Restaurants that do not live up to what they are known for

Another thread got me thinking about this with Buffalo Wild Wings. They are a national chain named after their signature item and I think their wings are amongst the worst out there. Multiple local places make far better wings as does several other chains that don’t specialize in wings.

To name a few; TGIF has a pretty decent wing, Houlihan’s (perhaps more regional chain) have my personal favorite wings.

So what restaurants do you feel really fail to deliver on their “signature” items.

(credit to @shrinkrap for the inspiration for this thread)



I’m not taking any questions at this time.


Good wings!!! On topic!

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Taco Bell


Yet my kids LOVED the place. Thankfully it was a phase but either one would probably eat it again. If I’ve had it 5x’s in my life and can’t say I’ve ever liked anything I’ve had. Well besides those cinnamon things!

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Arby’s - never liked their RB sandwiches of any type in the relatively few times I’ve been there.


Pat’s & Gino’s cheesesteaks.


I’m only an hour ± to Philadelphia besides a brief membership to a social club in Rittenhouse Square, I never spent much time in Philly. Never been to either establishment and after reports like this don’t care to ever go.

I nominate Olive Garden and while I haven’t been since the mid 90’s they would drop off the vaunted breadsticks and salad at work and I found them to be vile.

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Good Lord. Philadelphia is one of the better restaurant towns in the US. Pat’s and Geno’s are fairly well-known as tourist traps and quite unrepresentative of the very creative food scene in the city. You’re missing a lot with an attitude like that.

I grew up in Ocean Twp., lived for 24 years in Philly or nearby, and now live in New Orleans. New Orleans is a great place to eat, but Philly has more variety and (often) creativity in its restaurant universe.


I think you misread my intent, my statement was about

Gino’s and Pat’s not Philadelphia in general. You yourself said they are both tourist traps so I think we are both on the exact same page.

Only chains involved in this thread, or we allowed to complain about everything? :slight_smile:
BTW, Tom Houilhan’s was a Men’s clothing store on the Plaza in KC long ago. The name stuck even though all he did was occupy the storefront previously.

Max Brenner Chocolate
Magnolia Bakery
Outback Steakhouse
Red Lobster


Our Hooters disappointment happened at the original location where we figured it made sense to order the legendary special “Gourmet Wing Dinner” of 20 wings with a bottle of Dom Perignon [kid you not]. Anyway, no dice because the distinguishing part of the special wasn’t on hand.

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This is a good list.

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Aha OK, I did get your meaning wrong. But you really should try to eat in Philly more. It’s got some super places.

I certainly had one live down to my expectations and that was Panda Express.

The Wifeacita brought some home, I took two bites and went no mas, take it away.


I was just going to mention Panda Express, but you beat me to it @jcostiones! I will say that Panda Express does a great job of providing that sub-mediocre food court Chinese food experience though…

I’ve thought of a few more to add to this list - of course, and as always, just IMO.

KFC - overly salty, flabby chicken
Panera Bread - really mediocre bread & ridiculous bagels, some salads ok
Krispy Kreme - aside from the yeasted, glazed donuts, just no! Flavorless and cloyingly sweet.

Pretty much agree with other listed things, but BWW here actually has decent wings.

ETA: Subway, ok in a pinch, but pretty so so.
Just going in to add & saw @JoeBabbitt’s reply.

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Subway bread.

I dunno @JoeBabbitt - you have to be in the right frame of mind and the right mood (read: state of drunkkenness) to truly appreciate Pat’s and Geno’s. I’ve had many a memorable night that ended up at one of them :rofl: