We draw the line at Riblets.
What with today being David Cook Day and our hometown American Idol rocking the Power & Light District just blocks from our office, in the interest of time and parking we decided to head the opposite direction. Having had a conversation with lunch friend Scott earlier in the week about the Quesadilla Burger and how wrong yet tasty it is, I already had "Eatin' Good in the Neighborhood" on my mind, so I half-joking half-seriously threw out Applebee's as a candidate. Amazingly, it was not rejected outright.
“I could do that,” said Scott, with equal parts shame and enthusiasm. Next thing you know, we were on our way to Applebee's on Rainbow Boulevard -- yours truly being maybe a little too excited to get my usual.
Some background. For the most part I’m anti casual chain dining -- I mean, there are so many other great places to eat. Everywhere, that is, except the drive from Kansas City to Wichita, where the Applebee’s in Emporia is pretty much your only choice.
It was on one such trip that I first tried the Quesadilla Burger, which is just what it sounds like. A greasy burger inside two tortillas with bacon, pepper jack, cheddar, pico de gallo, lettuce and something called “Mexi-Ranch Dressing.” This is the epitome of what casual chain restuarants should be -- ridiculously conceived entrees that give the finger to fine dining. The Quesadilla Burger is the culinary equivalent of the Applebee's "a garage sale exploded in a '70s parlor" decor. Exactly what I think would be on the menu at Uncle Moe’s Family Feedbag.
And hot damn is it good.
Cut back to the present, and I've got a usual at Applebee's. I'd say I'm embarrassed -- but I dig this burger so much, I almost don't mind having to go to Applebee's to get one. We made a solid call on lunch today.
One more thing -- our waitress kept pushing Stella Artois on us, asking “Would you like to try Stella, the new beer from Budweiser, brewed right here in Kansas City?” Scott pointed out that this question managed to cram three falsehoods into 17 words.
- First brewed in 1926, Stella Artois is by no means new.
- Though Stella Artois is technically imported and distributed in the United States by Anheuser-Busch, it isn’t really “from Budweiser.”
- Stella Artois is not brewed here in Kansas City.
3404 Rainbow Boulevard | Kansas City, MO 66103