Applebees

I LOVE Applebee's Fresh Flavors of Summer Menu! {Review & Giveaway ~ Open to US & Canada}

3:44 PM

My husband and I love going out on dates together. Dates are welcome outings to our busy schedule and often help us to regroup and connect while away from the children. I have to admit though that sometimes, we truly talk about the children the entire time we are gone. THAT amazes me but raising children does take a lot of brainstorming and talking. So, one restaurant that we frequent when on dates is Applebee's. The casual environment, the yummy food and the variety of choices is always fun and we have enjoyed Applebee's immensely. In fact, when we were courting we would go for their 1/2 priced appetizers after 9 and to this day, we treasure those outings. One thing I have learned is that every Applebee's is different. Honestly, we have been in some fantastic ones and some that left a bit to be desired. However, our overwhelming vote has been positive for this particular restaurant. 
In celebration of these early days of summer, Applebee's has rolled out a Fresh Flavors of Summer Menu and there are some really yummy dishes that are featured on this menu!
The chef behind these dishes has some great tips and hints on how to create your very own "Fresh off the Vine" dishes! Here are some tips from Applebee's Executive Culinary Chef, Michael Slavin...

How to Pick a Perfect Tomato:
  • The type of tomato depends on the recipe. Roma tomatoes are great for cooking while Beefsteak tomatoes make big, juicy slices and are ideal for a sandwich or salad.
  • Once you know what type of tomato you need, there are a few things that you want to look for:
    • Color: Tomato should be a deep red without blemishes or bruising
    • Feel: A great tomato will feel heavy for its size, firm and should yield slightly when you squeeze it but have the resiliency to go back to its original shape
    • Smell: Tomatoes that are fresh and ripe will have a grassy, earthy smell, especially right where the stem is
    • Stem: While an intact stem doesn't mean that a tomato is automatically fresher than one without a stem, it is an indicator that the tomato was handled with care, probably by hand 
How to Cut a Tomato:
  • To avoid splatter (and mush), start with a sharp chef’s knife.
  • Make sure the skin side is against the hard surface of the cutting board and not the soft “meat” of the tomato.  You want to cut through the soft side, not through the skin.
  • Excess seeds and juice mean you probably got a tomato with an overgrown seed cavity, an indication that the tomato was left on the vine too long. This is most common with larger tomatoes.
  • Everything that ends up on your cutting board (aside from the stem and core) should go in with your food! Anything red, all the seeds… All of this will add to the quality and freshness of whatever you are preparing.
How to Pick a Perfect Avocado:
  • Avocados begin to ripen as soon as they are picked off the vine so a freshly picked, hard avocado will need 1-2 days before it is ready to eat.
  • If you buy an avocado that is perfectly ripe but that you are not ready to eat, a great trick is to put it in the fridge, as that will slow down the ripening process.
  • Feel: An avocado is ready to eat when you can squeeze it without leaving any indentations. If indentations remain it means the avocado is overripe.
  • Color: Avoid avocados that are completely green. You want color variation. An avocado that is extremely dark means it is overripe so look for something in between.
How to Dice an Avocado:
  • Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the avocado in half lengthwise. With one hand on each side, give it a quarter turn twist and it will neatly bisect into two halves (one with the seed, one without).
  • To safely remove the seed, use a sharp teaspoon and slide it directly under the seed until it pops out.
  • Once the seed is out, hold one half of the avocado so that it lies in the natural shape of your hand and using a chef’s knife, score it twice lengthwise and three times horizontally.
  • Using the same sharp teaspoon, scoop around and under the avocado meat and 12 nice chunks will pop right out.
I have NEVER known how to dice an Avocado so these tips are so helpful for me. I love to prepare fresh foods for myself (seeing as my family doesn't eat fresh veggies) and think that these tips will be great!
So, for this review I was sent a $50 Gift Certificate for Applebee's and hubby and I were very excited to get away for an evening. Last night, we were able to get my sister to come and babysit the children and we escaped for a date together. 
The first thing that caught my eye were the little kiosks on each table. I immediately asked my husband what they were and when we were seated, I found that on this kiosk you can order drinks, appetizers, play games (for a price) and do other things to make your dining experience more pleasant. 
