This was our first time at this particular Applebee’s. Usually there is not much to differentiate the various sites (similar layout and atmosphere, food usually good to perhaps a bit better), but on this particular visit we encountered one of the best servers in all our restaurant visits (not just Applebee’s). Olivia R was friendly, attentive and knowledgeable, and responded to our needs almost before we knew we had them. For example: Applebee’s has an annoying and inexplicable policy of not listing their wine prices. Finding the cost per glass or per bottle of the various labels is usually a confusing, awkward and time-consuming three-way discussion among us, the server and the bartender. In this instance, Olivia immediately consulted with the bartender and returned with the information, which unfortunately included the news that the wine we wanted was out-of-stock. At our request she priced two more labels and offered recommendations as to which was the better value. In our experience, an Applebee’s server knowledgeable about the wine list is in itself a bit unusual, but what impressed us was the speed with which she accomplished all this. Although she was serving other tables as well, we felt that we were her only concern.
As for the food: the nice-sized breast of grilled chicken was tasty, the grilled veggies were a treat, and my wife’s baked potato (of which I took a few bites) was one of the best I have tasted. I shared her potato because my fries were among the worst I have tasted anywhere: luke-warm and “cardboardy”. Maybe the cook just had an off-night with the fries. A plus for Applebee’s is that they actually had malt vinegar available. I may be a snob, but any establishment serving fries without malt vinegar just isn’t serious about their fries.
So—back to the original point of this review: if you stop here you will probably not be disappointed in the food, but your experience will be much enhanced if Olivia is your server.
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