Ah, the 1990s. It was a time of Beanie Babies and Blockbuster, of Saved by the Bell and slap bracelets. It was a decade that embraced Nirvana and Hanson equally—and that is truly something special. But besides the toys, TV shows, movies, and music, there was the food. And we’re not just talking snacks like Dunkaroos and Fruit by the Foot. It’s time to look back at the failed restaurant chains where so many children of the ’90s spent their Saturday nights or special birthday celebrations.

Sadly, many of these 1990s chain restaurants have gone the way of the Discman and Tamagotchis—forgotten about and discarded. So, if Planet Hollywood, The Official All Star Cafe, or Kenny Rogers Roasters had a special place in your heart, it’s time to pour one out for your favorite failed restaurant chains of the 1990s.


Planet Hollywood

Planet hollywoodShutterstock

In the 1990s, restaurants became a source of star-studded entertainment in and of themselves. Case in point? Planet Hollywood.

The first Planet Hollywood opened in New York City in 1991, backed by Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Soon, it found the support of Whoopi Goldberg, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Don Johnson, Melanie Griffith, Tom Arnold, Roseanne Barr, Wesley Snipes, and Danny Glover. Is there a more ’90s list of people than that?

Planet Hollywoods popped up everywhere. There were nearly 90 worldwide during the chain’s heyday in the mid-1990s, as The Telegraph reported. But now, only nine remain. “I am disappointed that the company did not continue with the success I had expected and hoped for,” Schwarzenegger said in 2001.

We feel ya, Terminator. After all, who doesn’t miss looking at the “famous” film props that adorned these restaurants and wondering, “What movie is that even from?”


Hard Rock Café

Hard rock caféHard Rock Cafe Nice/Facebook

Before there was Planet Hollywood, there was the original memorabilia-filled restaurant chain: Hard Rock Café. Of course, this one was all about the music, as opposed to the movies. And in the ’90s, if you didn’t have a shirt from the Hard Rock Café you visited in Fort Lauderdale, your friends may have wondered if you even went to Florida.

Of the 61 locations Hard Rock boasted at its peak in the mid- to late-’90s, a third have closed their doors. As CBS News reported in 2010, “Negative comments about the menu and slow service are legion online. ‘Friends don’t let friends eat at Hard Rock!’” Ah, how the times have changed.


The Official All Star Cafe

The official all star cafe@steviep187/Flickr

Some of the biggest celebrity athletes of the ’90s were behind The Official All Star Cafe. Shaquille O’Neal, Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana, Monica Seles, Ken Griffey, Jr., and Andre Agassi were just some of the high-profile investors. The chain, which was owned by Planet Hollywood, first popped up in New York in 1995.

But, as The New York Times reported in 1998, the novelty of themed restaurants took a sharp downward turn toward the end of the decade. The following year, Planet Hollywood filed for bankruptcy—and The Official All Star Cafe went down with it. Nowadays, if you want to overspend on hamburgers and chicken wings while watching your favorite team, you have to head to an actual sports arena.


Kenny Rogers Roasters

Kenny rogers roastersShutterstock

Kenny Rogers Roasters was another celebrity-backed chain restaurant, but this one was all about country music and homestyle chicken. The chain grew to over 400 restaurants worldwide by the mid-’90s, and it’s perhaps most famous for its appearance in a 1996 episode of Seinfeld, aptly titled “The Chicken Roaster.”

America’s most popular TV series featured Kramer waging war on Kenny Rogers Roasters for hanging a neon sign that keeps him up all night. But in the end, he abandons his cause after becoming hooked on the delicious rotisserie chicken. Basically, it was the best publicity Kenny Rogers Roasters could’ve asked for. Though the chain was popular enough to make it onto Seinfeld in the first place, ultimately, Kenny Rogers Roasters went bankrupt in 1998.

A Malaysian company bought the chain restaurant and keeps Kenny Rogers Roasters alive and well in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, and Thailand, but there are no more Kenny Rogers Roaster in North America. Sorry, Kramer.



ESPN zoneAdrienne D./Yelp

Kids from the 1990s who grew up near a major city had the glory of experiencing ESPN Zone, yet another themed entertainment restaurant that cropped up in 1998. It was a bit like Dave & Buster’s with its concept—video games and food in one centralized location—but with the addition of a sports-bar-for-the-whole-family vibe. But it turns out, that concept wasn’t good enough to last.

All of ESPN Zone’s nine locations—in Atlanta, Disneyland, Baltimore, Denver, Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.—have closed now. “One of the things we talked about was when you’re in the zone it’s a special experience. Sometimes it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” the general manager of ESPN Zone told The Baltimore Sun in 1998. “It’s an experience you don’t want to leave because you may not get back there real soon.” So sad, yet so true.


Steak and Ale

Steak and aleSteak and Ale's Comeback/Facebook

This Texas steakhouse restaurant first opened in the 1960s, and it remained an independent chain throughout the Dallas area. Steak and Ale was a local hit, offering New York strip and herb-roasted prime rib for prices as low as the watts of the bulbs in its dimly-lit restaurants.

After Pillsbury bought Steak and Ale in the ’80s, the chain went national with 280 locations. And if you visited a Steak and Ale in the mid-’90s, you probably remember it for its special early evening menu, with even lower prices and a free drink and dessert. But competition grew fierce in the casual-dining chain arena. By 2008, we all said goodbye to “The Best Steakhouse in Town” as Steak and Ales nationwide closed down.

“The salad bar was the best thing ever,” said one faithful Michigan Steal and Ale customer. “The bread was honey wheat roll bread with sesame seeds on it with butter that tasted like ice cream. It was delicious. … Now I have to find another restaurant. What am I gonna do?” The struggle is real.


Rainforest Cafe

Rainforest cafeShutterstock

If you were lucky enough to adventure into a Rainforest Cafe, which first opened at the Mall of America in Minnesota in 1994, then you know all about its glory. From the massive aquarium entry to those “storms” that would interrupt your meal every 20 minutes, the Rainforest Cafe really was something to behold. And if your meal didn’t end with a sparkling chocolate volcano, you were doing something seriously wrong.

Like all the other themed restaurants you’ve read about here, Rainforest Cafe struggled to maintain its luster. Only about half of its U.S. locations still exist today.

After all, it’s expensive operating a rainforest. The San Francisco location’s former director of operations location told The Examiner that there is an entire control room that’s used to monitor all the animatronic animals. “It’s not like if a sink is backed up, you can just call a plumber,” he said. “If a gorilla’s arm stops working, we need someone right here who can fix it immediately.” Gorillas make running a restaurant pretty hard, it turns out.


Casa Bonita

Casa bonitaCasa Bonita Denver/Facebook

You may recognize Casa Bonita from your ’90s youth if you’re from Oklahoma, Colorado, Arkansas, or Texas. If not, then you probably recall South Park’s legendary take on the Mexican-themed restaurant chain. But either way, Casa Bonita definitely brings back memories.

In the 2003 episode, Kyle excludes Cartman from his birthday dinner at the famed Mexican chain, and Cartman will stop at no lengths to get an invite. That storyline was relatable to a select group of ’90s kids—and the show’s co-creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, knew it. “That was your dream as a kid, to be able to go to Casa Bonita for your birthday,” Colorado native Parker said of the episode.

Sadly, all the Casa Bonitas closed by 2011, except for one. So if you’re lucky enough to live near Lakewood, Colorado, check out the last casa standing.


Little Tavern

Little tavernOld Time D.C./Facebook

Little Tavern was a chain of charming, cottage-style restaurants that felt like a home away from home for many children of the ’90s in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area. Back in the day, as your grandparents probably told you, their claim to fame was their 5¢ burgers that you could buy “by the bagful.”

Six decades after its start in the 1920s, Little Tavern had grown to nearly 40 locations. After the regional chain was bought out in the 1980s, things took a turn. And by the mid-1990s, Little Tavern suffered financial issues and these local favorites started closing one by one.

The last one to cave shut down in 2008, but in 2003, its sliders were still only 85¢. With prices like that, what child of any era wouldn’t have loved Little Tavern?



Chi-Chi'sA Tribute to Chi Chi's Mexican Restaurant/Facebook

Children of the ’90s probably remember Chi-Chi’s fondly for its chimichangas and fried ice cream. This Mexican restaurant chain first opened in Minnesota in the 1970s, but at its peak in the mid-1990s, it had 210 locations nationwide.

But that reign ended pretty abruptly. Kids from the ’90s may also remember they had to stop frequenting Chi’s-Chi’s because the place went down in flames in 2003. Its demise involved filing for bankruptcy, a series of lawsuits, and the largest Hepatitis A outbreak in the country (courtesy of some contaminated onions). The outbreak left four dead and affected over 650 others. That was the end of Chi-Chi’s—and rightfully so.


Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse

Charlie brown's steakhouseCourtesy of Charlie Brown's

Kids today probably don’t know the glory of a salad bar, many of which have been deemed unsanitary. But ’90s kids in the New Jersey area knew there was no salad bar as delicious as the one at Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse. Sure, the steak was great. But it was all about that salad bar.

Though business was booming throughout the ’90s—and Charlie Brown’s expanded to New York and Pennsylvania—the chain filed for bankruptcy and closed most of its locations by 2011. Today, 16 Charlie Brown’s still remain in New York and New Jersey. So if you’re in the area, bring younger millennials on over so they too can feel the joy of plastic tongs in their hands as they select crispy veggie toppings for their side salads.


Hot ‘n Now

Hot 'n nowBring Back Hot'n'Now to Wisconsin Now/Facebook

Californians may have had In-N-Out, but if you grew up in Michigan, it was all about the Hot ‘n Now. The Midwestern drive-through chain that began in 1984 grew to over 150 locations at its peak in the mid-1990s. That’s in part because in 1990, Hot ‘n Now was acquired by Pepsi and expanded into 15 different states all over the country. Soon, everyone was able to experience the glory of olives as a burger topping.

But by the 2000s, Hot ‘n Now was forced to close two-thirds of its locations. Today, only one last restaurant remains in Sturgis, Michigan. As the Lansing State Journal reported, “There are no longer 39-cent menu items, but patrons can buy burgers, fries, and drinks for about $1.” And yes, that includes the olive burger.


Bob’s Big Boy

Bob's big boyShutterstock

Sorry, Big Mac, but the original double-decker burger came from Bob’s Big Boy all the way back in 1937. At its peak in the ’60s, this California-based chain had 750 restaurants across the country.

The Beatles even hit up the Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank, which was the coolest to children of the ’60s. But for ’90s kids, Bob’s Big Boy had a very different significance. In the 1997 hit movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, the restaurant’s mascot—literally, a big boy—was famously launched into space.

Despite its iconic status, the beloved California burger chain went under in the 2000s. After being revamped in the late 2000s, Bob’s came back a little bit, and the chain now has more than 80 locations in California and the Midwest. So Bob and his big boy are still kickin’ it on this earth.


Pizza Haven

Pizza havenPizza Haven/Facebook

This dial-a-pizza restaurant chain from Seattle was one of the very first to make home deliveries, beginning in 1958. With 42 locations in California and the Pacific Northwest, the future was looking bright for Pizza Haven.

But as competition flared up from other chains, like Pizza Hut and Domino’s, Pizza Haven struggled to keep up. They ultimately filed for bankruptcy by the late 1990s.

On the Pizza Haven Facebook page, fans still wax poetic about the chain’s glory days. “I remember the great pizza deals the Mariners had on the back of their tickets,” one man wrote. “Used to order the extra large and not share it with my sisters.” Big brothers in the ’90s really were just like Buzz from Home Alone.


Mighty Casey’s

Mighty Casey'sColin T./Yelp

Starting in the 1980s, Mighty Casey’s began popping up in Atlanta, Georgia, serving your classic American comfort foods: burgers, hot dogs, cheese steaks, and chicken wings.

Though they did have a few locations, the restaurant chain’s life was short. Krystal bought them out in 1994, so the majority of Mighty Casey’s got turned into Krystals instead. Mighty Casey’s might’ve struck out, but Atlantans remember them fondly. “I remember them for their chili dogs,” one person wrote on a message board in 2007. “I miss Mighty Casey’s,” another concluded.


