A freelance writer with an interest in just about everything.
Published November 5th 2013
Size matters at this American eatery
The USA is the land where big is best. From cars to buildings and everything in between, size is all important. And that same rule applies to food as well, so whenever you dine at an American-style restaurant, you know you won't be going home hungry.
TGI Friday's is an American chain which was established in New York back in 1965. It arrived in Australia in 1995, but it hadn't had a presence in NSW until the October 2013 opening of a TGI Friday's at Macquarie Centre.
It's meant to be Friday every day of the week at TGI Friday's, and they do indeed have a happy hour each and every day. With specials like $4.50 spirits, $2.95 beers (though only in 285ml size) and $10 cocktails, this usually draws a decent crowd.
The bar is the centrepiece as you enter the restaurant, sitting surrounded by several stools and comfy booths. You walk past the bar and up the stairs to get to the restaurant area, where booths line the walls and tables sit in the centre of the room. The atmosphere is relaxed and unpretentious, and the staff have obviously been trained to be as friendly as possible.
But the food is what you're really interested in, and there's certainly plenty of dishes to choose from. Appetisers like the loaded potato skins ($15.95 for six skins) and buffalo wings ($15.95 for six wings) start things off, while the mac n cheese bites ($15.95) are little deep-fried balls of deliciousness. There are also five share platters to choose from.
Steaks start with the 300g New York strip ($34.95), while it wouldn't be an American joint without ribs - get them glazed with the Friday's Jack Daniel's sauce for $39.95. There's a range of burgers to choose from, including a cheeseburger ($19.25), the New Orleans chicken burger ($21.95), and the slow-cooked Texas burger ($23.95). You can get an Ultimate Jack Daniel's burger ($23.95), but with two beef patties, onion rings, bacon and trimmings, it looks pretty intimidating.
I tried the triple stack deli Reuben and, like all of the dishes seem to be at Friday's, it was a huge plate of food. It was pretty tasty, too.
Tex Mex options are also available - fajitas, quesadillas and tacos - along with pastas. You can even get a salad if you want, but let's face it: this is not the sort of place you visit if you're looking for a light meal. Instead, Friday's is designed to be the place to go when you want a big, messy feast, and it meets that brief very well.
And the same level of indulgence applies to the tempting-sounding desserts - New York cheesecake or the brownie obsession (both $12.95), anyone? If you've still got room in your stomach for dessert after appetisers and a main, I salute you.
Free soft drink refills mean you won't go thirsty.