Here's another chain that typically gets harsh reviews. I've always thought Macaroni Grill's food was pretty good, and I love the drive-up to-go food collection area. Call in your order, and then you simply pull into a designated parking space. You don't have to get out of the car. They bring the check, food, etc right to you. You can be a complete lazy-ass but not worry about being judged for it.
Went here one Saturday evening for dinner with close to fifty other women (and a couple of guys). The staff really took care of us, especially that one really cute guy at the front. Not sure if he's a host or a waiter, but wow... I like having eye candy when I go to a restaurant.
I got a couple of glasses of wine and nearly overdosed on bread. Normally Macaroni Grill's bread is pretty good, but that one Saturday it was a culinary masterpiece. They must've put crack in it. I've been craving it ever since. I'm serious. Crack. They get five stars for that.
For an entree, I got regular ol' fettuccini alfredo because I know I like it. They put just the right amount of cream in the sauce that makes me want to dance on the table. I thought about going ahead and asking for a to-go container when I ordered because I was still fairly full from lunch. Turns out I didn't need one, but I'll get to that in a sec. The fettuccini was great, like I knew it would be, but that bread kept singing a siren's song to me. Awful, just awful. Awful that I couldn't resist. So there I was, expecting to take most of my meal to go, yet I finished it all and was able to pile a bunch of bread on top of that. How sad for me, but how wonderful for Macaroni Grill.
My only complaint references the to-go anecdote mentioned above. I seem to remember getting a lot more fettuccini alfredo for my money a few years ago than I got that one Saturday evening. This huge honking bowl they gave me, but it was maybe one-fourth full of pasta, if that. So $9.99 used to go a lot further at Macaroni Grill than it does now. I'm guessing they're feeling the financial pinch like the rest of us, but could they be any more obvious about cutting costs? At least attempt to hide it, guys. Use smaller dishes, or pile on extra sauce, or something.
So see, that crack you put in the bread got you five stars, but then you blew it by cheating me on fettuccini alfredo. Here's a tip: Keep the crack out of the bread, and I'll keep my *crack* out of the window when I'm driving by.