Applebee's in Turnersville had less-than-adequate dining experience. -Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor.com

My mom and grandma decided to come visit me at college, so naturally we went out for a late lunch after my usual Thursday internship.

At around 3:30 p.m., we walked into the Turnersville Applebee’s because my grandma usually likes to keep family outings somewhere simple and casual when it’s not a holiday.

When we entered, I noticed it looked quite empty. Only one other table with people sat in the middle section of the restaurant, close to the bar.

Around the outer perimeter of the restaurant, surrounding the tables, were photos and collages from local high schools.

Once we were seated, we started to peruse the menu. I settled on my usual Applebee’s order: the Pick 3 ($13.29) with an order of buffalo wings, barbecue wings and spinach artichoke dip. My grandma decided on the three cheese chicken penne ($12.49) and my mom settled on the plain chicken breast and ordered it with broccoli and fries ($11.99) after she was informed that the barbecue bone-in wings and brew pub pretzels, her first choice, was unavailable.

Our server, whose name we never got, was sub-par at best. I was a server at the Applebee’s in my hometown for over a year and a half, so I thought I saw the worst of the worst that Applebee’s has to offer, but this server was definitely in the top worst servers I’ve ever seen.

He was severely inattentive and took far too long for simple tasks: five minutes to greet us, ten minutes to get drink orders (three waters) and nearly ten minutes just to come tell us that my mom’s original order was unavailable.

After an absurd wait time (40 minutes), our meals finally arrived and we were mildly impressed. Despite the long wait, my food was hot (something I wasn’t expecting considering how long it took to arrive at the table). Both orders of wings had the perfect balance of sauce and crispiness. The buffalo sauce had a kick but wasn’t too spicy. The barbecue wasn’t overly sweet or overly powering.

My spinach artichoke dip was just a tad warmer than room temperature, which was disappointing because once that dish gets any cooler than burning hot, it congeals together and becomes less appetizing. I had less than three minutes before I couldn’t even think about eating another bite of it.

My grandma said she enjoyed her pasta. She likes to keep it simple but forgot to order it without the bruschetta on top like she usually does. Even with her little oopsy, she still enjoyed it, saying that the diced tomato mix complimented the cheesy sauce very well. However, the grilled chicken was a little rubbery. They also forgot to bring my grandma the breadstick that her pasta was supposed to come with.

My mom, already disappointed by her initial encounter with ordering, said her chicken was warm, not hot and also tasted sort of rubbery. The broccoli was hard and over-salted, but her French fries were good, with the perfect amount of salt that she deemed should be on fries.

After tip, our bill was $44.57, which seemed a little overpriced based on the sub-par food and service we received. At least my grandma’s pasta dish was large enough for her to take home for a second meal.

INFO BOX:

NAME: Applebee’s

ADDRESS: 3800 E Black Horse Pike, Turnersville, NJ 08012

PHONE NUMBER: (856) 740-3610

STYLE OF FOOD: American

RATING: 🍎 🍎 out of 5

For comments/questions about this story, email features@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.

Leave a Reply