Lot’s of Casual “American” Cuisine Restaurants… Same Menu!

Is it just me or does it seem that all the casual, “American” cuisine, chain restaurants have the same boring menu?  They all have the same basic menu items.  Is it because no one has creativity or is it because we Americans have boring taste buds?

Last night I went to one of the typical casual cuisine chains.  I’m not going to reveal the name because it doesn’t matter.  It could have been any of them.  On their menu were all the typical items you would expect.

The appetizers had the usual shrimp cocktail, nachos, boneless Buffalo wings, and crab cakes.  I live in a seafood state so I was happy to see at least one local shell fish on the app menu. It was mussels.

Of course they had burgers!  I love burgers and I’m always searching for the best.  Have you ever noticed that every restaurant claims they have the best? How many times have you been disappointed? The burger menu read:  Classic cheeseburger, which was followed by the classic bacon burger, followed by the classic blue burger, and don’t forget the mushroom burger. Very original, don’t you think?

The main course entree’s included chicken piccata, grilled salmon, ribs, chicken fajitas, fish & chips, and roast chicken. Is this the only kind of food that the average American wants to eat? I spent 15 minutes staring at the menu trying to decide what to order. Nothing was getting me excited.  I decided to be like the rest of the clones and went with the ribs.  The menu claimed the ribs were a “full” rack.  So when the food arrived I expected something that looked like a plate Fred Flintstone would be waiting for.  You know it’s sad when the pile of fries takes up more plate real estate then the ribs.

The main reason I went to culinary school was to learn how to put my creative flow into food.  Anyone can make chicken marsala.  Where are new, exciting and soon to be American classics?  The foods these chains make today were recipes made by our grandparents in the 50’s.

Don’t get me wrong I love comfort foods and that is what these type of restaurants offer.  But do we have to settle for the same old, same old?

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