The new and improved incarnation of Chowhound has carved out a board dedicated to chain restaurants. I'm sure it was a separating wheat from the chaff move, as many foodies take the topic as a personal affront. I just love that there's a forum with such focus.
Apparently, Ruby Tuesday is coming to Times Square next spring. Currently, the nearest location is in Elizabeth, NJ, also home to NYC's closest Ikea. I don't have particularly strong feelings about Ruby Tuesday, it's not a restaurant I grew up with or have any emotional attachment to. On my first ever visit just a few months ago, I threw up in the bathroom (not due to their food but now the connotation between RT and puke is hard to erase). I've always thought of it as an oddball chain, kind of outside the Olive Garden, Applebee's canon, people are very fond of their burgers.
Speaking of feeling good in the neighborhood, Tyler Florence and his "huge flavors" is Applebee's new gimmick which doesn't surprise me in the least. Did Tyler ever strike anyone as highbrow in the first place? I'm not clear on how much name and face recognition he has, though. Is he even in the Rachael Ray/Emeril eschelon? No matter, that bruschetta burger speaks for itself.
I realize the time is long past to mourn the loss of favorite (or even not-so-favorite) songs to commercial jingles. When Of Montreal's "Wraith Pinned to the Mist" gets turned into an Outback Steakhouse shill, nothing's shocking. But I was mildly put off by Kohl's appropriating Big Country's only U.S. hit to advertise mediocre clothing (I've only been to Kohl's once and it wasn't very memorable) with this ad campaign using catch phrase signage like Transformation Road, Transformation Place and Transformation Trail interspersed with a pregnant woman making a bed and marriage proposal from some guy in a velvet blazer. God rest poor Stuart Adamson's soul.