Our menus were handed to us and we had already decided that we wanted French Onion Soup and an appetizer to start. Our waitress, who was named Rachel, took our drink orders and hubby ordered a Frozen Strawberry Lemonade. He let me try it and it was DELICIOUS. :)
Obviously, after hearing so much about the new Fresh Flavors of Summer Menu, I eagerly opened my menu and began searching for the newest additions. I sort of wish that they had a specific section dedicated to this menu as the items were scattered amongst the other menu items and you kind of had to look for them. Some of the newest dishes are, Blackened Sirloin & Garlicky Green Beans, Margarita Queso Chicken & Shrimp, California Shrimp Salad, Lemon Shrimp Fettuccine and Green Bean Crispers. Everything sounded sooo delicious (except for the shrimp dishes as I am not a shrimp fan) and I had a hard time choosing something.
One thing that I noticed that is really nice is the fact that they have Weight Watchers menu items (complete with the number of points that meal will use) that make choosing a meal simple for someone who is on the Weight Watcher's diet. Just wanted to note that. :)
While we were waiting for our meal to come out, we decided that we would really love to try the Chili Cheese Nachos. Our Nachos arrived hot and ready to be eaten and we dug right in! As I was eating, I spied something unusual in my Nacho's and upon careful inspection, I found that there was a long, black hair wound around the chips. Whoa, that was totally unexpected. Our waitress was taking care of another table and so I flagged down someone who looked like a manager. After pointing the hair out, he apologized profusely and took the bad nachos to the kitchen. It wasn't long until a new platter was brought out and we thoroughly enjoyed them (in fact they were better than the first platter because there were more toppings on them). Later on in the evening, the manager came back to our table and again apologized for the issue we had. He also told us that it should NOT have happened and that he had removed the Nachos from our bill. I was VERY impressed with his professionalism and the fact that he had taken the almost $9 appetizer off our bill. We were happy with that. :)
For my dinner selection, I chose to try the Blackened Sirloin & Garlicky Green Beans. I typically always order the same thing when I go to familiar restaurants but wanted to try something different and LOVED my choice! This particular dish comes with fried red potatoes, a 7 oz. sirloin rubbed with blackened seasonings and basted in lime butter, garlicy green beans topped with chunky roma tomato pepper relish. The tomato relish was AMAZING. 
My husband chose a full rack of barbecued ribs. He is a fan of ribs and loved his dinner! We ended up taking almost all of his dinner home because he was full from the soup and appetizers. His eyes are always so much bigger than his stomach...ha ha! It seemed as if the restaurant was short staffed as our waitress was gone for long periods of time and that caused the managers to be out and about, waiting on tables, taking care of checks and bringing take-home boxes out. It was nice to see the managers helping out but I do think that Applebee's should do more to make sure they have sufficient staffing to take care of customers. Other than that, our food was delicious and we were glad that we chose to eat at Applebee's last night! 
So, this summer as you contemplate where to visit for a fresh dinner, check out Applebee's Fresh Flavors of Summer Menu! There is something for everyone and if you are like us then you will have absolutely NO ROOM for dessert! The new menu is wonderful and one that I would like to try again very soon. 

Applebee's has graciously given me a $50 Gift Card (electronic...you will need a printer to print it out and take to a restaurant) to give away to one of you so you can go and try out this new menu too! Here are your entry options...
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received no monetary compensation for this post. I did receive a free Applebee's Gift Card for review purposes. All quotes and stock photos are from the Applebee's websites and email.  Prize is being provided by the sponsor. This blog is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen prizes. All thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

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183 comments

  1. The creamy parmesan chicken looks great!

    maggie at literary winner dot com

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  2. I would love to try the Clubhouse Grille sandwich!
    Kkrasowski at comcast dot net

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  3. Last time I was there, I tried their new blackened sirlion & garlicky green beans. I'd try it again!

