Five chain restaurants that should be locked up in chains

112-590x331.jpg
Ewwww! Not again!
Denny's "Baconalia" is back, completely and utterly ruining one of my favorite foods, and again offering a hideous reminder of all the chain restaurant meals I wish I'd never eaten. There are plenty of decent, good and even great restaurant chains that serve up above-average food for reasonable prices, and I'm grateful for them. But there are also too many deplorable crap-shacks that dish out things that should never be served to humans.

Or dogs.

There are some meals even bacon can't help. Here are five chain restaurants I avoid at all costs.

See also:
- Hobbit-themed menu at Denny's: Five reasons one onion ring will rule them all
- Five things Arby's should do to improve its image
- Top five cheeseburger abominations, inspired by Carl's Jr.'s footlong cheeseburger

carlsjr_big_carl_03.jpg
What a Carl's Jr. burger really looks like...
5. Carl's Jr
I have tried to like Carl's Jr. over the years, wooed by its clever advertising and the promises of gargantuan, cheap, delicious hamburgers slathered with guacamole and crowned with bacon. But when you actually get a hamburger there, the beef patties are flavorless and dripping with salty grease, the lettuce wilted, the tomato slices tough and edged with green, the uneven bacon hunks chilly and plastered to the half-melted cheese, and the buns unevenly toasted with crunchy outsides and doughy middles. While the shakes are actually tasty, there is less shake than you think if you scoop off the gobbets of wilty whipped cream. The fries are stubby and undersalted, and the one time I ordered something off the menu that wasn't a burger I got the nastiest strips of breaded fish I've ever seen -- or smelled. Carl's now has a new, charbroiled Atlantic cod fish sandwich that looks plump, moist and well-garnished -- but I figure if the place can cock up pre-made, freezer-to-fryer fish sticks, it can do a lot of damage to a fish filet.

sides-jalapeno-peppers-big.png
If this is the best part of fried chicken -- something is really wrong.
4. Church's Chicken
I have never understood why some people are devoted to Church's Chicken and go out of their way to eat there, when there are far better fried chicken joints -- like, all of them. Church's is a lazy chain that doesn't do anything particularly well. The original-style fried chicken is bland, the signature spicy chicken not spicy at all, and those house honey butter biscuits taste like they're made with straight-up sweetened margarine. I have asked fans of Church's why they like eating there so much, and every time they answer with this: They give you peppers.

Yes, you get a couple of whole pickled jalapeno peppers with every chicken order, and yes, you can give those peppers a hearty fist-squeeze to produce droplets of pepper juice that might give the chicken actual flavor -- but why should you have to do the work? I have heard tell that Church's has a strawberry shortcake dessert that's not bad, but I'm leery of any fried chicken restaurant that can't even get fried chicken right.

digiorno_cheese_stuffed_crust_pizza_01.JPG
A better pizza than one from Domino's.
3. Domino's Pizza
Domino's made a big deal about changing its crust recipe a while back, and I temporarily -- and insanely -- gave the chain another chance to earn my attention, as well as my $20. And to my complete lack of surprise, the new crust wasn't much better -- or much different -- from the old crust recipe. Domino's has always been my extremely-starving-desperate-last-choice for ordering a delivery pie; even a Little Caesar's cardboard-crusted and heat lamp-lashed creation is superior to any pie I've ever eaten from Domino's. My super peeve is the cheese Domino's uses: It's stringy and gluey when hot, wonky and mushy when cold. The sandwiches are so disgusting they ought to be used for torturing Guantanamo prisoners, and the delivery personnel are jerks. I usually don't hold it against them, though, because I'd be a f*ck salad with ranch if I had to go home every shift reeking of bad cheese and failure.

My Voice Nation Help
35 comments
demitriusr
demitriusr

Carls Jr isnt bad. Neither is Burger King. Depending on the one you go to. Also Jack in the Box. But for a craft burger the small places are good. Like Diners and Bars and Smashburger and insert here wherever else you would like.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

You hate chain restaurants. We get it.

BTW, Carl's Jr. seems to be the only chain that offers freshly charbroiled beef, making it automatically better than every other burger chain.

maxplanck0
maxplanck0

Add Papa John's Pizza who intentionally shafts his employees out of health care while rubbing elbows with Payton Manning. Bad pass, Payton.

orson
orson

lol.  Nice job jenn.

UrbanSnowshoer
UrbanSnowshoer

Perkins should also be added to this list. It's been awhile since I've been in one, but it probably hasn't gone better.


snowgirlbreck
snowgirlbreck

Ruby Tuesday should be added . . . I am quite sure all their food comes out of plastic bags from the freezer.  YUK! 

