Raegan and I ate at a McAlister’s back in September 2008 in Stillwater, OK. We had gone up there by ourselves for a long weekend at the town and University where we met, and McAlister’s was one of the places we tried. We had basic sandwiches and such and liked them, and put McAlister’s on our list of eating places, but never had an opportunity again until today (there are no McAlister’s along our usual routes of travel around the OKC area).
We were returning from getting Ian from summer camp and we stopped in Shawnee to have lunch. We chose McAlister’s driven basically by a combination of indecisiveness on the part of certain adults, with the basic limitation of no fast food. We got there around noon, and had a two-minute wait to get to a register. The place was about 1/3 full.
We started off with an “appetizer” of Cheese Chili Dip and Chips. Appetizer? It could have been a meal by itself. A 14″ platter with a crock of queso and chili con carne surrounded by a sea of tortilla chips. The four of us managed to eat all the dip, but only about 2/3rds of the very good chips.
Raegan got a Choose Two of a half McAlister’s Club and broccoli and cheddar soup. She pronounced it “OK”, so that’s good.
Ian got a bowl of chili con carne. He spent more time watching pretty girls and eating crackers and drinking Coke than eating, but he ended up eating most of it.
Erin got something new for her, a French Dip with au jus. I tried some of the roast beef and au jus, not bad, very lean. She got mac and cheese for her side, and enjoyed it.
I got something called The Big Nasty. I is essentially an open-faced roast beef sandwich, with melted cheddar, and McAlister’s “Come Back” gravy. I don’t know about that stuff, it might be that is comes back to haunt you later. The sandwich was really, really peppery with black pepper. That’s why I compared my roast beef to Erin’s French Dip: same meat, different flavor. I didn’t finish my lunch partly because it was HUGE and party because of how strongly peppered the thing was. I have to believe that it was the gravy. My side was a cup of chili con carne – it was OK, zero heat to it at all. The flavor was OK, and it had no beans in it.
We all had a cookie or a brownie, and they were good. My peanut butter cookie was very doughy and positively oozed PB.
We left about 1300, stuffed to the gills (which we were trying to avoid, as we are having dinner at an upscale restaurant this evening). Our tab was $47.62, great value considering how frigging much chow we got. The place stayed about 1/4 – 1/3 full while we where there.
I think it was a good meal – even given the highly peppered nature of my Big Nasty.
Almost forgot – the cups that McAlister’s uses are #1 recyclable. Most places use #5 which we can’t recycle here, but a couple, to include Panera Bread, use #1s, and that’s another good reason to eat there.