldn’t help but google other chain restaurant menus to ensure that I wasn’t crazy.
I haven’t been to an Applebee’s or Chili’s in years but I was pleasantly surprised to see that they did in fact have much better menu options.
Chili’s has a much wider variety of food and offers a vegetarian guide to “suggested menu options”. Click here for the link.
I recalled that Applebee’s frequently advertises for their fresher, lower fat menu. I even found these interesting diagrams while googling.
I used to go to Ruby Tuesday back when the boy was little simply because it was considered the most “family friendly.” They always had a nice salad bar, decent meal choices and BAKED POTATOES.
We tried eating there last year and really didn’t like it as much, however, I did appreciate that as a vegetarian, they had a menu option of choosing three different side dishes as a main meal plus salad bar.
In any event, the boy had a great time eating at the bar and watching the games. Such a man.
Yes, those are mozzarella sticks. We wrapped up most of the sticks to bring home. And I am happy to say he completely forgot that they are in the fridge (so I will be tossing them this morning).
Dessert to the rescue.
NEWSFLASH: Cold Stone has a new frozen yogurt flavor – Banana Bread. I don’t usually care for banana flavored yogurt/ice creams but it was delicious! It tasted more like eating a cinnamon crunch something rather than banana flavored.
And before I forget, today is Earth Day.
In honor of Earth Day, I bought myself a new tinted lip balm from Burt’s Bees. Click here to learn about their commitment to Natural Products.
You can even score a coupon on their website!
LINKS OF INTEREST:
I love reading Hungry Girl newsletters. Check out these two as they totally relate to today’s post:
HG Chain Restaurants Survival Guide
I need to know:
Do you consider yourself a food snob?
Do you eat at chain restaurants or prefer local establishments?
How do you like your potatoes best – mashed, roasted, fried, baked?
Her Happy Balance says
I definitely prefer local places over chains. One chain I’m okay with is Bonefish Grill though, I’m a big seafood lover. I’m not a very picky eater, but I do try to eat healthier these days. It hasn’t made me a food snob, but I definitely have strong preferences. Whole wheat over white pasta. Quinoa over rice. i haven’t been to A TGI Fridays in a long while, sorry you had a bummer experience.
The Cookie ChRUNicles says
I like seafood too, mostly in sushi form! lol.
I totally forgot it was earth day! I should probably do something for my class- haha. I don’t think I’m really a food snob- I can pretty much find something to eat no matter where I am…but I am pretty picky about what I like 🙂
The Cookie ChRUNicles says
Try Friday’s and let me know if you can still find something to eat and like lol….Get the Burt Bee’s tinted chap stick. I am loving it.
Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen says
Yum Cold Stone! I haven’t had that in years. I’m not a huge fan on Friday’s but I love Ruby Tuesday’s. Maybe your son could try the mini slider burgers. Those seem to be a big hit. The salad bar is the best!
The Cookie ChRUNicles says
He used to love those little burgers!..now he is insulted if I suggest “kid size” meals…I liked the salad bar too. …It is hard for those chain restaurants to stand up against a good local restaurant though to me, especially when there is no sushi on any of the menus lol
As a vegetarian, I do not frequent chain restaurants very often. I do, however, enjoy Ruby Tuesday’s on occasion. I love their salad bar, and their spaghetti squash marinara is delicious!
WOW, TGIF … that is a blast from the past. Cannot believe there were no other options for you. unreal. As for my potatoes, I’m very weak when it comes to french fries!!