• Trident

The Tourney Pod Bracket Reveal: Best Casual Dining Chain Restaurant

Updated: May 3


Do you know what a pizookie is? What about a never-ending pasta bowl? A bloomin’ onion? Bottomless fries? These are just a few of the very special and exclusive (and trademarked) items that you can find at some of America’s finest restaurants: NATIONAL CHAINS. Now, there are all kinds of national chains, and we’ve already talked about one of them (go back to our fast food tournament here). For this week’s episode, we’re covering the kind of national chain where you can have an entire dining experience: the casual dining chain.


If you grew up in a suburb, then you’ve definitely been to a casual dining chain restaurant before. These are the stand-bys. The old reliables. They’re restaurants that you can find in just about every place in America, and if you grew up in some kind of a metro area, then you probably know a couple of locations for the same restaurant. Most of these restaurants serve classic American fare (burgers, fries, wings, etc.). Some of them serve their own versions of non-American food (Olive Garden serves “Italian” food, P.F. Chang’s serves “Chinese” food). And then, some of these restaurants serve just about everything (looking at you Cheesecake Factory and BJ’s).


Both of us have a passion for chain restaurants of all kinds, whether they’re casual dining or fast food or fast casual. Some might call us predictable, and we think they’d be right. I don’t want to exaggerate, but I honestly think that these are the restaurants that make up the backbone of this hellish nation. As the world continues to grow more and more unpredictable, these restaurants and their stagnant menus bring me the comfort of my childhood and offer me a sense of calm about the future.


So tell me, which casual dining chain restaurant changed your life? And if the answer is “what…?” then just tell me which one you think is the best. Do that here, in the vote center.



Voting Schedule:

Sweet Sixteen: Monday 5/2, Tuesday 5/3

Elite Eight: Wednesday 5/4

Final Four: Thursday 5/5

Championship: Friday 5/6, Saturday 5/7

Winner revealed Monday 5/9!!


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