What's Not So New In The Neighborhood!

By Mama2Dylan
Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill
5070 Commercial St. S.E.
Salem, OR 97306

I haven’t been to Applebee’s in what seems like forever. No particular reason, just been dinning at other places and frankly Red Robin has been my choice when it comes to similar family chain restaurants. On this particular night my husband and I went to the Elks Lodge for drinks before going to Applebee’s. We had no particular place in mind, we were just hungry and it was past 8 p.m. and had no dinner yet. My husband suggested Applebee’s. I think the commercials on T.V probably lured him in. Since it was past 8 p.m. on a weeknight (Thursday) and all the sidewalks roll up in Salem at 8 p.m. the place had very few people in it. Most were eating or finishing up and left soon after we arrived.

We were obviously seated right away w/ a friendly smiling host. Our server came by right away to see if we wanted drinks. Since we already partook in drinks earlier so we passed. I just had ice water and my husband had diet soda. The server did offer me lemon in my water, which I declined. Salem’s water is very good, no need for lemon to make it palatable.

We placed our orders for eats. My husband was attracted to the picture on the menu of the Ultimate Trio, which falls under the appetizer category but is hearty enough for a meal. You my pick any three items from a list of 8. He chose the 3 on the picture of course. It’s true what they say men are so visually stimulated. I didn’t try my husband’s dish, but according to him it was all very good.
Steak Quesadilla Towers
Sirloin steak topped with onions, pico de gallo, peppers, and cheese. Rolled
in a grilled tortilla and served with salsa.
Mini Bacon Cheeseburgers
Two 100% Angus beef burgers topped with cheddar cheese and bacon. Finish them with lettuce and tomato.
Boneless Buffalo Wings
Breaded chicken tossed in classic, hot, Honey BBQ or NEW Citrus Teriyaki sauce.

I was craving a burger. I made my choice based on the description of the item.

Quesadilla Burger
A juicy Angus burger served Southwestern style in a pepper-Jack and cheddar quesadilla (contains bacon) with pico de gallo, shredded lettuce and Mexi-ranch dressing.

What a burger! I love the concept. So unique. It was very tasty and I would definitely order it again. In fact I’d love to try and duplicate it at home sometime. The fries were also very tasty. They were generously seasoned w/ salt & pepper by the chef.

We also shared a Caesar salad; it was fresh, well dressed w/ nice garlic Caesar dressing and all the usual suspects you’d expect from a Caesar salad including challah croutons and shaved parmesan. In fact when it was gone, we found ourselves wanting more. Next time we’ll order 2 :).

We talked about desert, but as usual we were too full. If we were to order (based on both the picture and description) the Maple Butter Blonde would have been our choice. Maybe next time. Baked with nuts, topped with both ice cream and chopped walnuts, and served sizzling at your table where it’s covered with a rich, maple butter sauce.

We didn’t bring our son this time but, they do have a kid’s menu as follows;

*Includes your choice of steamed broccoli, celery with ranch dressing, applesauce or fries. Drinks are served in a special Applebee's kid's cup with lid.

They offer Carside To Go, you call it in they bring it out. For you people that are still sticking to the resolutions you made in January, they offer a limited 8-item Weight Watcher’s menu as well. Following is a category list for their regular menu.
We’ll visit again. I was satisfied in general with the service, moderate prices, cleanliness and ambiance.


Salem Man said...

I hate to go to chains like this because I know that they kill local business, but, chains tend to be more consistent in their service because they do a good job training employees.

jeff said...

If a local business is good, it will survive against the chains - and chains do seem to fill a niche (Denny's, Elmer's, Applebee's, Shari's) that very few local restaurants can.

And the food is not only reliable, it's frequently very good.

Anonymous said...

yeah, people love to knock applebees, but its always packed in there! so they must be bad-talking it and then going for dinner anyway ;)

i mean -- it is the neighborhood bar and grill. their food is good, their happy hour is ok, the service is friendly. they have consistency. people keep going. i like it myself and am not ashamed to admit it :)

by the way... my fiance and i duplicated the delicious quesedilla burger at home. really easy, very tasty, (we added some guacamole too) and very cheap!

Anonymous said...

The food at Applebee's is consistent because it's McDonaldized.

I'm not opposed to going to chains, but blogging about Applebee's is not the direction this blog needs to be going.

A general comment: Instead of Eat Salem, perhaps the blog should be called Eat Cheap in Salem with Kids.