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  4. I'd like to try the Oriental Chicken Salad.
    Thanks so much.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

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  5. I would love to try the spinach and artichoke dip to begin with.

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  6. I would like to try the NEW Green Goddess Wedge Salad with the Garlic Rosemary Chicken Pasta.

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  7. The NEW †4 oz. Blackened Sirloin

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  8. I would like to try the american blt!

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  9. Bourbon Street Chicken and Shrimp
    annabella @ centurytel dot net

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  10. I would like to try the Four-Cheese Grille

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  11. I would love the Grilled Jalapeño-Lime Shrimp

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  12. Seasonal Berry & Spinach Salad with Lemon Shrimp Fettuccine would be great

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  13. the grilled jalapeno shrimp looks good.

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  14. I would like to try the MARGARITA QUESO CHICKEN & SHRIMP

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  15. I'd like to try the Cajun Shrimp Pasta.

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  16. The Garlic Rosemary Chicken.

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  17. The California Shrimp Salad looks great!

    Name on rafflecopter: Mary Happymommy

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  18. The CHICKEN FAJITA ROLLUP sounds delicious right about now!
    bethelderton59 at gmail dot com

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  19. The creamy parmesan chicken looks divine!

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  20. I would love to try the Bourbon Street Chicken & Shrimp. cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  21. I would like to try Lemon Shrimp Fettuccine

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  22. Garlic Rosemary Chicken Pasta

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  23. I would love to try the Lemon Parmesan Shrimp form the Weight Watchers menu. It looks fresh and light.

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  24. I'd do the take two: Green Goddess Wedge Salad and Blackened Sirloin

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  25. the french onion soup!


    ssgsweep s @hotmail .com

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  26. I want to try the Crispy Orange Chicken.

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  27. I'd love to try their buffalo wings

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  28. The Fiesta Lime Chicken appeals to me

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  29. I would like to try Roast Beef, Bacon & Mushroom Melt.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  30. I want to try the Roasted Garlic Sirloin.

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  31. I would love to try the LEMON PARMESAN SHRIMP

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  32. I would love to try the blackened chicken penne.


    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

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  33. I'd love to try the Cajun Shrimp Pasta~

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  34. From the take two menu the Seasonal Berry & Spinach Salad and the Lemon Shrimp Fettuccine sounds awesome!

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  35. Garlic Rosemary Chicken gets my vote! Thanks!

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  36. Fiesta Lime Chicken would be wonderful for summertime!
    Georgiana

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  37. I'd love to try the Grilled Jalapeño-Lime Shrimp

    sksweeps (at) earthlink (dot) net

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  38. I want to try the Lemon Shrimp Fettucine

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  39. The Seasonal Berry & Spinach Salad looks delicious!

    seashell210 at gmail dot com

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  40. The Lemon Shrimp Fettuccine would be great -- it sounds flavorful and refreshing!

    Geoff K
    gkaufmanss at yahoo dot com

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  41. I would like to try the Garlic Rosemary Chicken Pasta.

    rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

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  42. I would like to try the COWBOY BURGER

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  43. New †Blackened Sirloin and
    New green goddess wedge salad

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  44. I would try the Signature Sirloin with Garlic Herb Shrimp.

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  45. I would love to try the GRILLED JALAPEÑO LIME SHRIMP.

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  46. I'd like to try the Oriental Chicken Salad

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  47. i like their boneless wings

    vanitizebaby@yahoo.com

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  48. I'd like to try the Lemon Shrimp Fettuccine

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  49. creamy parm chicken
    kayleefaith1228 at aol dot com

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  50. Garlic Rosemary Chicken

    thank you!

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  51. I would like to try the Zesty Roma Chicken & Shrimp

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  52. I'd love to try the Shrimp Combo Platter!

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  53. I'd like to try the Bourbon Street Chicken & Shrimp.

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  54. I like the Double Glazed Baby Beef Ribs

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  55. I hope the Perfect Margarita's count for this contest :D

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  56. I like pasta so I'd go for the three cheese chicken penne.

