By Benjamin Solomon, Staff Writer
Applebee’s. This one located at 500 State Road just a few blocks away from school, but they are everywhere.
Applebee’s is a chain with a mixed reputation. Some think of it as an uninspiring family restaurant, while some claim they cook all their food in the microwave. But this isn’t about reputations.
The restaurant’s interior is split into the dining section with booths and the bar section with tall tables and, unsurprisingly, a bar.
The booths are also soft – not that deceptive soft-looking kind that is actually hard and uncomfortable. You can’t see into the kitchen from either section, but that means it is also relatively quiet.
The furniture colors are mostly dark. Its walls are decorated with Dartmouth High School and UMass Dartmouth sports memorabilia. It’s a comfortable place.
The menu mostly consists of classic American dishes like burgers and fries or chicken wings.
Applebee’s also has seafood and pasta dishes. There are some Mexican style foods like quesadillas and tacos, but also interesting fusions like wonton tacos.
One thing Applebee’s shines in is their French fries. Those fries have a great texture of perfectly yielding crisp on the outside and softly substantial inside.
The seasoning is so tasty that you’d be hard-pressed to compare this to a McDonald’s fry.
Regardless, the menu is relatively large and there is likely something for everyone.
Except for vegetarians or vegans. There are few options beyond sides for those who won’t eat meat or animal products, so beware.
The service at Applebee’s can seem slow at times if you are used to eating out at fast food places. For a sit-down restaurant, food tends to take a reasonable amount of time. There are exceptions, though.
Applebee’s has recently had monthly deals on cheap alcoholic drinks. This makes it so that the restaurant, one of two places that serve liquor remotely within walking distance of UMass Dartmouth, gets quite busy on Fridays.
For example, March’s drink deal is $2 vodka lemonades. Previous cheap drinks include $1 Bahama Mamas, $2 Blue Moons, and $1 Long Island Iced Teas.
This, combined with half priced appetizers after 9 p.m. on weekdays and after 10 p.m. on weekends, makes Applebee’s an affordable place to go out to.
When you buy these cheap mixed drinks though, you get what you pay for.
They taste very watered down – not only as if they contain little alcohol, but more importantly these drinks lack flavor.
Make no mistake – Applebee’s is not the epitome of the nightlife scene. But it’s close by, affordable, and relaxed. It is also not busy on weekdays.
It often makes for really good leftovers, too. You can buy two appetizers during the half-priced apps and save one for tomorrow. The appetizers tend to microwave pretty well.