This blog easily comes up when you google for places to eat in Salem, and while Salem is not known for its food, I'm afraid this blog is unfairly making the image of Salem worse. Choose a wide variety of establishments not just the cheap ones. If it's a money thing, which is understandable, let the visitor know that the blog concentrates on cheap places that are kid friendly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm appreciative of the blog, but now that it's been up for a while, I think in some ways it is misrepresenting Salem.

David H. said...

I am once again saddened that with all of the independent choices in this town the eat salem blog chose to write about a national chain. In this econemy it is more important than ever that we keep our hard earned dollars in our town. Sure the waitress keeps her tips and the cooks keep their wages but the 22% profit that they make goes back to Texas. How does that help Salem? With all of the advertising to chains really need a review?

We all make choices on how to spend I would hope that you spend more wisley next time.

Anonymous said...


Anybody ever heard of carino's itlian resturant there putting one in albany and salem is next.

Salem Man said...

I'm sorry if anyone feels that this blog is misrepresenting the Salem food scene. Since the start of the internet and blogging, restaurant review sites have cropped up all over the web. There was another site called The Food of Salem that was in operation before I started mine. Although that blogger is now writing about restaurant all over the country, his Salem reviews are still online. Here is that web address http://salemfood.blogspot.com/
The posts that I have written for the Eat Salem blog are accurate from my point of view. My descriptions are often backed up by photos. The name Cheap Eats for Families.com was not as catchy as what I eventually came up with, but I appreciate you input. If you have a perspective that is different from mine, I would encourage you to do your own reviews and send them into me at eatsalem@gmail.com. That offer has been on my site from the beginning. Your perspective would be welcome to this site and I seriously hope that you take me up on this offer.

Anonymous said...

Applebee's, the one out south, wouldn't let my husband and I have a booth one night, so we walked out. Then next time we went there, they gave us a booth, but no service. We sat there for 10 minutes, with no water, no one came over. They weren't croweded either! The one out south needs good management. As far as the food at this chain, it's fair. That's it, fair. I try not to go to any of them anymore.

Anonymous said...

The half-off appetizers after nine cannot be beat. A popular place for youth wanting something to eat. Much better than Sharis.

Anonymous said...

Wow..an Applebee's review? Really? C'mon Salem

h said...

I hate to say it, but I agree with anonymous #2. Chains already get enough press, they don't need help from bloggers. I do understand what its like to have a family and a budget, but you need to vote with your dollar. If everyone keeps going to McDonalds, Starbucks and Walmart then eventually they'll all become one big conglomerate killing off all the little guys... sorry I digress. Please try to review only local restaurants in the future or at least local chains like Buster's and McGrath's. Just my 2 cents.

Dsperin said...

The last two times that I stepped foot into Applebee's, I ended up walking out after viewing the menu. It makes no sense to me, and I challenge anyone to tell me what the theme of the place is.

The whole menu is filled with appetizers and it boggles my mind what they have done to food there. Quesadilla Towers? Quesadilla burger? WTF?

As to why it's always crowded-- people are stupid. Always have been, always will be. Why else would people continue to frequent places like McDonalds and Taco Bell when the food is barely edible? Stupidity.

Alex said...

I guess I agree with most of the other commenters here - it's not useful to review a place like Applebees: it's a chain, so the food is always the same, and everybody already knows what to expect.

Anonymous said...

The happy hour is your best deal!

Chuck Bradley said...

At the risk of boring some of the more erudite reviewers before me on this thread and in the spirit that there may be some other bumpkin out there who also has never before darkened the door of an Applebee’s, here are my impressions of, what for me was a new experience. Here goes:

I had a gift certificate..........
I have no illusions about what to expect from this place and others like it. I ordered a "New Menu Item" Sizzling Asian Shrimp. My server asked if I would like sautéed mushrooms and onions. I said yes. I was amused to notice, when my check arrived, that I was charged 49 cents for the onions and 59 cents for the mushrooms. No profit enhancing trick is missed here! (Including aggressive salesmanship hawking strawberry lemonade and desserts.) The dish was loaded with shrimp, peapods, carrots, bell peppers (red and green), mushrooms and onions all on a bed of steamed short grained, white rice. It could have been spicier, but daring and innovation is not to be expected in a large chain restaurant. All in all, it was an OK quality, uninspired meal. I have no complaints.