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  57. I'd like to try the blackened sirloin.

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  58. I'd like to try the seasonal berry and spinach salad.

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  59. I'd like to have the Caesar salad + lemon shrimp fettuccine! Delish! lexbaylor17 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  60. I would love to try the SIGNATURE SIRLOIN WITH GARLIC HERB SHRIMP. It looks so delicious!

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  61. The steak with garlic shrimp sounds yummy.

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  62. I love their french onion soup

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  63. I would love to try the ROASTED GARLIC SIRLOIN!

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  64. Chicken Wonton Tacos, Grilled Jalapeno Lime Shrimp and the Blackened Tilapia sounds good.

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  65. zesty roma chicken and shrimp

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  66. Garlic parmesan chicken pasta sounds good. chefl@swbell.net

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  67. I'd like to try the Turkey, bacon, & Avocado sandwich!

    demureprincess7(at)gmail(dot)com

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  68. I would love to try the Blackened Chicken Penne!

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  69. I would like to try the shrimp and Parmesan sirloin.

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  70. I want to try Chicken Wonton Tacos.

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  71. The chili cheese nachos look amazing!
    -Nicole Brenay

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  72. Hi, I'd love to try the NEW †4 oz. Blackened Sirloin!

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  73. the Turkey, bacon, & Avocado sandwich!

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  74. I would love to try the blackened Sirloin and the Green Goddess Wedge Salad

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  75. I'd love to try the Grilled Jalapeno Lime Shrimp.
    It's endorsed by Weight Watchers!
    Thank you.

    barbara dot montyj at gmail dot com

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  76. I would like to try the garlic parmesan chicken pasta.

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  77. I would love to try the Roasted Garlic Sirloin. It sounds yummy. Thank you!
    crystalfaulkner2000 at yahoo dot com

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  78. I would like the Creamy Parmesan Chicken

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  79. I have been a fan of their Fiesta Lime chicken since it was called Tequila Lime chicken!

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  80. I would love to try the Creamy Parmesan chicken

    karenb834atyahoo.com

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  81. I'd like to try the Double Glazed Baby Back Ribs. Looks good!

    lovetosweep73(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  82. I really want to try the Creamy Parmesan Chicken...that really sounds good to me! Thanks so much for hosting this giveaway!

    Eloise
    furygirl3132[at]comcast[dot]net

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  83. I like several things on their menu. I haven't tried the American BLT salad yet. That sounds good.

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  84. I like the french onion soup and the ribs

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  85. Heather Hayes PanjonJune 28, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    I'd Love To Try The Seasonal Berry & Spinach Salad !

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  86. ROASTED GARLIC SIRLOIN sounds good

    freebiel0ve@yahoo.com

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  87. I'd love to try the Double Glazed Baby Back Ribs

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  88. ROASTED GARLIC SIRLOIN

    kport207 at gmail dot com

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  89. I'd try the Turkey, bacon, & Avocado sandwich. I love to eat out.

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  90. I really want to try the lemon parm shirmp.

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  91. The Brew Pub Pretzels and Beer Cheese Dip sound fun.

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  92. Green Goddess Wedge Salad and any of the newer light fare meals.Yum.

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  93. I would love to try the GRILLED JALAPEÑO LIME SHRIMP. YUM!

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  94. The blackened chicken penne! yum!

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  95. Quesadilla burger.
    Thanks for the chance.
    mogrill12@gmail.com

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  96. i would love to try the ribs - looks so amazing

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  97. LEMON SHRIMP FETTUCCINE looks great :)
    vac 924 at gmail dot com

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  98. Lemon Shrimp Fettuccine!

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  99. Creamy parmasian chicken please!!

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  100. I want to try the Zesty Roma Chicken and Shrimp!

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  101. I'd love to try their crunchy onion rings.

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  102. I'd love to try the Lemon Shrimp Fettucini.


    Desiree Dunbar
    desireedunbar@hotmail.com

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  103. Zesty Roma Chicken and shrimp from the 500 calorie menu would be something I'd like to try.