Geri’s Hamburgers

Geri's hamburgersDavid Wilson/Flickr

A former vice president of McDonald’s opened Geri’s Hamburgers in 1962, and he wasn’t shy about following the same model. After all, Geri’s mascot looked suspiciously like the original representative for McDonald’s, Mr. Speedee.

Despite the lack of originality, Geri’s grew in popularity in Illinois and Wisconsin—and had quite the cult following. But ultimately, these hamburgers just couldn’t compete, and the last location in Beloit, Wisconsin, closed in 1999. If you were a Geri’s fan, you can show your love with this T-shirt. Or reach out to the Yelp reviewer, who wrote: “Was the best of all time! We should start a campaign to bring back Geri’s.” You two could get that petition going.


Roy Rogers

Roy rogersRoy Rogers/Facebook

If you were lucky enough to still have a Roy Rogers near you in the 1990s, chances are high you were a serious devotee. As one Baltimore reporter noted, “It was a favorite of mine as a kid—so much so that I had a birthday dinner there once.”

In 1990, Marriott sold the fried chicken chain, which was originally RoBee’s House of Beef when it first began in 1968 in Indiana, to Hardee’s. Their attempt to turn Roy Rogers into Hardee’s, as one blogger notes, “ended in a customer revolt so serious that they actually aborted the whole idea and returned the Roy Rogers brand to some stores initially converted.”

Of the nearly 650 Roy Rogers that once existed in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states in the 1970s and ’80s, only 140 still stood by the mid-’90s. So if you could get your hands on a biscuit, fried chicken, and mashed potatoes, you considered yourself lucky. And if you were a burger lover or a fan of the Gold Rush fried chicken sandwich, you absolutely loved hitting up the Fixin’s Bar for all your topping needs.

Ownership has changed hands a few more times in the past three decades, and now there are 55 Roy Rogers locations. Still a far cry from its peak, but good to know that those biscuits are out there. “When we open up again people are like, ‘Oh my God, Roy Rogers is back. I used to love that as a kid,’” Roy Rogers co-president Jim Plamondon told Eater. Indeed we did.

The post 17 Failed Chain Restaurants From the 1990s That Will Make You Feel So Nostalgic appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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You may think products that are lactose-free and dairy-free are the same thing, but they’re actually completely different. This is important to know for those with diet restrictions so that they don’t accidentally eat something that their body doesn’t respond well to.

To uncover the difference between the two terms, we consulted Amanda Blechman, a registered dietitian and senior manager of scientific affairs at Danone North America. Here’s what she had to say about the lactose-free vs. dairy-free debate.

What does it mean when a product says it’s dairy-free?

“Dairy-free means that a product does not contain milk or ingredients derived from milk,” says Blechman. For example, think of a plant-based yogurt or an alternative to milk such as oat milk.

Products that are dairy-free typically don’t contain as much protein as the dairy variety would because milk is naturally high in protein. Just one 8-ounce glass has roughly 8 grams of protein. For comparison, an 8-ounce glass of Silk Almond Milk only contains one gram of protein. People who are following a vegan lifestyle or who just don’t like the taste of milk opt for dairy-free products. Blechman offers some insight on how these dairy-free items differ from their dairy counterparts.

“While there are many dairy-free alternatives available, people considering dairy-free alternatives should look at the label to make sure they are getting the nutrients they are looking for,” she says. “For example, calcium and vitamin D are two extremely important nutrients often found in dairy products. Now, many dairy alternatives are also fortified with these nutrients as well to help consumers better meet their recommended daily intake levels while sticking to their dietary preferences.”

What does it mean when a product says it’s lactose-free?

“Lactose is the main source of naturally occurring sugar in milk and other dairy products,” Blechman says. “People who have lactose intolerance are not able to digest lactose well.”

In other words, when someone says they have a lactose intolerance, this does not mean they have an allergy to milk. Products that are lactose-free still have dairy in them, but without milk’s sugar, lactose. Lactose is either removed by adding the enzyme lactase to milk or by using an ultrafiltration technique.

“Some dairy products contain less lactose than others, such as yogurt, in which most of the lactose is converted into lactase by the yogurt cultures,” Blechman says. So those who are lactose-free but still like to reap the protein benefits from a dairy-based yogurt can indulge without having to worry about experiencing adverse reactions.

However, people who have a milk allergy should not consume lactose-free products at all, and they should stick to dairy-free products.

“While people who experience intolerance to lactose may enjoy these products, the FDA makes it clear that this label does not protect a person who is allergic to dairy products,” says Blechman. “If someone is looking to avoid dairy, they should look for products that are specifically labeled dairy-free.”

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It seems that crepes were invented for the sole purpose of housing fresh banana slices and hazelnut-chocolate—at least, that’s what will be on your mind as you knife and fork your way through one of these simple but oh-so-decadent sweet treats.

The truth is, dessert crepes of all stripes are special stuff, but nothing quite makes sense like this combination. Nutella, the Italian chocolate-hazelnut spread you might already be obsessed with, is widely available in supermarkets stateside, even though it’s more of a European treat, but even standard chocolate sauce will evoke fits of uncontrollable pleasure here.

Let’s be real though: Nothing compares to Nutella, so get yourself a jar and get to cooking up these ooey gooey crepes!

260 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated), 18 g sugar

Serves 4

You’ll Need

Butter for the crepes
1⁄4 cup Nutella
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

For the crepe batter 

1/2 cup flour
1 large egg
1 Tbsp melted butter
Pinch of salt
6 Tbsp low-fat milk
1/4 cup water

How to Make It

  1. Heat a 10″ nonstick pan over medium heat. Add enough butter to coat, then add 2 tablespoons of the crepe batter and swirl the pan to cover it in a thin, even film (use a rubber spatula to help, if needed).
  2. Cook on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes, until the bottom takes on a deep golden brown color. Flip and slather a tablespoon of the Nutella down the middle of the crepe, then top with a scant quarter of the banana slices.
  3. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer, until the bottom is golden brown.
  4. Fold the crepe sides over the filling and slip onto a plate.
  5. Top with a few slices of banana and a shake of confectioners’ sugar if you like.
  6. Repeat to make three more crepes.

