When it comes to restaurants and my Kentucky Restaurant Reviews, you know that I have a few of my own “rules of the game”:
- The staff (host, hostess, servers..) are the restaurant’s ambassadors. People form an overall impression of your restaurant based on several criteria and the staff is as important as the food. Many restaurants don’t “get that.” If I encounter rude servers or those who don’t seem genuinely happy to be where they are, it’s a deal breaker. Rudeness isn’t just a turn off, it’s a turn away waiting to happen.
- The sides are as important as the main dish. Don’t even think of throwing canned beans or overdone fries at me. It breaks my heart.
- NO FLAT SOFT DRINKS. Ewwww.
My beautiful oldest daughter Emily had a birthday yesterday so I took her out for lunch. A birthday lunch HAS to be super special, so of course we chose wisely. We went to T.G.I. Friday’s which has become a favorite lunch spot. We’ve always loved it for dinner, but we quickly came to realize that it’s as perfect in the afternoon as it is in the evening. The food is always perfect (I think they’re incapable of over-doing or under-doing anything), the atmosphere is fun, super clean, and upbeat, and the staff? Their staff is incomparable.
Service matters. Make no bones about it. T.G.I. Friday’s in Owensboro gets it and gets it good. Whomever is in charge of hiring servers and hosts/hostesses has a GREAT eye for talent and, apparently, a GREAT appreciation for personality. Their workers are simply dripping with personality and friendliness. The host yesterday (October 7) afternoon was a real character and made a fun place even funner. He obviously enjoyed people and loved being around them. He was outstanding and set the stage for a wonderful lunch.
Our server was also top notch (as usual). She was warm, friendly, helpful, and smiled freely. When we placed our order, we got the opinion that she’d make whatever we wanted to happen happen. This young lady embodied the essence of what it’s all about…. the customer.
Naturally, even a stellar staff can only do so much. The food has to be great, right? At T.G.I. Friday’s the food couldn’t possibly be any better. The Green Bean Fries appetizer is one of the best appetizers you can get at any restaurant. The dip has become a personal addiction.
Yesterday, Emily and I had the Endless Lunch (though my usual, the Caribbean Chicken Sandwich, was whispering tempting promises in my ear). The soups were excellent as always, the salad gorgeous (it can be tough to get a really good salad out, but their salad is outstanding), and the bread sticks? Emily and I couldn’t figure out what made these bread sticks so extraordinary. They didn’t taste like normal bread sticks. They’re simply Heavenly and unlike any other bread sticks around. SO good!
The Caribbean Chicken Sandwich, the burgers, and the Jack Daniels Pulled Pork (have mercy) are also perfection. I’m actually craving the Caribbean Chicken right now (The chicken breast is basted in a rum sauce that gives it more flavor than it has a right to have. It’s served on a brioche bun with seasoned sour cream, pineapple pico, cilantro, and avocado. They’re served with great sweet potato fries that come with a dipping sauce you’ll dream about for three months.)
I hear from a lot of great people through e-mail at Genuine Kentucky. Talking with ya’ll is always a great pleasure. Many people want to know what restaurants I recommend in Owensboro. I take my recommendations SERIOUSLY. After all, if someone’s visiting our wonderful city, I want their every experience to be one they’ll remember not just fondly, but fondly times 200. Restaurants like T.G.I. Fridays make my job easy. I know I can point them in the direction of the red and white stripes and rest secure in the fact that their A+ staff will take it from there.
More: See the T.G.I. Friday’s Menu online.