TGI Fridays, All American Cuisine and so, so much more is one of the most underrated restaurant chains in existence today. The company is constantly listed alongside other corporate chains such as Chili’s or Applebee’s, or worse, Bennigan’s (!) most likely due to their similarity in unidentifiable themes (random American pop culture artifacts it would seem), but when compared side by side TGI Fridays offers so much more. There are so many reasons to favor TGI Fridays above any other restaurant, independent or chain alike, as I only recently discovered upon moving next door to the restaurant. It started with a meal at TGI Fridays being the most convenient. Now, only two months later, it has become a preference, one that is fulfilled at least two or three times a week. Here’s why:
1) Brand New Menu Items- As if deciding upon which delicious entrees and appetizers to have for your meal hadn’t been difficult enough, TGI Fridays has now rendered the dining selection process even harder! With new menu items such as the Parmesan Chicken Quesadilla appetizer and the Island Grilled Mahi Mahi fish entrée, the restaurant has truly outdone itself. The traditional Friday’s menu has always been phenomenal in its entirety but now it’s even better, just when you thought it impossible.
2) Accurate photos and descriptions- One big problem with a lot of restaurants is that the food looks awesome in the menu, or on TV, billboard, or you-name-it advertisements but once it gets delivered to your table, your impression sags. Food comes out cold, drinks overly icy and things like noodles with no sauce or meat with no trimmings are all too common. But TGI Fridays manages to do it perfectly every time. Not only do the photos and descriptions make your mouth water but the actual meal always lives up to its promise. This is one restaurant where you can judge something by its cover, or picture.
3) Unique, experimental menu items- One thing great about TGI Fridays is that they obviously aren’t afraid to take chances. Sometimes their menu items are a bit obscure. Don’t get me wrong, the food isn’t really weird enough to where it doesn’t still hit the spot as well as the food you order each and every time, but it’s weird enough to possibly make those who haven’t yet developed a true faith in Fridays restaurant to shy away from. For instance, the latest on their menu includes Green Bean Fries, Cinnabon Cheesecake and Bruschetta Chicken Pasta. One would easily agree that green beans, Cinnabon cinnamon frosted rolls and bruscetta are all food items that not only have their own distinct flavors but also are not very readably mixable. In other words, if posed with a request prior to seeing these TGI Friday’s menu additions, to cook up some kind of tasty meal similar to these, it’d be rather hard to imagine. It’s obvious the TGI Fridays corporate chefs work hard and probably dream up these ideas in their sleep. But they are indeed good ones. And being an avid TGI Fridays fan, I’m more apt to try some odd food recipes coming from them than I would from any other restaurant chain.
4) They have confidence- While I can appreciate some comapanies’ decision to keep their recipes anonymous, I also have enormous respect and appreciation for the ones like TGI Fridays who are willing to share their special food and drink how-tos with their customers. This openness to dish out their infamous recipes shows that they have so much confidence in their chefs’ individual crafts. They are proving by giving you the recipe that not only do they have nothing to hide as far as health concerns go, but also that they do not fear the possibility of people taking off and running with their own designed concoctions. Why is this do you think? I would venture to guess this is simply because TGI Fridays has faith in their authentic style and taste, one, and two, they know that even if customers could recreate their recipes, the atmosphere of the physical TGI Fridays restaurant is so enjoyable that people would still prefer to dine in. And gauging from my overall Fridays Corporation impression, this isn’t the company being cocky, it’s the company being confident (see: they are “humble”). For some of their infamous drink recipes, go the TGI Fridays website at http://www.tgifridays.com, click on the Mixology link and just choose your flavor.
5) TGI Fridays Corporation is humble– The dining room environment at a TGI Fridays atmosphere is very casual, with a massive assortment of random slices of Americana plastering its walls every which way you look. But the employees themselves are also very often decorated. TGI Fridays are encouraged to adorn their work uniforms with various buttons and pins, allowing the staff to express themselves freely (within reason and taste, of course). And in some city’s locations the employees are given some sort of themed costume design to wear specifically on each Friday that they work, encouraging even more wacky self expression and creativity. In some TGI Fridays restaurant locations in Florida, I know the employees are supposed to come up with funky and interesting hats of various shapes and forms.
6) Incredible Alcoholic Beverages- TGI Fridays chefs have come up with some amazingly tasty and simultaneously good looking alcoholic and even some virginal concoctions from behind the bar. With anything from swirls of varying liquors intertwining to complimentary flavors of ice cream to a designated groovy style glass for every single drink, TGI Fridays bartenders know how to do beverages. My personal favorite is the ice cream drinks and particularly, the Mudslide. Dad’s Malted, to be exact. Ingredients according to the TGI Fridays website are: 3/4 oz. Irish Cream, 3/4 oz. Coffee Liqueur, 3/4 oz. Vodka, 2 Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream, 1 Tbsp. Malt, 1/2 Scoop Crushed Ice, 1/2 oz. Hershey’s Syrup.
7) Extremely reasonable prices- TGI Fridays has consistently had very inexpensive meal options for a large portion of food. But recently, they’ve added an even more cost effective option for dining: The three course meal. Choose from their fairly broad ranged and all delicious selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts, you get one of each and pay only $12.99.
8) Get a free appetizer, Print it before you go!- Due to a revolving Free Appetizer coupon that changes its expiry date every two weeks, it would not serve any purpose to provide a link to find it online. However, TGI Fridays corporation is always, for as long as I have been frequenting the place, offering this Free Appetizer coupon. You just have to find it and print it out. It should be easy to find if you just type “TGI Fridays Free Appetizer” into your favorite search engine and hit go. If it pulls up an expired coupon, FYI, there is usually an option on the page to search for similar coupons of the sort or from the said company. Do that. And do it every time you go to TGI Fridays. There’s no limit to how many times you can use it.