Eat This Tip

We can all agree that Nutella is delicious. Bananas are a great go-to pairing, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying a few new mix-ins. Here are a few recommendations to mix and match as you like. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwis
  • Blackberries
  • Walnuts (for a little extra crunch)
  • Brie


The post Easiest Homemade Banana-Nutella Crepe Recipe appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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If you are craving some mouth-watering Southwestern-inspired flavor, Chili’s is definitely the kind of restaurant for you, as this popular chain fills your plate with delicious tacos, quesadillas, and sizzling fajitas. And while a well-deserved margarita and a plate of nachos may sound tempting after a long week at work, it’s important to know that you’ll want to go through the Chili’s menu carefully if you are watching your waistline, as some items (no matter how tasty!) contain high amounts of sodium, fat, and cholesterol.

To help you order the right items off the Chili’s menu, we spoke to the experts, seeking out wisdom from nutritionists and dietitians about the best and worst appetizers, salads, and steak options available on the menu. Below are some of the meal choices they advise ordering the next time you pay a visit to this Tex-Mex restaurant—and which ones you should avoid eating.


Best: Margherita Flatbread

Margherita flatbreadCourtesy of Chili's

1,420 calories, 107 g fat (42 g saturated fat), 2,210 mg sodium, 62 g carbs (4 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 52 g protein

“The Margherita Flatbread is the best choice in the appetizer category, though it’s still high in calories,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Kelsey Peoples, MS, RDN. Because the rest of the menu is heavy on the cheese and fried ingredients, she explains that this option stands out as a lighter app choice thanks to its fresh pico de gallo topping.

Worst: Texas Cheese Fries; Full Order

Texas cheese friesCourtesy of Chili's

1,860 calories, 127 g fat (58 g saturated fat), 3,880 mg sodium, 97 g carbs (8 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 81 g protein

The Texas Cheese Fries may seem tempting, but Peoples explains that this appetizer will set you back more than 1,800 calories, many of which come from fat. In addition, she notes that the whopping 127 grams of fat in this dish alone make it an appetizer to definitely avoid.

Big Mouth Burgers

Best: Oldtimer Beef Burger, Without Side of Fries

Oldtimer beef burgerCourtesy of Chili's

890 calories, 55 g fat (24 g saturated fat), 1,450 mg sodium, 47 g carbs (2 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 51 g protein

“The Oldtimer Beef Burger is the best in the category because it keeps the high-calorie add-ons to a minimum,” Peoples explains. She advises sticking to low-cal toppings such as raw onion, tomatoes, and pickles for more flavor without any added calories.

Worst: Boss Beef Burger

Boss beef burgerCourtesy of Chili's

1,660 calories, 115 g fat (46 g saturated fat), 2,880 mg sodium, 53 g carbs (2 g fiber, 18 g sugar), 103 g protein

The Boss Burger is the equivalent of several entrées thrown on top of a burger, Peoples says, because it includes brisket, ribs, and sausage. “All of that meat adds up to 115 grams of fat, 46 of which are saturated, the unhealthy kind that’s linked to heart disease,” she explains.


Best: Original BBQ, Half Rack

Original bbq ribsCourtesy of Chili's

710 calories, 53 g fat (20 g saturated fat), 960 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (0 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 49 g protein

“Choosing a half rack of ribs is a great way to satisfy your cravings without overeating,” Peoples explains. The Original BBQ half rack is about 700 calories, and without additional sauces or rubs, you save yourself additional sodium and added sugars, she says. And when it comes time to choose sides, she advises aiming for vegetable-based dishes, including asparagus with roasted tomatoes or steamed broccoli.

Worst: Dry Rubbed Ribs, Full Rack

Dry rubbed ribsCourtesy of Chili's

1,480 calories, 107 g fat (41 g saturated fat), 5,120 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (3 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 99 g protein

“Dry rubs are notorious for their high salt content, and this full rack of Dry Rubbed ribs is by far the worst,” Peoples suggests. Not only will you get 5,120 milligrams sodium (that’s more than double the daily recommendation of 2,300 milligrams or less) just from this order alone, but she says that adding on high-calorie sides like loaded mashed potatoes or French fries will add more fat and sodium to this dish.


Best: Classic Sirloin, 6 oz

Classic sirloinCourtesy of Chili's

680 calories, 37 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 1,910 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (8 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 48 g protein

Peoples says that the six-ounce Classic Sirloin is a win-win, as it is portion-controlled and is relatively lean compared to other steaks on the menu. “Adding a healthy side like a salad, roasted tomatoes, or avocado slices will add important nutrients to the dish,” she recommends.

Worst: Classic Ribeye

Classic ribeyeCourtesy of Chili's

1,050 calories, 64 g fat (24 g saturated fat), 2,720 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (8 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 81 g protein

“The Classic Ribeye contains 64 total grams of fat, 24 of which are saturated,” Peoples explains. You should aim to always avoid saturated fats, she adds, as they are linked to high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease—and this dish’s saturated fat content is just sky-high.


Best: Seared Shrimp Fajita

Seared shrimp fajitaCourtesy of Chili's

280 calories, 12 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 2,740 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (3 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 25 g protein

Peoples says that the Seared Shrimp Fajita is the lowest calorie choice in this category, and with all of the vegetables served alongside it, she says that’s what makes it a good choice for a filling entrée.

Worst: Mushroom Jack Fajita

Mushroom jack fajitaCourtesy of Chili's

670 calories, 40 g fat (18 g saturated fat), 2,820 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (5 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 54 g protein

The mushroom Jack fajita is pretty deceitful, according to Peoples, as it looks healthy at first glance with its grilled chicken and veggies. But don’t be fooled—it’s actually loaded with unhealthy fats from the amount of cheese combined with bacon.


Best: Caesar Salad

Caesar saladCourtesy of Chili's

240 calories, 19 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 410 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 5 g protein

“Though Caesar dressing is often loaded with fat, other salads on the menu actually have far more fat, making this dish the winner in the category,” Peoples says.

Worst: Quesadilla Explosion Salad

Quesadilla explosion saladCourtesy of Chili's

1,400 calories, 93 g fat (28 g saturated fat), 2,390 mg sodium, 81 g carbs (9 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 6 g protein

“The Quesadilla Explosion Salad has a whopping 1,400 calories with 93 grams of fat, making it anything but a light choice,” Peoples says. She recommends skipping this choice altogether and choosing another salad off the list instead for the nutritional benefits without the high-calorie punch.

Guiltless Grill

Best: Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled chicken saladCourtesy of Chili's

430 calories, 23 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 1,140 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (4 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 36 g protein

“This meal contains a high amount of sodium, but its modest 430 calories and 36 grams of protein won’t ruin your health or weight-loss goals altogether,” says Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Tammy Lakatos RDN, CDN, CFT, the Nutrition Twins.

Worst: Margarita Grilled Chicken

Margarita grilled chickenCourtesy of Chili's

630 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 2,550 mg sodium, 67 g carbs (7 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 53 g protein

“This dish may be on the guilt-free grill list, but the 630 calories is more than you may bargain for if you’re expecting a light, healthy meal,” Tammy and Lyssie Lakatos suggest. While this meal is higher in protein and lower in fat than the other dishes, they explain that the issue is that it doesn’t have any vegetables. In addition, they note that this meal contains more sodium than the maximum 2,300 milligrams you should get in your entire day.

Tacos & Quesadillas

Best: Spicy Shrimp Tacos

Spicy shrimp tacosCourtesy of Chili's

1,000 calories, 46 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 3,540 mg sodium, 105 g carbs (12 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 37 g protein

Even though these tacos contain a half day’s worth of calories, Tammy and Lyssie Lakatos suggest that this choice is far lower in calories than any of the other options in the category. Additionally, they point out how this dish contains the lowest amount of total fat at 46 grams.

Worst: Bacon Ranch Chicken Quesadillas

Quesadilla bacon ranch steakCourtesy of Chili's

1,850 calories, 140 g fat (48 g saturated fat), 295 mg sodium, 69 g carbs (4 g fiber, 10 g protein), 82 g protein

At 1,850 calories, this meal is 150 calories shy of meeting the suggested daily allowance of 2,000 calories. “This meal also has 48 grams of saturated fat, which is more than two times over the 20-gram maximum recommended per day,” Tammy and Lyssie Lakatos explain.


Best: Buffalo Chicken Ranch Sandwich

Buffalo chicken ranch sandwichCourtesy of Chili's

880 calories, 48 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 2,780 mg sodium, 69 g carbs (3 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 42 g protein

“You may be surprised to see this sandwich on the best list, but with only three options, it was lowest in calories,” Tammy and Lyssie Lakatos explain. The good news is it has only nine grams of saturated fat and no trans fat.

Worst: Bacon Avocado Chicken Sandwich

Bacon avocado chicken sandwichCourtesy of Chili's

1,140 calories, 60 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 2,670 mg sodium, 74 g carbs (9 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 79 g protein

Tammy and Lyssie Lakatos emphasize that this sandwich is the highest calorie option in the category, as nearly half the calories come from fat. And while they love protein-rich meals, they note that 79 grams of protein in one sitting is a bit excessive, especially considering that’s more protein than many women should get in their entire day.

Smokehouse Combos

Best: Regular Combo with Smoked Brisket + Crispers, With Side Of Steamed Broccoli

Smokehouse comboCourtesy of Chili's

1,235 calories, 70 g fat (20 g saturated fat), 2,890 mg sodium, 82 g carbs (11 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 72 g protein

“It’s hard to really make a Smokehouse Combo healthier, but it’s definitely possible,” says registered holistic nutritionists Jenni Bourque and Mirna Sharafeddine of The Naughty Nutritionists. If you’re craving some smoked goodness, they suggest keeping it simple with smoked brisket and original crispers. You can create a much healthier meal by replacing some of the sides, too, such as substituting the fries (and/or corn) with avocado slices, fresh guacamole, or steamed broccoli.

Worst: Ultimate Smokehouse Combo with Ribs Dry Rub + Ribs Honey-Chipotle BBQ + Crispers Honey Chipotle, Comes With A Side Of Chile Garlic Toast, Garlic Dill Pickles, Homestyle Fries And Roasted Street Corn

Ultimate smokehouse comboCourtesy of Chili's

3,085 calories, 188 g fat (54 g saturated fat), 7,010 mg sodium, 207 g carbs (14 g fiber, 68 g sugar), 142 g protein

“The ultimate smokehouse combo allows you to select three options for protein, and in terms of calorie, salt, sugar, and saturated fat content, this is one of the worst meals that you can ever have,” Bourque and Sharafeddine say. And if you decide to go all-out and have a double order of ribs (dry rub and honey-chipotle BBQ) plus some honey chipotle crispers, they explain that you would reach your average daily recommended calories at 2,090, and that’s not including any sides.

Chicken & Seafood

Best: Chipotle Shrimp Fresh Mex Bowl

Fresh mex bowl chipotle shrimpCourtesy of Chili's

880 calories, 48 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 2,900 mg sodium, 79 g carbs (7 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 35 g protein

Despite the high sodium content, Bourque and Sharafeddine say this dish is one of the healthier items on the menu, as it contains greens and avocado. “You can definitely lighten it up further by asking for more greens instead of the tortilla strips and keeping it light on the dressings,” they suggest.

Worst: Cajun Chicken Pasta

Cajun pasta with grilled chickenCourtesy of Chili's

1,180 calories, 53 g fat (22 g saturated fat), 3,520 mg sodium, 111 g carbs (8 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 65 g protein

“The Cajun pasta dish is made with Alfredo sauce, which is generally one of the heaviest sauces that you can choose,” Bourque and Sharafeddine suggest. It’s hard on digestion, too, and tends to leave most of us bloated. This dish also contains more than half the recommended amount of daily calories in one meal and is also pretty high in saturated fat and sodium.

Lunch Specials

Best: 1975 Soft Tacos

1975 soft acosCourtesy of Chili's

490 calories, 29 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 1,140 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 22 g protein

“Our vote for lunch is for the classic tacos, preferably with a side salad or avocado instead of fries,” Bourque and Sharafeddine explain. They are low in calories, low in sugar, and have a reasonable amount of sodium in comparison to the other dishes on the menu.

