Mac and Cheese Madness: Applebee's

By Ron Swarner on September 26, 2014

Let's face it. Applebee's is genius. It knows people exiting shopping areas will be drained  - money and energy - to the point of making crazy-ass decisions. It knows its "2 for $20" appetizer and two entrees special will draw people like magnets, right to its lounge with shiny cocktails and Maroon 5 loops. Speaking of lounge, Applebee's drops its beer and emotional fulfillment right in the middle of the joint. Genius. The single's bar meets family dining captures all the middle income.

Applebee's certainly had the genius hat riding high when "4-Cheese Mac & Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders" hit the white board. Three delicious, completely different tastes in the same bowl save time and money. Tiny bits of Applewood smoked bacon plus fried chicken on top of cheese-loaded pasta is brilliant. And, the whopping 810 calories with 35 grams of fat and 1,720 mg of sodium will help your tired, retailed-out self reach comatose in front of new fall TV delight, The McCarthys.

The only aspect of the dish that isn't genius is the flavor. It's a tad bland.

APPLEBEE'S, 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 10407 Gravelly Lake Dr. SW, Lakewood, 253.983.8884

LINK: More mac and cheese dishes in the South Sound

LINK: The answer to why this mac and cheese column exists