Drag me to Hell(‘s Kitchen): Applebee’s

I have a business lunch planned; I’m coming from Chelsea, my lunchmate from East Midtown, so he kindly suggests West Midtown as an easy spot for us both.

“Do you have any ideas for a restaurant?” he asks.

“How about Applebee’s?” I say.

“Applebee’s?”

Silence.

Applebee’s it is.

++

“Where are you visiting us from?” asks the waitress.

“Two blocks that way,” I say.

“Two blocks that way?” she asks, confused.

“I live in that building,” I say, gesturing out the restaurant window.

“So why are you eating here?” she blurts, then covers her mouth.

++

I haven’t been to an Applebee’s in a while, I tell her. Can she recommend something?

The fiesta chicken.

“I’ll bring extra salsa.” She says “And some tabasco sauce.”

The chicken itself is fine enough – soft from chemical brining, the sauce salty and thick. The salsa tastes like it’s from a jar, but my waitress is right: it’s bright enough to make the meal work, at least with a good shot or two of tabasco.

It’s not so bad, this Applebee’s, I think.

++

Back at my desk, I reconsider, as all afternoon the chicken fiestas in my stomach.

January 22, 2012