I LOVE when I get together with the #NorthIowaBloggers! Everytime we get together, attend a function, or plan something it’s always a different conglomeration of people and it’s always a good time! This past Monday was no different. Thanks to Val of Corn, Beans, Pigs, & Kids (even though she ended up not being able to make it) a group of us gathered at the Mason City, Iowa Applebee’s location for a #BeesMeetup. We warned Applebees via social media that we were coming for them and boy were they ready for us. They were ready not only on their social media platforms, but also the staff at the restaurant was ready for us! Thankfully (not sure if it was for us or them) we had an inside hook-up with Loni of Lifestyles of the Pantsless. Loni is a part-time waitress at Applebees and
warned prepped the staff for our arrival. The manager of the Mason City location was also kind enough to treat us to 9
different types of appetizers from their menu! (Yes, there is only a few more and by ordering we ended up tasting every single one of them!) The staff was attentive, efficient, courteous, and very tolerable of our group with our chit chat, Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming, and requests for pictures!
Now, the food!! The food was absolutely delicious as always! I have always been a big fan of Applebees and so help me…if they EVER get rid of Fiesta Lime Chicken, there will be hell to pay!! I crave that dish and usually only order it when I visit their locations! One of the things that has impressed me the most about Applebees recently is their dedication for keeping their menu fresh and updated. While they still have a lot of their standards, they now offer their new Pub Diet and are always adding fresh, healthy, and innovative items to their menu! Jenny of Loot By Louise had a chicken dish with chopped apples on the top, cranberries, and quinoa! Yes! At a chain restaurant!
Like I said, we tried 9, actually 10 appetizers, which included mozzarella sticks, pot stickers, fried green beans (my choice), onion rings, their new pretzels, bone-in wings, some sort of shrimp dish (I don’t do shrimp), sweet potato fries, quesadilla, and spinach artichoke dip! I didn’t try the wings (I don’t do bone-in) or the shrimp, but everything else was delicious! I picked the green beans as they have been a favorite of mine since I worked at Pakoda’s Steakhouse in Hampton and Applebee’s version didn’t disappoint! I also really enjoyed their sweet potato fries and was very impressed (at my first sampling) of their pot stickers and the pretzels (I will be back for more pretzels)!
On to the entrée! While none of us were too hungry after all those appetizers, I can’t go toApplebees and not order my beloved entrée! As it turned out, Beth Ann of It’s Just Life has the same love affair that I do with the dish, so we opted to do the 2 for $20 offerings where we both got the Fiesta Lime Chicken and an order of onion rings to share with the group! I love that Applebees offers such deals like this as frequently T and I utilize that menu as it saves us a few dollars! Considering the size of our group…and that there were several other patrons in the restaurant, I was impressed at how fast the food arrived to our table and piping hot at that! My plate was a pile of chicken, fiesta lime sauce, rice, crispy tortilla strips, and melted cheese goodness…just how I like it!! Obviously I was so full from the taste test part of our evening, that I only ate about half my chicken and didn’t touch the rice! Thankfully, our great waitress Anna, accommodated all of us with take-home boxes!
At the end of the night, my tummy was full, my heart was happy and yet ached at the same time! I couldn’t help but miss dear Amy deeply that night! I thought about how she would have loved that our group was there, chatting, and making social media news (check out Sara of All In An Iowa Mom’s Day post about our #BeesMeetup HERE), and being the group of friends that we are! I know she was there and smiling down on us all, but…I wish she had physically been there!
None-the-less, my heart was happy! I got to spend time with some of the greatest ladies in my life! And, we got to enjoy Applebees outstanding menu and superior service in the meantime! Next time you see an Applebees, stop in and give them a try! They might surprise you!
Bloggers that attended the night as well, but that I haven’t already previously mentioned were:
Jeni of Jeni Eats
Joy of Living Life Joyfully!
Jessica of Belong Create
Laura of Cat Tales With Laura
And don’t forget to Comment for a Cause: Remembering Baby D!