Worst: Chicken Fajitas

Chicken fajitasCourtesy of Chili's

1,300 calories, 59 g fat (26 g saturated fat), 4,950 mg sodium, 131 g carbs (15 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 65 g protein

While the dish contains a good amount of fiber (likely from the veggies and sides), Bourque and Sharafeddine suggest that it’s still quite high in calories and saturated fat. So these fajitas are a no-go.


Best: Mini Molten Chocolate Cake

Mini molten chocolate cakeCourtesy of Chili's

570 calories, 25 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 530 mg sodium, 82 g carbs (3 g fiber, 56 g sugar), 7 g protein

If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, Bourque and Sharafeddine say that this is the better option you can choose at Chili’s. “It’s still quite high in sugar, so we always recommend sharing with the table,” they add.

Worst: Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

Skillet chocolate chip cookieCourtesy of Chili's

1,420 calories, 71 g fat (38 g saturated fat), 900 mg sodium, 189 g carbs (6 g fiber, 116 g sugar) , 14 g protein

With a whopping 1,420 calories and 29 teaspoons of sugar per serving—which is more than three cream donuts—Bourque and Sharafeddine say that this dish wins the award for the unhealthiest dessert at Chili’s.


Best: Grilled Chicken Dippers With Steamed Broccoli Side

Grilled chicken dippersCourtesy of Chili's

340 calories, 20 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 735 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 31 g protein

Bourque and Sharafeddine say that this meal is one of the better options in the category that has a good amount of protein and is low on saturated fat and sugar. “You can add a side of steamed broccoli, corn on the cob, or some mashed potatoes (without gravy) for a more satisfying meal,” they recommend.

Worst: Pepper Pals® Cheesy Chicken Pasta, Without Any Sides

Cheesy chicken pastaCourtesy of Chili's

660 calories, 30 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 1,780 mg sodium, 48 g carbs (3 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 48 g protein

“Words like cheesy, battered, and glazed usually heighten our senses, but they are words to watch out for when it comes to the menu, especially when it’s for the little ones,” Bourque and Sharafeddine say. And, on its own, the meal is very high in sodium and low in fiber and healthy fats.

Chicken Crispers®

Best: Original Chicken Crispers®

Original chicken crispersCourtesy of Chili's

510 calories, 33 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 1,380 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (3 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 31g protein

Although the Chicken Crispers are fried, Bourque and Sharafeddine suggest they are the best in the category, as they are much lower in calories, fat, and sodium than some of the other choices in the category.

Worst: Honey-Chipotle Crispers® & Waffles

Honey-chipotle crispers® & wafflesCourtesy of Chili's

2,510 calories, 125 g fat (40 g saturated fat), 4,480 mg sodium, 283g carbs (13 g fiber, 105g sugar), 64g protein

This combination of fried chicken and waffles may sound appetizing, but Bourque and Sharafeddine say that this is a dish to avoid, as it goes high on the calories, fat, sugar, and sodium.

The post The Best and Worst Menu Items at Chili’s appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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Specialty pies are the bane of the pizza world. Look at any nutritional guide from the major pizza purveyors, and you’ll see calories, fat, and sodium jump dramatically as you move from simple pizzas to the elaborate concoctions the pizza execs dream up. (Do you really need pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and ground beef on your pie?)

When it comes to funky pies, though, we’ve long had a love affair with the Hawaiian, not just for its yin-yang balance of sweetness and smoke, but also because it’s one of the healthiest pizzas you can eat. It might not be authentic Italian, but it’s authentically American.

490 calories, 24 g fat (9 g saturated), 980 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

1 package instant yeast
1 cup hot water
1⁄2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp honey
1⁄2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1⁄2 cups flour, plus more for kneading and rolling (or 2 thin-crust store-bought pizza shells)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup diced fresh mozzarella (or 1 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella)
1 cup chopped pineapple
4 slices smoked ham (like Black Forest), cut into chunks
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced

How to Make It

  1. Combine the yeast with the water, salt, and honey.
  2. Allow to sit for 10 minutes while the hot water activates the yeast.
  3. Stir in the olive oil and flour, using a wooden spoon to incorporate.
  4. When the dough is no longer sticky, place on a cutting board, cover with more flour, and knead for 5 minutes.
  5. Return to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise at room temperature for at least 90 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 500°F. If you have a pizza stone, place it on the bottom rack of the oven.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, stretch the dough into two 12″ circles.
  8. Working with one pizza at a time, place the pizza shell on a baking sheet, cover with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then top with half of the cheese, pineapple, ham, onion, and jalapeño. (If using a pizza stone, do this on a floured pizza peel, then slide the pizza onto the stone for baking.)
  9. Bake for about 8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Repeat to make the second pizza.
  10. Cut each pie into 6 slices.

The post Healthy Spicy Hawaiian Pizza Recipe appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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There’s no denying that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from biting into the burger you’ve been enjoying since you were a kid. And thanks to the boom of fast-food chains in the 1970s and 1980s, we’ve been able to sip the same shakes and munch on the same fries for decades. But, much like Mall Madness and acid-washed jeans, not all of the chains from our youth have survived, and there are plenty of failed fast food restaurants that have come and gone.

The stronghold of McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Burger King, and other giants of the ’80s made the competition stiff. Some fan favorites—like Burger Chef, G.D. Ritzy’s, and Howard Johnson’s—fell by the wayside.

We won’t fault you for getting misty-eyed over these failed fast-food chain restaurants from the 1980s.


Burger Chef

Burger chefrobby/Flickr

At its pinnacle in the 1970s, Burger Chef had 1,200 locations, and was a thriving competitor of McDonald’s. And for kids especially, Burger Chef was the top choice. It was the first fast-food chain to include toys with their kids meals. The Funmeal, as they called it, launched in the early ’70s and also included stories about Burger Chef lore, including the chain’s mascot Jeff, the Burgerini (a magician), Count Fangburger (a vampire), Burgerilla (a gorilla), and Cackleburger (a witch).

