I love Applebee's. I know exactly what quality food I'm going to be getting, and it's going to be the same mediocre quality no matter where in the country I go. I'd never stopped to think about the lack of vegetarian options, because I've never been a vegetarian. I've got some friends who can't eat red meat, and my sister can't eat pork, but Applebee's is one of the few places my whole family can go to without having a major argument and we can all get what we want. And the Sproglet loves the food there too.
I stopped frequenting a local food place. When I started going there it was delicious, and the owner was very involved. As a matter of fact, she saw my sister through her divorce, into her pregnancy, and since then whenever I happen to stop in, she asks about her and the baby. But when you go on touting how all your food is handmade and carefully put together, but I can't order a salad without the olives because it comes that way, it kind of tells me all I need to know about just how "handmade" it is.
Don't get me wrong, the food is actually pretty good, but the problem is they're trying to charge based on the price that authentic handmade food would be. But they can't guarantee that the food won't have come in contact with something because it comes to them pre-seasoned and they heat it on the grill. Or just take it out of the fridge and garnish and plate it. Her desserts, though, ARE handmade, I've seen them mixing them up and working on them. It's just not worth it for me to fight traffic to get there for something I can find elsewhere and pay less for.