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For this week’s selection, Joey decided to take us to Applebee’s Bar and Grill located next to Brookwood Mall. However, there are other locations throughout the Birmingham metro area. Brad had a scheduling conflict and was not able to make it this week.

Joey: I chose Applebee’s for 2 reason: 1. I wanted somewhere I could watch some of the NCAA basketball tournament that wouldn’t be smoky or crowded. 2. I thought it would be fun to review a shitty chain like Applebee’s. So we traveled over to the nearest Applebee’s at Colonial Brookwood Village. There was ample parking close by and we were seated immediately. I’ve learned that large chains such as McDonald’s, Subway, and Applebee’s are much, much better at efficiency than the small places we’ve been trying to visit. You don’t get to 2,000 locations without knowing how to run a restaurant.

Another sign that Applebee’s is run by smart people is their meals with a time frame guarantee. This appealed to me, an important businessman who needed to get back to the office quickly. I ordered a Chicken Fiesta roll thing, which I think came with a  12 minute guarantee. This meant it was guaranteed to be on my table within 12 minutes of my placing the order. But it seems Applebee’s makes their food quickly the same way I do at home – in a microwave. I try to avoid microwaving lettuce at home though, because it results in the soggy mess that was placed in front of me within 12 minutes of me ordering it. The rollup was gross, but the fries were pretty good. And Applebee’s delivered on my first priority, which was to watch the NCCA basketball tournament. There were large HD TVs placed throughout the location. The location was also thoughtfully decorated with random posters of such superstars as Natalie Portman, Kid Rock, Miranda Lambert and Christina Aguilera. So in a reverse of most of our BLC visits, Applebee’s amenities were superb and the food was terrible. Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 bros

Blake: Joey chose a neighborhood bar and grill in the Brookwood area, and what impressed me most? Speed. What impressed me least? Price. But to be fair to this mom ‘n pop locale, Greg tricked me. I was going to order the chicken finger basket from the lunch menu at $7.99 which includes drink, but ol’ Greg talked me into splitting the 2 for $20 with him, a value that, in hindsight, seems best reserved for dinner. I got the same menu item, but I had to pay extra for a drink and we split some dip. It likely made my meal cost $5 more. Maybe even more than that. It got pricey, I’ll tell you that. But the meal was tasty. Joey wanted to challenge their 12 minute guarantee, so he demanded his meal be delivered before ours. Still, all three meals came at the same time, exactly 11 minutes after we ordered (Greg and I had no guarantee on our meal). In theory, the entire trip could have taken a half hour, thanks to prompt, courteous service. The televisions were nice for watching the “March Madness” that everyone seems to be wrapped up in. I would go back to this place if I were with someone over 60 who liked not taking chances and an adequate amount of satisfaction. Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Bros

Greg: I won’t lie, I didn’t mind a bit when Joey humorously selected Applebee’s. Because of its safe selections and wide variety, I have eaten there quite a bit while traveling for work in the past 5 years. Most coworkers can find something they like there, and you can sit for a bit and watch TV. Having a TV in the room was must for this BLC edition because of the NCAA tournament going on, and I was able to catch bits and pieces of the action while we enjoyed our meal. I expected there to be a large crowd which would cause us to wait a bit to get a table, but we were immediately seated. I have found that I particularly enjoy the Oriental Chicken Salad, which features little bits of fried chicken among other ingredients, covered in a zesty dressing. As part of the 2 for $20 special, Blake and I also got some chips and queso. The cheese was hot and the spice was bold. My only complaint was the chips came broken into small bits, this made it hard to get an adequate scoop of queso. The entrees arrived a bit faster than expected and we were eating in under 15 minutes. It wasn’t too bad. I will agree with Blake, I don’t think the 2 for $20 was the best option for what we ordered. To really maximize that special, we needed a bigger appetizer, like the boneless buffalo wings. Oh well, you can never stop learning. The bill came out to around $12.50, which was a bit more than we try and go with for BLC. The food was exactly what I was expecting, and that was slightly above average for a lunch salad. It was good to get away from the office for a bit and watch basketball with friends.  Overall rating: 3 out of 5 Bros

Composite Bro Score: 2.67 out of 5 Bros