Josh remembers TGI Fridays as the place that does “those really cool drinks with ice cream in” from when he was a kid. That was quite a few years ago (decades even) so neither of us knew what to expect when we were invited down to review a few weeks ago.
Before I delve into the review, I’ll give you a disclaimer up front that we ended up visiting twice. On the first occasion we visited on a Wednesday evening with Josh’s parents. Sadly when we arrived we were told there was no booking for us and we had to wait for 30 minutes for our table.
The rest of the evening was pretty average. Lot’s of the tables around us were left with dirty plates piled high, our table was a bit grim and the food was just OK. I ordered a burger and only ate half of it, if you know me, that says it all!
We spoke to the PR about our feedback and they sent us some more vouchers as an apology (not to re-review!). If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see how the Restaurant Manager reacted.
So, the review below is mostly about our second visit, when we went on a Thursday afternoon with our friend Caitlin.
The interior is very much American Diner style. Most of the tables are set out booth-style, they have a large bar in the centre of the restaurant and neon signs across the walls. It’s probably exactly what you would expect from this style of restaurant.
One issue we found on both visits was the cleanliness of the restaurant. When we revisited it had improved a lot, but the menus on our table were very sticky with BBQ sauce, as was the table itself. A little more attention to detail from the staff here would go a long way.
Caitlin and I decided to treat ourselves to drinks from the cocktail menu and Josh went for a bottomless coke.
Above on the left is their Peach Crush which is a frozen cocktail with Archers peach schnapps and vodka with citrus and cranberry juice. On the right is the Cherry Stag with Black Cherry infused bourbon, amaretto, cherry brandy and lemon juice.
Mine tasted a little watery, I guess because of the frozen aspect of the drink but the Cherry Stag was very nice.
We also ordered some tap water for the table which unfortunately came lukewarm.
Yes. That is a starter. Josh had this on both visits and to be honest, it could definitely be a main course!
It’s a pulled pork sundae. Mashed potato, pulled pork and BBQ sauce in a sundae glass with crispy bacon, cheese & pickled red onions. It’s very good and if I thought I could manage the whole thing I definitely would have ordered it.
I went for the chicken strips as I had a proper craving for chicken that afternoon. They come covered in a sticky, spicy sauce with sesame seeds, a bit of salad and a Jack Daniel’s glaze on the side. Again, these were really nice. The chicken was succulent and the sauce was tangy and spicy.
Never being one to back down from a challenge, when Josh saw this monster burger on the menu he couldn’t help but order it. Even after demolishing the pulled pork sundae!
It’s called the Gravy Seal. It’s a tower burger with a cheese burger layer, a chicken burger layer and finally, a popcorn shrimp layer. Complete with bacon, tomato and onion with a side of chips & gravy for dunking.
He didn’t finish it, of course, but he had a pretty good shot at it! It’s actually pretty good too, there were no complaints from Josh. Apart from the coleslaw seems a bit pointless with this meal.
I decided to go for the ribs as that is what TGI Fridays are known for doing really well. You can have them with chips or with popcorn. Who the hell orders popcorn with their ribs?! Seems like a very strange option to have.
The ribs were cooked in BBQ sauce but somehow still lacked flavour. The meat was fine, a bit chewy but they were what you expect from ribs. The sauce could definitely do with some improvement.
The chips were standard, but the corn on the cob that comes with it was very strange. I’ve never had chewy sweetcorn before. It stuck in my teeth like toffee so I didn’t finish it.
The customer service on our second visit was really good. Our server was really friendly and chatted to us a lot and made us feel at ease. Apart from our encounter with the Restaurant Manager which was resolved in the end, the rest of the customer service we experienced was pretty good. Our server on the Thursday was stand out for us though.
It was, on a whole, a bit of a mixed bag. The pulled pork sundae was a highlight for Josh and if we were to go back, that’s what it would be for.
The prices of the food is quite high for the quality of the ingredients and settings. For example, my burger on our first visit was around the £14 mark but it came on a chipped plate. As Josh’s mum put it “It’s a bit too ‘fast-food’ for the price“.
***We were given vouchers to visit TGI Fridays in exchange for an honest review***