The Washington Post's food critic Tom Sietsema is used to testing the food and services of the trendiest restauranteurs around. But he put food snobbery aside completely for his latest project- nationwide chain restaurants. Sietsema spent quite a bit of time trying the ten biggest-selling chain restaurants out, going to each more than once, usually at more than one location, and trying different menu items each time.
Over the past several months, Post food critic Tom Sietsema dined at America’s 10 highest-grossing, full-service, casual restaurants, reviewing them as he would independent establishments: two or more times each, sometimes at multiple branches, and sampling a cross-section of the menus. Given the unique nature of the corporate enterprises, broadly popular letter grades rather than the Post’s usual stars were assigned to each brand.
Knowing that you can wake up to the same fluffy pancakes from Denny’s whether you’re in Miami or Minneapolis, or sit down to the identical warm breadsticks at Olive Garden, no matter which of its 800-plus branches you find yourself in, speaks to the chains’ charm offensive: no-surprise comfort.
Find out which chains are on the top ten, and how they rank against each other, here. You might be surprised at the findings. He even took home a doggy bag once, something he says he never does.
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