Best Restaurant That Advertises Extensively

A comedian made the observation that great restaurants don’t really need to advertise, so by extension restaurants that advertise a lot do not tend to be that good. There’s some truth to that, although Covid has been hard on this industry and changed practices. I’m also sure there are lots of exceptions. And plenty of mediocre family run places that also don’t advertise.

For the purposes of this thread, what is the best restaurant that advertises a lot? I’d say Red Lobster, but am sure there are probably other choices.

Red Lobster? Ewww. I am fortunate enough to live in an area that has widely available, fresh, wild-caught (or responsibly-farmed*) seafood available lots of places for a very reasonable price. So, no Red Lobster for me.

But in the same family, I will offer Outback. It’s not a great steak, but it is an acceptable steak for an acceptable price. The other thing about them is that they are one of the few mass-market places that can actually get the temp right more often than not (when you eat there - take-out is much iffier due to the heat lamps). And I do enjoy the occasional Bloomin’ Onion.

  • Due to the closing of the world-famous Apalachicola Bay (thanks Atlanta :roll_eyes:), they’ve recently started farming oysters in an area near there called Alligator Point and they are fantastic! Big, sweet, and salty! They are more expensive though.

Interesting question. As someone who rarely/almost never dines anywhere that has more than a single location, I’m eager to see what people say.

Olive Garden. A lot of ads…

I’d always shunned chain restaurants, but had a friend driving through town and wanted to meet there as it was near the freeway. So we met at Olive Garden. And… it really was mediocre.

Darn. I was really hoping I’d get to say “I was a snob, but chain restaurants are pretty good! Next stop, Applebee’s!”

Not sure how much they advertise compared to others, but I’ll go with Texas Roadhouse over Outback.

But my vote is for Panera.

Red Lobster is perfectly fine if they have access to fresh fish. I grew up in an area filled with seafood restaurants, and it’s as good as any of them. But if they can’t get fresh fish, it can be awful.

The best hamburger I ever had that I didn’t cook myself was a mushroom Swiss burger at Red Robin. Every bite was pure joy. Maybe I was just really hungry. Reeeeeeeeed Robin.

And as per the OP, my family likes Red Lobster. I get a steamed live lobster and a baked potato, and hey, ya can’t really mess that up. Maybe chain restaurants with “Red” in the name are slightly better than the average.

Though re: the live lobster, my wife gets really mad at me if I try to order it, so the last couple times i’ve relented to keep the peace, and just gotten lobster tails or something. See, she doesn’t mind me eating animals that have already been killed, she only objects to me eating animals that have specifically been killed for my benefit. :roll_eyes:

I’m not saying Red Lobster is the best seafood. I’ve spent a lot of time in Maritime Canada and ventured to Maine and Boston (Legal Seafood!) when I could. I know how to cook Thai, white wine and curried mussels, tandoori fish, monkfish, lobster, shrimp and how to skin and filet fish.

I still have a soft spot for the place. It is hard to screw up lobster and fried shrimp. The Canadian stores all have some decent fresh fish, and the biscuits are addictive. The big plates seem like a ton of food but are surprisingly low in calories if you order side veggies and salad, and don’t chomp too many biscuits. I even make cheesy biscuits at home.

Though the original comedian also thought Outback, slightly disparagingly.

They didn’t steam it long enough.

Maybe they tried to steam the lobster by showing it episodes of Spongebob Squarepants?

Not sure if the OP referred to TV commercials, but the airline in-flight magazines (remember those?) usually had one-page ads for restaurants in various cities, including one that lists steak restaurants in five or six cities. Sometimes there’s a separate ad for Ruth’s Chris Steak House or Morton’s.

I don’t want to dictate the terms of “extensively”. I added that because even great restaurants do charity work, chef publicity, write cookbooks, etc. A lot of “tourist trap” restaurants advertise a lot — some only in magazines for aspiring douchebags. Obviously, a meal of high quality steak will be pretty good.

I have been to Miami exactly one time and will not be hurrying back. But I did manage to avoid eating stone crab, and this occurred to me when I thought of the OP. Did I miss much?

The only nationally advertised restaurant I basically ever go to anymore with any kind of regularity is Subway and, even then, not since February or March. I don’t recall ever seeing or hearing ads but I used to go to Wing Stop every couple of months prepandemic.

I pretty much can’t imagine the circumstances that would get me inside a Red Lobster, Outback, Chilis, Olive Garden, etc. Maybe like a funeral luncheon for a distant relative or something? I can’t say they’re bad (they’re probably fine) since I haven’t been to any in ages but there are so many excellent local places to try that I never give a big chain a chance.

Is that it or does she just object to seeing the whole dead body being slowly, ever so slowly dismembered and the scattered parts rent and torn, leaving a barely recognizable heap of bio-wreckage?

That’s my objection to the damn things: Too ugly to eat from intact, but fine if sufficiently pre-disassembled in the kitchen. Too much work from scratch also.

Though I loves me a steaming pile of denuded vertebrate skeleton at the end of a turkey, chicken, duck, or pig. I guess that makes me a classist; discriminating on the basis of biological class.

“If you can dream it, you can be it!”

That should be a magazine title.

Outback was the first place I thought of when I saw the thread title. I’ve been there many times and have never had a steak that was bad, overcooked, or undercooked.

Yep, ewww. But the biscuits are good. They do decent deep fried shrimp, but too pricey.

Yeah, I concur- Outback. They also make a great salad. And you are right- order Medium Rare and you usually get it. Never more than one stage wrong, if that. (Nothing worse than ordering Medium Rare and getting Medium Well, I have to send that back).

Guys, remember the Op asked for restaurants, I dont think he meant Fast Food.

I would also say Outback- its the one chain restaurant I feel like I’m treating myself at. P F Changs used to be #1 but their quality has gone way downhill and last time I was there they had gotten rid of a lot of favorites, like Dan Dan Noodles & Kung Pao Scallops.

If I give a business money and in return they give me food that is ready to eat, it’s a restaurant.