Is there a chain restaurant that you think is 'overrated?'

A new article from the website Cheapism outlines eight popular chain restaurants that they have deemed to be past their prime. The site reads:

"Casual chain restaurants peaked in the 1990s. They were fun and affordable, and it felt like a special event to take your family for dinner. Sometime since then, the luster has worn off, and sit-down chains have fallen out of favor. Many are still skating on the reputation they had 30 years ago, but some have become so bad it's a wonder how they are still in business."

Every single one of the chains on the list has locations here in the state of Iowa, even if there's only a couple left. Here is Cheapism's list, as well and the cities in Iowa where we still have those restaurants:

  1. Olive Garden
    • Locations in Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Waterloo, Dubuque, Davenport, Ankeny, Des Moines, and West Des Moines
  2. Outback Steakhouse
    • Locations in Ankeny, Clive, and Sioux City
  3. Chili's
    • Locations in Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Davenport, Clive, Ankeny, and Sioux City
  4. Red Lobster
    • Locations in Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Davenport, Ames, West Des Moines, and Sioux City
  5. Texas Roadhouse
    • Locations in Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Dubuque, Cedar Falls, Davenport, Ames, Altoona, Johnston, West Des Moines, Council Bluffs, and Sioux City
  6. Applebee's
    • Locations in Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Marshalltown, Ames, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Waverly, Altoona, Des Moines, West Des Moines, Pella, Fort Dodge, Mason City, Council Bluffs, Ottumwa, Burlington, and Davenport
  7. Golden Corral
    • Locations in Davenport and Council Bluffs
  8. Denny's
    • Locations in Davenport, Brooklyn, and Clive

Personally, I don't agree with some of this list. When it comes to chain restaurants, I think Texas Roadhouse is one of the best. Not only have I had good experiences with the food, I've always had really great service, too! And don't get me started on the rolls with cinnamon butter...

I think the appeal of chain restaurants is that you know what you're getting. If there's something on the menu that you enjoy at one location, chances are, you're going to enjoy it at any of their locations. It's a safe option. To be honest, I don't hit up chain restaurants very often anymore. Since moving to Iowa, I try to support local restaurants that are unique to our area as much as possible. Here are some of my favorites from the past few months:

8 Awesome Iowa Restaurants I Visited This Spring

Here are some of the delicious meals I had at local restaurants in March and April!

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

What's your favorite chain restaurant to visit? Let us know in the comments or by sending us a message on the station app!

All the Restaurants That Have Won Iowa's Best Pork Tenderloin Contest

The Iowa Pork Producers Association has been hosting their annual Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin Contest since 2003! Here are all of the winning restaurants that are still in business as of January 2024:

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

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