Review: TGI Fridays Solihull

When I was a teenager I’m pretty sure I spent a good proportion of my time at TGI Fridays. It seemed THE place to go for any occasion – birthday parties, lunches while out shopping etc! I can’t even remember what food I had back then, but I do always remember being literally in love with one of the dips that came with the starters!!

Fast forward 15 years, and I’m not sure the last time I set foot in TGI’s  – its possible it was before my 18th birthday! A few weeks ago whilst out shopping in Touchwood Solihull we needed somewhere for a spot of lunch and being bored with the usual chain options they have in Solihull – (Ask, Nandos blah blah) we decided we would give it a go, under strict instructions from husband that the word birthday must not be mentioned in any type on conversation, in case there were suddenly singing waiters standing on our table.

I was immediately very impressed with TGI’s though – they are obviously inundated with children as a highchair arrived by the table before we were even at it, the pram parked for us right by the front desk and swiftly after this a children’s pack arrived complete with a pink balloon dog for Imogen!

Feeling instantly relaxed I decided to have a cocktail!

The menu was reassuringly familiar, despite the length of time that had passed. :Luckily, after reading the menu, I was pretty sure what starter it was that had that amazing dip  – the JACK DANIEL’S® SESAME CHICKEN STRIPS topped with toasted sesame seeds and chilli flakes. We also chose another chicken starter – Boneless Hot Wings  – Crispy chicken breast chunks, tossed in hot sauce and chillies with a Bleu cheese dip and shared them both. 

Now lets get this straight, this isn’t food that’s going to blow your mind with its intricate presentation or imaginative flavours BUT it was well cooked and really tasty and actually, I was impressed.

For my main I went for something that sounded a little different –  CRISPY NOODLE SALAD – With red chillies and tossed in a hot and spicy Thai dressing. Topped with toasted sesame seeds, chilli flakes and cilantro and a garlic chicken breast.

The crunch noodles were odd, but in fact worked pretty well. I expected a tame dish in terms of spice and heat, event ought the desperation states a hot spicy thai dressing often in chains I think they play it safe. Not the case, the dressing blew my head off ( in a good way!)

Lee went for one of the hot dogs – JACK DANIEL’S® CHILLI Topped with Jack Daniel’s® beef chilli, onions, Colby cheese, chillies and American mustard. Again, for this type of ‘fast’ food Lee was pleasantly surprised. Better than a few hot dogs we’ve had in other places of supposedly better qaulity (Rub Smokehouse, The SmokeHaus..)

Family Friendly? Very, you really couldn’t ask for much more. Good kids packs, balloon animals, great staff and spacious changing areas.

Overall we were so much more impressed with TGI’s than we expected and would t definitely hit up the chain again when out and about with Imogen! (Really, it’s all about that Jack Daniels Sauce…TGI’s if you’re reading this please bottle it and send me some)

 

 

SaveSave

Review: Crab House Cafe, Weymouth

Another little foodie review from our Dorset trip today – this time a little seafood shack/cafe in Wyke Regis near Weymouth. I read tons of great stuff online about this place – a daily changing menu, fish fresh of the fishing boats from that morning all served up with great service.

When we arrived I loved the look of the place from the outside – it was so cute, and already bustling with a busy lunchtime crowd.

Continue reading

Review: Carluccios Solihull

The well known Carluccios chain has recently bought one if it’s new generation restaurants to Solihull, in a prime location in the Mell Square area and  stones throw from Touchwood shopping centre. It is brings all day dining to the area, open from breakfast all the way through to dinner and after dark cocktails with an open plan kitchen, deli counter, large stylish interior and al fresco terrace.

The family and I were recently invited to try out Carluccios, so we opted to go and try out the breakfast/brunch last weekend. It happened to be a lovely sunny day last Sunday, so we decided to eat on the terrace area to the front of the restaurant, along with many other sun seeking brunchers.

Continue reading

Review: Rick Stein at Sandbanks

When travelling, the first thing my husband and I always used to look at first and plan, was where we were going to eat. Our dining schedules were carefully planned out, and sometimes when we were going to a bit of a foodie haven we often had bookings at lunch and dinner! ( Cornwall 2013 I’m talking about you…!)

This year, our first holiday away with Imogen we realised we had to look at things a bit differently, gone are the leisurely evening meals at Michelin Starred restaurants! Despite this I eagerly had a search on google and social media about the Dorset food scene and did come up with a few places that I wanted to visit. Rick Steins restaurant at Sandbanks was one of these – mainly for the view! So we booked in for lunch!

Continue reading

Review: West Beach, Bournemouth

The first day of our Dorset holiday took us to sunny Bournemouth. Or not so sunny Bournemouth as it turned out, so to seek refuge from the wind and fog we decided to seek out West Beach. I’d read a few things online about this place, but decided not to book as we didn’t know what time we would be arriving. Car journeys with 10 month old babies can be rather unpredictable but as luck would have she slept the entire way down.

Continue reading