I’ve been to a few chain restaurants recently, and wondered if we should be talking more about them. After all, they are part of the Chicago dining landscape and some of them make the same efforts towards menu design, sustainability and locally sourced meals that independent chefs offer at their restaurants. I took the question to Twitter and asked what chain restaurants you respect:
- @chicagokitchen Legal Seafood, Capital Grill, Smith & Wollenski, Clyde’s. My criteria is a rockin good bar, fresh, well prepared, ambience…
- @CheeverNation In terms of chains, I really think Chipotle, Carrabas, and P.F. Changs taste like homemade food not chain food.
- @bifrojm PF Chang’s makes everything from scratch
- @LTStrum J. Alexander’s is pretentious but makes most stuff from scratch. Heads & shoulders above competition for that targeted dollar
- @sparklefade3 I gotta admit, I like Chevy’s for Tex Mex. And I just visited a Shake Shack this weekend in NYC – good stuff. That’s about it.
- @nashvillenicole I’ll patronize the Carrabbas/Outback/Bonefish family. Occasionally Olive Garden and Ruby Tuesdays. But that’s probably it.
- @ScrumptPantry Maggiano’s. A good friend of mine was a chef there and supposedly they are really cooking everything from scratch!
- @sdapasen Olive Garden. Those bread sticks & zuppa toscana are too good to pass up. And its UNLIMITED!
- @litolits Goose Island Brewpub & Rock Bottom should be up there on top! Great food, their beers are d’ best & peeps are simply awesome!
- @angelmoonn Culvers
- @Megrosenbrichta Ruth’s Chris does a nice job. Capital Grille too.
- @albathrisa Potbelly! great live music and bike delivery.
- @kayleemt Panera, actually. Also, I guess I respect Chipotle from the local involvement aspect, but… not food-wise.
- @djheather McCormick and Schmick’s gets a nod.
- @johnnyauer I give @chipotletweets my dollar and feel good about it.
- @peaceloveananda Seasons 52, I was extremely excited when I found out they were opening one in Schaumburg.
- @ChiSunshine Lettuce Entertain You restaurants have never disappointed me
- @bexrunschicago Does Chipotle count? I also like @idreamoffalafel
- @observacious Respect? I’d say tolerate. Five Guys. Chipotle. Umm…There are probably a few others. Very few.
- @DianeMarieLewis I really love Carrabas. Their Italian tastes so fresh, delicious and authentic to me!
Have an opinion on chain restaurants? Leave a comment or send us a tweet.
[The question was prompted by a thoroughly decent media dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s. All food was provided for free.]