Applebee’s is one of the world’s largest casual dining chains with more than 2,000 restaurants. It offers something for everyone and it is perfect for a family who is looking to spend quality time while enjoying great food.
The food quality and taste are the same in every Applebee’s you visit inside and outside the Kingdom. Applebee’s follows strict international standards of food quality and service with periodical inspection its international team.
Applebee’s first opened in Jeddah in 2003 and I remember going there with my girlfriends for dinner on Wednesdays as it was the best place for gathering over a great meal for a reasonable price. Recently I visited the restaurant again and it brought back some great memories I had of the time I spend in that half circle booth.
As you walk through the wooden doors, a host will guide you to your table. Make sure you notice the 3D artwork hanging on the walls. The open space is decorated with printed carpets, basic wooden chairs and square tables. On the side there are dark green leather booths. The restaurant seats around 250 diners at once and they have two separate dining areas for private birthday parties, meetings and events. The walls are decorated with photos of sports and entertainment celebrities and vintage items that divide the restaurant into sections. One section is for sports with items such as boxing gloves, hockey sticks and more. Another is for water sports with fishing nets, jet skis and the last part is decorated with music instruments.
The Applebee’s menu offers something for steak lovers, seafood lovers, children and vegetarians alike. What really caught my eyes was the Under 550-calorie meals. Applebee’s launched this new menu to meet the demand for healthy and light dishes.
The menu offers six main dishes with chicken, shrimps and steaks. Yes, steaks, I couldn’t believe that myself but they actually have three kinds of steaks that are less than 550 calories.
I didn’t go to Applebee’s looking for a diet meal but I had to try it. First, I ordered my all-time favorite: the Appetizer Sampler. This is a platter to share of mozzarella sticks, cheese quesadillas, boneless wings and nachos, all surrounding the Applebee’s famous spinach and artichoke dip. This is the best kind of appetizer that would please everybody at the table.
From the healthy menu I ordered the Roma Pepper Steak and Shrimp. I love my steaks medium well and it was done perfectly to my liking. The dish contained grilled shrimps with chunky peppers resting on a 200-gram sirloin steak, served with a grilled portobello mushroom cap stuffed with a creamy artichoke cheese spread.
The Shrimp Cranberry Orange, also a light dish, is vibrant and full of flavors and colors. It features shrimps, fresh-steamed green beans and dried cranberries. These are heaped on a blend of orzo, brown, white and red rice then topped with a spicy orange glaze. The Roasted Garlic Sirloin is a garlic-marinated 200-gram sirloin with sautéed onions. These are served with herbed potatoes and a grilled portobello mushroom cap filled with creamed spinach.
Such healthy main dishes are a great balance for those who are on a diet but still look for great taste.
I couldn’t leave without ordering the Maple Butter Blondie, which is a white chocolate and walnut cake under a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of chopped walnuts. This is topped with warm maple butter sauce. It is rich and amazing with different temperatures and textures, and definitely not one of Applebee’s healthy, light options. I highly recommend you try it. For those who like chocolate, I recommend the Triple Chocolate Meltdown, a rich, magnificently moist chocolate cake topped with dark and white chocolate. The cake is filled with rich chocolate fudge that erupts once you take the first bite and served with vanilla ice cream on the side.
Applebee’s pays close attention to children so they created a game room to keep them busy while their food is being prepared. For the whole month of Jumaada Al-Awal on the Hijri calendar (which lasts until April 11) Applebee’s celebrates a Kid’s Month. Children can eat free of charge. Sadly this offer is only available in selected locations in Riyadh.
The restaurant is all about promotions and they make sure they update their menu every once in a while. They have about four new food promotions every year and the menu changes twice a year.
Applebee’s has 14 restaurants all over Saudi Arabia, in Jeddah, Madinah, Riyadh, Qaseem, Alkhobar, Dammam, Dharhan and Jubail. Applebee’s offers home delivery in some restaurants in Jeddah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province. Make sure you try their new guilt-free menu and you will not regret it.
Expect to pay: SR 80 to SR 85.
Opening hours: Fri — Tue: 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 a.m. Wed — Thu: 11.00 a.m. to 2.00 a.m.