Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
TGI Friday's
Locations all over the world
Review by MaceVindaloo, Diana, BunchBox

These days, one has to plan to get to the airport at least 75 minutes prior to departure, and being that most of us live some distance away from an airport, that can often mean leaving home at 3am for a 6:30am flight. But you don't want to miss your plane, and most airports will not even attempt to check you in if you are less than 45 minutes from flight time.

So you get there early, you check in your luggage, etc ... but even if you have lots of questions to answer and you get lost a few times, have a long security line and get picked for further inspection, etc., you are still going to have a long bit of time to fill before it's time to board the aircraft. So arrive a bit hungry and have something to eat.

Admittedly, airports are not the type of location you'd expect a local diner or pub to set up. Plus travelers are likely out of their element and feeling a bit unstable, so something familiar is best. This is where chains and franchises are very useful, and restaurants like TGI Friday's are just about everywhere, even if they are small kiosk versions of their in-town or in-mall cousins. They are still familiar places with booths and standardized food.

Even so, one of us was dismayed by the abbreviated menu (no Jack Daniels steak and shrimp at this airport location). But this "family pub" style place with the midwestern food is bound to have something for everyone, and the orange-and-white striped motif is like the sit-down-in-a-booth version of a McDonald's type guarantee for comfort food.

The food was indeed standard TGIF stuff and it was decent and as expected. The service was annoying; true, expecting enthusiasm and "fun" as depicted in commercials is always a guarantee for disappointment, but we spent quite a bit of time at our table trying to master the waitress's flick of the wrist that enabled her to CLUNK plates on the table in such a disinterested way. It wasn't even like Brad Pitt's tossing of a roll in Fight Club. It was much more disinterested and more ingrained in that woman's psyche. We thought about complaining, but we discovered all the waitresses looked alike and we couldn't really tell which one was the offensive one!

Other TGIFs we'd been to in other locations have had stinky service (one of us and a paramour actually walked out without paying after placing an order, because we got tired of waiting for our meal and got tired of trying to flag down a waitperson; the last straw was when we realized they were deliberately ignoring us!). Others have had okay service. Obviously, a place like TGIF offers meals at decent value, but they should spend a bit more effort in training their front-staff.

Even so, the service was not bad per se. Just disinterested, and in an airport, expecting the aforementioned enthusiasm is ridiculous. At least we were adequately fed with safe, comfortable food for the meal-less flights home!


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