Least Favorite Food Chains

In May, I shared my favorite lunch places with you in the hopes that you give them a chance. Today, I’m going to turn my attention to the bottom of the list and include some plain-old restaurants and fast-food places.

Watching Where I Eat

In no particular order, these are my least-favorite national and regional chains:

  1. Applebee’s: You may have heard recent rumors that Applebee’s doesn’t actually cook much of its food in-house, but instead microwaves pre-packaged, frozen items on a regular basis. Whether or not these are founded in truth, my anti-love-affair with Applebee’s reaches back further than these developments. I find the food there unappetizing, poorly seasoned, and honestly–a bit like it came out of the microwave.
  2. Subway: I can honestly say that Subway makes the institution of the sandwich look bad. First, there’s the distinct smell that seems to permeate everything inside a Subway restaurant. Second, there’s the odd look about everything, as if it came out of a sealed plastic package just minutes ago (which in many cases, it did). Subway’s only redeemable quality is the toaster oven, which at least makes the bread and some of the chicken sandwiches okay, once in a while.
  3. McDonald’s: 20 years ago, as well as I can remember, McDonald’s used to serve decent food that kids were excited to eat as a treat and parents could stomach. A recent trip to the Mac (I haven’t been back in a while) revealed that the food is not only fast but also inedible. The fries are small, soggy, and tasteless. The burgers are thin, oddly colored, and have the obligatory pickle or two thrown in for flavor. The only thing I could possibly stomach would be the milk shakes, but then I gave up sugar, didn’t I?
  4. Hooters: I would say I go to Hooters for the wings, but I dislike chicken wings with a passion. No, I actually go because my wife likes it (the wings), but I’m always less-than-impressed at the quality of the food. It’s a nice…atmosphere…for watching sports and other things, but beyond that I find very little appeal in this restaurant.
  5. Cracker Barrel: A lot of people I know really enjoy the food at this “Southern breakfast” chain, but I never quite understood what all the fuss what about. The breakfast selections are similar to what you can get at any other breakfast chain, and I don’t really care for any of the typical Southern sides. Maybe it’s just my personal taste, but this is another chain I only go to with company.
  6. Taco Bell: Ugh, where do I start? In the interest of full disclosure, I have only been to Taco Bell three times in my life, and all of the occasions were memorable for all the wrong reasons. And that’s all I’m going to say about that…

Those six top my list–what’s on yours?

(Photo credit)