In 1979, McDonald’s launched its Happy Meal—and kids of the ’80s remember the Sophie’s choice of deciding between the two. Sadly, to the dismay of fans across the country, Burger Chef failed to keep up, and was ultimately sold to Hardee’s in the early ’80s.

But all hope wasn’t lost. “The love affair with Burger Chef remains strong,” a Hardee’s marketing executive said in the mid-2000s. “We knew then that we needed to … offer Burger Chef fans across the Midwest their Big Shef fix.” If you didn’t take advantage of that fleeting moment in 2007 when Hardee’s brought back Burger Chef’s iconic Big Shef, then please accept our condolences.


Howard Johnson’s

Howard johnson'sJordan Smith/Flickr

Boy, do we miss those fried clam strips, frankforts, and that signature HoJo ice cream. Howard Johnson’s might just hold the title for most sorely-missed failed restaurant chain of not just the ’80s, but any era. According to Eater , during the height of its popularity in the 1960s, Howard Johnson’s served “more meals outside of the home than any entity in America, except for the U.S. Army.”

“Howard Johnson’s was the king of the road,” one former franchise owner told Eater. “You could make money anywhere.” But that was only true for so long. The chain was sold for $630 million in 1979, and heading into the ’80s, HoJo’s became a victim of its own success. Similar restaurants that were more adaptable to changing tastes became fierce competitors. Children of the 1980s certainly remember savoring their last spoonful of HoJos ice cream.

By the turn of the century, there were fewer than a dozen Howard Johnson’s left standing. Today only one remains. As Eater noted, “after more than 90 years of operations, the legacy of one of the most influential restaurants in American history” is in the hands of the sole Lake George, New York, location. “There’s a lot of fans of Howard Johnson’s, and I think they’ll be glad to know that somebody’s here,” the restaurant’s new owner said in 2018.


Pup ‘N’ Taco

Pup 'n' tacoValley Relics Museum 501c3/Facebook

In 1956, Pup ‘N’ Taco began gracing roadsides in Southern California. Founder Russ Wendell’s vision was, at the time, fairly unique: hot dogs alongside a less common quick-service option for the era—tacos.

At its height in 1984, there were 102 Pup ‘N’ Taco locations across California and New Mexico. But that very year, 99 of those were sold to Taco Bell, all but erasing the brand.

Still, if you were lucky enough to experience Pup ‘N’ Taco, then you probably can’t get the jingle out of your head. “Come on into Pup ‘n’ Taco and give your tummy a treat”—we wish we could!


G.D. Ritzy’s

G.D. ritzy'sChristine/Flickr

G.D. Ritzy’s may have first opened in 1980, but when you walked into one, you were instantly transported back to the classic diner vibe of the 1950s. At its height, there were nearly 100 restaurants nationally, which was quite the coup for founder Graydon D. Webb.

The menu at G.D. Ritzy’s stood out for all the ways that you could customize your burgers, drinks, and ice cream, which was the real hit. In 1984, Ritzy’s was taking in about $5.2 million from ice cream sales alone.

Unfortunately, Webb could only put on the ritz for so long. “They just let Ritzy’s somewhat atrophy over the next eight or 10 years, and it dwindled down to seven locations,” Webb said in 2004. Today, only a few restaurants remain. So if you want a scoop of that Chunky Dory Fudge, head over to Ohio or Kentucky.



Wag'sPatrick C./Yelp

Walgreen’s has a penchant for branching out beyond your traditional pharmacy goods—some even sell beer and wine these days. But as any child of the ’70s or ’80s knows, Walgreen’s once had full-on restaurants, too. Its chain, Wag’s, had 91 restaurants, all open 24 hours, serving your standard Denny’s-esque fare.

In 1988, they sold all but a few of their locations to Marriott. The sale put Walgreen’s “completely out of the food business,” The New York Times reported. Sadly, the opposite of the Wag’s jingle is true today: It’s no longer “a great day for Wag’s,” which is nowhere to be found in the world.


Gino’s Hamburgers

Gino's hamburgersNolen G./Yelp

Two Baltimore Colts professional football players helped to create Gino’s Hamburgers back in 1957. By the 1980s, there were more than 350 Gino’s locations throughout the East Coast. You could get the famous “Gino Giant,” a massively stacked hamburger aptly nicknamed “a banquet on a bun,” all over the place.

But ’80s kids probably didn’t get to experience much of it though, because, at the beginning of the decade, Gino’s discontinued that trademark burger and other fan favorites in an effort to revamp the restaurant.

Sadly, that was the beginning of the end for Gino’s. In 1982, they sold the bulk of their restaurants to Marriott. More than half of the locations were eventually converted to Roy Rogers, and the rest were closed. But there is a sliver of good news: Today, two rebranded Gino’s Burgers and Chicken remain in Maryland—and yes, they do serve the Gino Giant.




Bennigan’s got its start in Atlanta in 1976, but by the early ’80s, they were everywhere. Bennigan’s was fast becoming one of the most successful mid-range casual dining chains in America. Whether you were into their delicious cheesy potato skins or the iconic Irish Tower O’Rings, Bennigan’s was a hit in the 1980s.

But then, things took a turn. In the early 1990s, Bennigan’s was sold to Metromedia Restaurant Group. With increased competition and not enough to distinguish Bennigan’s from the likes of Chili’s and T.G.I.Friday’s, the chain fell behind. Many weren’t surprised when Metromedia filed for bankruptcy in 2008. “Bennigan’s was the weakest of the major players,” one analyst told the Associated Press at the time.

Bennigan’s 200 nationwide locations may have shuttered their doors a decade ago, but new owners now run a much smaller-scale operation out of Dallas, Texas, and the menu does include the Irish pub-inspired items you loved in the 1980s.




If you were around in the early ’80s, you might remember Lum’s for its signature beer-steamed hot dogs, and if you weren’t a hot dog person, there was always the beloved Ollieburger.

The chain began in the mid-1950s in Miami, but grew to be a nationwide phenomenon, with over 400 restaurants in the 1970s at the height of its success.

In 1982, a few years after being bought by a Swiss holding company, the chain overextended in its franchising efforts and went bankrupt. The original Lum’s storefront closed its doors in 1983. And though there was a sole storefront holding on for dear life in Nebraska, it too closed in 2017. But if you’d kill for an Ollieburger, then check out this copycat recipe to satisfy your craving.



