Found all over the world, TGI Friday’s is a familiar restaurant brand to most people. Known for their ribs, steaks, burgers and extensive range of cocktails, it’s the kind of place that you can’t help but enjoy visiting, even if you have done so dozens of time before.
Last time Hannah and I went to a TGI Friday’s in Reading we had a horrendous experience; we had to wait almost an hour just to be seated, and then another hour and a half for our food after our waiter “forgot” to process our order! A visit to the Bath city centre branch was therefore a chance for the chain to redeem itself somewhat.
Upon entering we found the restaurant pretty quiet, almost suspiciously so considering it was an Easter Saturday lunchtime. But with the large choice of restaurants on offer in Bath, and the nearby Frankie and Bennies offering “£10 off your bill” vouchers just outside, this was perhaps causing some of the usual trade to be diverted.
With our love for Canada we both ordered the New Brunswick-based Moosehead lager when our waiter first came over to the table. To be honest, I wasn’t too impressed with the drink and failed to see how it distinguished itself from any other UK-produced lager. When compared with the excellent Sleemans, in particular it’s Honey Brown variety, the Moosehead is very average and not likely something I would look out for on future drinks menus.
I selected the ‘French Dip’ burger from the decent-sized yet not-too-large menu. Toppings included caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, garlic mayo, lettuce and tomato. Brioche buns are offered as standard, which is definitely a plus point – mine was glazed on top, and came just a little crispy inside, meaning it didn’t go soggy whilst working my way through it.
TGI’s claim that their 7oz burgers are all sourced in the British Isles, and then cooked to order. However, yet again we were not asked how we would like the meat cooked, meaning they automatically come well-done. They are however soft and tender, and the beef is certainly more flavoursome than that offered in the Handmade Burger Co’s offerings – having a bit of pink running through the meat would really make this a class act.
Particular highlights of the burger were the beef sauce; presented in a small jug on the side, and the melted Swiss cheese. The beef sauce was a great accompaniment to the meal – dipping the crispy fries in it provided a similar taste to Roast Beef McCoy crisps, while pouring a little over the burger really boosted the overall flavour of the meat. The cheese was melted perfectly over the patty and helped to pull everything together, blending especially well with the garlic mayonaise and onion inside the bun.
Hannah ordered the BBQ Pulled Pork burger – here’s what she thought….
After building up an appetite doing some clothes shopping with my sister, I was more than ready for my burger. The service when we entered the restaurant was speedy enough, and the waiter was on quite good form ahead of the meal. Soon enough our meals were served, and I got my first chance to check out the offering of the Bath branch of the global chain.
My burger was presented beautifully, clearly showing off the brioche bun and the pickled red onions. I could also spy the Colby cheese, mayo and BBQ pulled pork on top of the 7oz beef burger. Despite the burger coming well done, it was immensely soft and had a delicious sweet and smoky flavour thanks to the sauce.
For such a large chain, the quality was far greater than I had probably expected. For me, the meal in the Bath TGI Friday’s has improved my feelings on the chain after our dud visit to the Reading branch. However I do think that some of the staff need training to give amazing service during and after the food is served too!
The TGI Friday’s we visited is located at Unit 1A, Kingsmeade, James Street West, Bath BA1 2BT. This review took place on 04/04/15.