Russ Wright
Russ Wright

Higher up on the Food Chain as a contender, CHEESECAKE FACTORY, just for the fact that they have ADVERTISING in their huge book of a menu. A menu full of bland food.

divac
divac

Denny's is awful.  I haven't stepped in one in years.  Invariably, when I've had to go, I've had sub par food, sub par service or both. And it's filthy all the time.  How they stay in business I'll never know. 

Michelle Pearl Mobley
Michelle Pearl Mobley

Amazingly...I agree with each snarky food review in this article. One has to wonder how places like Arby's and Denny's are still in business as they continue to serve such crud.

gftw
gftw

Fuck salad!!

Steven DeZort
Steven DeZort

Carl's would be amazing of they would actually keep all of their promotional stuff. Hawaiian chicken. Chili cheese burger. Philly cheese steak burger. Those were awesome.

Mary Jarrett
Mary Jarrett

Other ones IHOP, Burger King, Mc Donalds, Wendy's, KFC, Taco Bell

Schittphaiç Magü
Schittphaiç Magü

Bacon is crap. No chain restaurant could possibly further ruin your taste buds than they already are.

Mary Jarrett
Mary Jarrett

I agree I used to go Denny's after a night out. Maybe that is why is worked?

Mitch Siff
Mitch Siff

As one of the kids stranded on a desert island on The Simpsons said "I'm so hungry, I could eat Arbys"

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident  ... In-N-Out Burger !



ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

@UrbanSnowshoer 

Perkins is okay now.  I live near one and go there a couple of times a month.  They make menu changes often and the food has been pretty good for the price.

jenna-furrr
jenna-furrr topcommenter

@Russ Wright I haven't been to CF since high school---I should go check it out again and write about it. : )

UrbanSnowshoer
UrbanSnowshoer

@divac wrote: "How they stay in business, I'll never know." 

Discounted pot, maybe?

jenna-furrr
jenna-furrr topcommenter

@Mitch Siff Hahahahahaaaaaa....!

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

@jenna-furrr @maxplanck0 

I figured the reason for the health care and benefits cutback was because Papa John's needed the money to pay Peyton Manning to be their spokesface.

orson
orson

@DonkeyHotay

Mad? No. Tired of you seeing giants everywhere, even where none exist? Yes. Delirium has consumed you. I am neither a ferocious giant nor a windmill to be toyed with. One day the white moon will rise and you will see.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

@jenna-furrr 

Save the time and money.  The one and only time I was there was five or six years ago.  I had the crab cake sandwich and the crab cake smelled and tasted fishy.  It was also mushy.  Cheesecake Factory never again.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident Don't burn it. It's also a good thing I eat lots of green leafy stuff and drink lots of tea.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@foodcrazy @jenna-furrr @maxplanck0

Poor Multi-Millionaire Repuglykkkan Hates National Healthcare --

"Hi, I'm John Schnattner, CEO of Papa Johns, with an important message to my loyal customers.  

"Now, as you know, the current Adminsitartion has enacted draconian legislation under the name of 'Health Care Reform' designed to crush small business owners such as myself.  I had hoped that the American People would see fit to elect a more prudent man willing to obliterate Obamacare on Day One, thus saving businessmen like myself from utter bankruptcy and total anhililation.  Unfortunately, that was not to be.

"Since this is the case, I have no other option but to cut my staff and reduce the hours of the employees I retain so that I will not have to pay them the 'benefits' demanded by this pernicious legislation.

...*** ...

"But to make this work, friends, I will need your help.  Currently, I have enough employees on my payroll to meet customer demand.  If I reduce their hours, they will be unable to serve you all and our quality will go down; or they will have to work harder and might concievably [sic] demand higher wages, which would be even worse than Obamacare.

"So I am asking you, my loyal Papa John's customers, to stop buying my pizzas.  If we can reduce demand, I won't need as many employees and I will be able to once again manage my payroll.  True, fewer customers means less profit; but the less profit I make, the less of it I have to pay to Obama's taxes.

"So please, for God's sake, buy pizza someplace else.

"Thank you."

orson
orson

@DonkeyHotay @orson 

Perhaps...or perhaps samson.  Doesn't matter much either way because in the end they work together to get DQ to give up the pointless battles against windmills.  I'm done fighting windmills and will be leaving for la mancha soon. FYI...the ways of chivalry will drive a man mad. 

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...