Applebee's is getting a make-over, y'all! They're throwing out the 1980s, stained glass "Tiffany" lamps and that pop-art junk on the walls. But the bigger overhaul is the menu: They're rolling out some "fresh and seasonal" dishes that sound like they came straight out of Michelle Obama's White House garden.
Seriously. Applebee's president Mike Archer says he wants to create a "new generation of Applebee's lovers." And the most important change they're making to nab those new customers is the food. So are they going gourmet on us? Will we start seeing strange, foreign food names on the menu (gremolata!)? Will there be... kale and pork belly?!?
Do not panic. I repeat: Do not panic. There will be no kale or pork belly. Here's what Archer says Applebee's is introducing for their new summer menu:
Lemon shrimp fettuccine with sauteed fresh spinach and basil. And our new garlic rosemary chicken is made with fresh-squeezed lemon. Until now, strawberries were used only in desserts and beverages at Applebee's. Now, strawberries are about to show up in a new salad.
Okay, that's nothing too radical. In fact, it sounds like my own home cooking. Right? Yours, too? Come to think of it, it's kind of a sad statement on the state of casual dining when your Big! Menu! Change! involves using real-live lemon juice instead of some weird chemical flavoring junk. SIGH.
Maybe Applebee's is just finally getting with the times. Or maybe it was Tracie McMillan's book The American Way of Eating, which claimed that the biggest restaurant chain in the world was pretty much just microwaving everything. Oooh! That's gotta hurt.
But hey, welcome to the 21st century, Applebee's! It's not just Michelle Obama and food obsessives like me who want fresher, better-tasting food. Mushy, batter-fried, artificially-flavored grub is starting to taste really... well, stale. It's funny -- we're still stuck in a slow economy and no one seems to have any money these days. But we're demanding higher-quality food anyway. If we're going to spend our hard-earned dough on eating out that food had better be fresh, at least a little healthy, and taste f*cking fantastic. And you know what? I don't think that's asking for too much.
Do you hear Jason Sudeikis? What do you think of Applebee's changes?
Image via Applebees/Facebook