Naugle'sEric. A/Yelp

Dick Naugle had a history of helping build successful restaurant chains. Most notably, he was a founding partner of Del Taco. But in 1970, he left that company to build his own Mexican-style chain: Naugles in Southern California.

Nine years in, Naugle sold his modest three-location chain to a businessman named Harold Butler, who took the concept and ran with it. He rapidly expanded to 225 outlets by 1986. A couple of years later, things came full-circle when Butler sold to Collins Food International, who decided to merge Naugles with none other than Del Taco in 1988.

Many Naugles became Del Tacos, and eventually, Naugles disappeared. In 2006, however, food blogger Christian Ziebarth posted about Naugles, and the response was through the roof. Eventually—with a lot of enthusiasm and tons of help—Ziebarth was able to open up a new Naugles in 2017. Now that’s what you call living out your childhood dream.


All-American Burger

All-American BurgerKai L./Yelp

This California burger restaurant became all the rage, thanks to an appearance in the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. (As any ’80s pop culture expert knows, it’s where Brad, played by Judge Reinhold, works in the movie.)

After the movie came out, All-American Burger, which was only in the Los Angeles area, experienced a brief boom. Though there’s an unrelated restaurant of the same name in New York, the last real All-American Burger on Sunset Boulevard closed in 2010. According to Yelpers, it was going downhill. But plenty of people are still nostalgic for this restaurant chain. “I used to eat here as a kid at lunchtime with my father,” one Yelper wrote. “Man, I miss this place. I wish it was still here.”


Beefsteak Charlie’s

Beefsteak charlie'sLong Island and NYC Places that are no more/Facebook

Beefsteak Charlie’s has been a part of New York pop culture since it became a chain in the mid-1970s. Every TV show based in the city, from Friends to Saturday Night Live, has joked about it for the last few decades. And any New York kid in the 1980s grew up loving this chain, thanks to its unlimited portions. You could have as much shrimp, salad, beer, and ribs as you wanted—all for under $20, according to Bklyner.

There were 60 locations in the New York metropolitan area by 1984. But in 1987, Beefsteak Charlie’s sold to Bombay Palace Restaurants and went out of business soon thereafter. Though Beefsteak Charlie’s slogan was, “I’ll feed you like there’s no tomorrow,” sadly, tomorrow came for this chain restaurant by the end of 1980s.



Sambo'sIda H./Yelp

The name Sambo’s comes from a combination of the founders’ names: Sam Battistone and Newell F. Bohnett. However, it’s also a derogatory term directed toward African-Americans, which was part of the reason this chain restaurant eventually failed.

Sambo’s began in 1957 in Santa Barbara, California, reaching peak popularity in the late 1970s with more than 1,100 restaurants in 47 U.S. states. But with more customers came more scrutiny, and it wasn’t long before anti-discrimination protests against Sambo’s began. Eventually, they renamed several locations to No Place Like Sam’s or Jolly Tiger instead.

But it was already too late. Sambo’s shut down by the middle of the decade.


Chicken George

Chicken georgePhillip Pessar/Flickr

Ted N. Holmes founded Chicken George in 1979. His fried chicken joint quickly became one of the country’s largest minority-owned chains. A 1980 commercial famously featured many happy customers saying Chicken George was better than their wife’s or mom’s chicken. That’s pretty savage, but also compelling.

According to the Washington Post, Holmes “understood marketing, especially to minority groups, but knew little about cash flow.” That pitfall sadly brought Chicken George down in 1986, when Holmes filed for liquidation after falling into over $1.4 million in debt to private creditors and the IRS. Unfortunately, it didn’t matter how good the chicken tasted—the business met its untimely end to the dismay of fans everywhere.



VIP'sWikipedia Commons

VIP’s was a 24-hour West Coast casual dining chain that got its start in Oregon in 1968. By 1981, over 50 of the restaurants had sprung up along freeways throughout Washington, California, Idaho, and Nevada, in addition to its Oregon locations.

In 1982, Denny’s offered the company $12 million to buy out 35 VIP’s locations. It was the kind of offer they couldn’t refuse, but it was also the beginning of the end for VIP’s. The final restaurant closed in 1989. RIP VIP’s.


Doggie Diner

Doggie dinerShutterstock

Doggie Diner was a staple in Northern California’s Bay Area in its heyday. If you’re from that neck of the woods, then you probably remember their seven-foot tall, rotating dachshunds in chef’s hats and bowties that stood outside each of the restaurants.

At peak popularity, Doggie Diner had 30 locations in the Golden State, but unfortunately, competing with larger chains like McDonald’s lead to this chain’s unraveling. By the mid-’80s, all the Doggie Diners had shut down. Today, one of the dachshunds still rotates near the San Francisco Zoo. In 2010, it became recognized as an official city landmark. You can almost taste the burgers, hot dogs, and fries just looking at it.


Pioneer Chicken

Pioneer ChickenSo Cal Metro/Flickr

The original Pioneer Chicken opened in 1961 next to a Pioneer Market, a grocery store chain in Los Angeles. It continued to grow throughout the ’60s and ’70s.

But the chain got an extra boost in the 1980s, thanks to its spokesperson, now-defamed pro football player O.J. Simpson. At the start of the decade, you could get the “Chicken in the Basket” special for just 59¢.

By the time the chain filed for bankruptcy in 1988, there were 300 Pioneer Chickens all over the country. Without that bright orange chicken, Monday Night Football was never the same.


Red Barn

Red barnForgotten Buffalo/Facebook

Red Barn had small-town beginnings in 1960s Ohio, but it was destined for greater things. Over the course of its first 20 years of business, the chain staked its claim on 19 states, serving its famous burgers and fried chicken in roughly 400 restaurants.

In 1979, new owners purchased the business for real estate purposes. It took 10 years for the chain to slowly die, which meant children of the ’80s did get to experience the Big Barn and the Barnbuster burgers. But in 1989, Red Barn went out not with a bang, but a whimper.

The post 17 Failed Chain Restaurants From the 1980s That Will Make You Feel So Nostalgic appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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