    I wish they'd bring back the Shrimp Diavalo from their menu. It was great.

    asketcher2@hotmail.com

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  104. The roasted garlic sirloin!

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  105. I'd like to try their cheddar bacon burger.

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  106. I would love to try the Lemon Shrimp Fettuccine. Thanks

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  107. I like the sound of trying the NEW Applebee's blackened sirloin and
    garlic rosemary chicken pasta yum!! Thanks! great review Happy 4th of July!!
    sewitupjulie@gmail.com

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  108. the zesty roma chicken and shrimp

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  109. I want to try the appetizer sampler.

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  110. I would love to try the Double-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

    rtrexel@gmail.com

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  111. I like the NEW †4 oz. Blackened Sirloin

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  112. Bourbon Street Chicken & Shrimp looks good

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  113. creamy parmesan chicken is my hearts desire

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  114. I would like the SIGNATURE SIRLOIN WITH GARLIC HERB SHRIMP :)

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  115. The Four-Cheese Grille sandwich looks delish!

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  116. I would love to try the Roasted Garlic Sirloin that is on the under 550 calories section of the menu. Yum! It looks like really good food.

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  117. the NAPA CHICKEN & PORTOBELLOS

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  118. I would like the bourbon black and bleu burger.

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  119. I'm looking forward to trying the new blackened sirloin and garlic rosemary chicken pasta

    daddonut at yahoo dot com

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  120. I would love the creamy parmesean chicken!
    pauline15_01(at)hotmail

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  121. I would like to try the lemon shrimp fettuccine.

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  122. cheddar bacon burger sounds good - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

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  123. The Lemon Shrimp fettucine looks so good.
    lorenalke@yahoo.com

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  124. I would really like to try the Blackened Sirloin & Garlicky Green Beans. :-) Thank you.

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  125. I want to try the Creamy Parmesan Chicken.
    dragonflygar at gmail dot com

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  126. the MARGARITA QUESO CHICKEN & SHRIMP

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  127. I would like to try the Turkey, Bacon & Avocado sandwich

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  128. I would love to try the creamy parmesan chicken
    Vickie
    vmorgan456 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  129. I want to try the Fiesta Chicken Chopped Salad . It seems like the perfect summer entree and it looks so tasty!!

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  130. I love burgers, and I'd want the Cheddar Bacon Burger.

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  131. I would love to try the signature sirloin with garlic herb shrimp.

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  132. The BOURBON BLACK & BLEU BURGER
    ahedden12atgmail.com

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  133. I want to try the signature sirloin with garlic herb shrimp

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  134. blackened salmon

    eddingsfamily@prodigy.net

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  135. I want to try the California Shrimp Salad
    jcabeansatyahoodotcom

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  136. I'd like to try the White Peach Sangria and California Shrimp Salad.

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  137. I would love to try the Margarita Queso Chicken & Shrimp

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  138. margarita queso chicken and shrimp

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  139. I would love to try the Chicken Wonton Tacos.

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  140. i would like to try the triple chocolate meltdown

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  141. I'm in a sweet state of mind so I would love to try the Blue Ribbon Brownie

    morganowl28 at gmail dot com

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  142. NEW †4 oz. Blackened Sirloin & Seasonal Berry & Spinach Salad

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  143. I'd like to try the Grilled Jalapeño Lime Shrimp.

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  144. Garlic parmesan chicken pasta
    Brittney House BBrittBrat1398@yahoo.com

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  145. I like Shrimp 'N Parmesan Sirloin!

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  146. I would LOVE the triple chocolate meltdown
    addictedtorodeo at gmail dot com

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  147. I would love to try the creamy parmesan chicken.

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  148. Fiesta Chicken Chopped
    vmkids3 at msn dot com

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  149. I would love to try the lemon parmesan shrimp.

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  150. I love their chicken fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy! Its so good!
    vikki.billings@yahoo.com

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  151. California Shrimp Salad !!!

    Rafflecopter: Bryan E.

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