FOOD DRINK

Consumer Reports: best and worst restaurant chains

Consumer Reports says Americans spend about $1.7 billion each year eating out. The magazine surveyed more than 47,000 readers who ate a total of 110,517 meals at102 different chain restaurants and ranked them on taste, value, service, and mood. Here are the restaurants that rated at the top--and bottom. 

 

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Best: Elmer's 

Style: diner

Where: 25 locations in the Northwest 

Won points because: pancakes and comfort food.

Elmer's

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Best: Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano 

Style: Italian  

Where: 23 locations in 12 mostly Midwestern states 

Won points because: focuses on big portions and personal attention.

Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano

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Best: Black Angus Steakhouse 

Style: steakhouse 

Where: 45 locations in California, Washington, Arizona, Alaska, New Mexico and Hawaii 

Won points because: flame-grilled steaks with an “over-the-campfire flavor."

Black Angus Steakhouse

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Worst: Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar  

Style: sports bar 

Where: Over 600 locations through out the U.S. 

Lost points because: low value for money and too noisy 

Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar

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Best: Bob Evans 

Style: diner

Where: almost 600 locations in 18 states 

Won points because: breakfast and homey fare

Bob Evans

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Worst: Waffle House 

Style: breakfast place 

Where:1600 locations in 25 states, many in the South 

Lost points because: cleanliness and the mood

AP

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Best: Fatz Eatz & Drinkz 

Style: sandwich place

Where: 48 restaurants in the Southeast 

Won points because: grilled and fried sandwiches, entrées, and finger foods

Fatz Eatz & Drinkz

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Best: First Watch 

Style: breakfast place 

Where: about 100 restaurants in 13 states 

Won points because: eggs, pancakes, and sandwiches.

First Watch

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Worst: Friendly's 

Style: lunch and ice cream place 

Where: throughout U.S. 

Lost points because: cleanliness, mood, lackluster service

AP

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Best: J. Alexander's 

Style: upscale American 

Where: 33 locations in 13 states 

Won points because: American classics, sandwiches, salads, and specialties such as grilled fish with mango papaya salsa.

J. Alexander's

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Best: Le Peep 

Style: diner 

Where: 60 locations in 14 states 

Won points because: eggs, crepes, and salads

Le Peep

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Best: Bravo Cucina Italiana 

Style: Italian 

Where: 47 restaurants in 20 states 

Won points because: “upscale affordable dining” in a “Roman ruin” décor.

Bravo Cucina Italiana

Consumer Reports: best and worst restaurant chains

Consumer Reports says Americans spend about $1.7 billion each year eating out. The magazine surveyed more than 47,000 readers who ate a total of 110,517 meals at102 different chain restaurants and ranked them on taste, value, service, and mood. Here are the restaurants that rated at the top--and bottom. 

 

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