TGI Fridays has been a firm favourite with my friends for quite some time so you won’t be surprised to hear that I regularly end up either at the Sale or Cheadle branches when we get together to catch up. As always, I’d rather try something local, but when friends are fussy and you are out in the ‘burbs, this is a pretty safe option. They are also more than willing to make changes to the menu meaning even the fussiest eater will be taken care of.
The new Meet Your Match menu promises to pair you with your perfect food match, whether that be bold and spicy or just a bit saucy, they say there is something for you. So I took the fussiest eater I know and went to see if we could both, indeed, meet our match.
Things kicked off beautifully when the Head of Bar for TGI Fridays UK challenged me to make my own cocktail. Now I can drink a fair few of these pretty well but, when it comes to actually making them, I fall seriously far off the mark. That said I was in safe hands and my margarita had a lovely twist, the salt is on top of foam meaning you get a little bit with every mouthful. It turns out I make a mighty fine margarita.
I tried one of his next with the cucumber martini and changed up my gin to Hendricks knowing the cucumber would work so well with it. There was also a hint of elderflower which balanced things out nicely and worked with the rose in the gin.
Anyway enough about the drinks, what about the new Meet Your Match menu? We decided to try the Jack Daniels Bucket of Bones and the Double Layered Nachos. The bucket of bones we ordered without the fried onions and with the sauce on the side, told you he was fussy. I thought the ribs and wings would have been incredibly dry without the sauce but they were juicy and soft with the meat coming away from the bone beautifully. The sauce was sticky and sweet although I have to say I still can’t taste Jack Daniels in it at all, it may just be me. The nachos being double layered had gooey cheese on each piece topped with sour cream, guacamole and salsa. The salsa would have benefited from a little more heat but it was fresh and the nachos weren’t soggy at all which I was expecting with so much cheese.
Onto mains and we shared the Warrior Burger and the Chicken Waffle Burger, the latter without the advertised honey mustard sauce. The Warrior Burger is really good, two 6oz patties sandwiched with mozzarella dippers, 2 types of cheese, caramelised onions and mayo. There is no way you can get this in your mouth in one so it is advisable to eat it either in half or with a knife and fork, not the way you should eat any burger in my opinion. That said the burgers are cooked medium so still pink and juicy and the mozzarella dippers added a bit of crunch. We upgraded our fries with cheese and bacon, it was the right decision. The bacon wasn’t crispy enough but the cheese? Samuel Adams beer cheese sauce, oh my. It is a good job they don’t sell this by the tub as I’d have bought their entire stock. Rich, smooth, cheesy and creamy – so good we carried on trying to fill our faces despite being ridiculously full.
Unfortunately the Chicken BLT Waffle was a bit of a ‘marmite’ one. Instead of a bun the crispy chicken and bacon is served between sweet waffles with cheese. Now I have to say this may have worked better had we had the honey mustard mayo it usually comes served with but it was all a bit dry and the flavours didn’t really work together. The sweet waffles were a little hard and dry making it tough to bite into yet the chicken was well seasoned and the bacon perfectly crispy. I’d rather have bread and you can have this instead, as I say, the beauty of TGI Fridays is they are happy to accommodate where necessary.
Never outdone we finished with the Brownie dessert which was ok, warm chocolate brownies smothered in a rich chocolate sauce with smooth vanilla ice cream. The brownies weren’t sticky enough for me but the sauce and ice cream sure helped them stay from being dry.
The staff at TGI Fridays are eager to please and I left armed with a minion balloon figure, what’s not to love? As for Meet Your Match? We managed to find something to suit both of our palates and certainly didn’t go hungry. All in all a great option for a group of fussy friends who want a big feed and some pretty decent cocktails.
I was invited to dine as a guest at TGI Fridays and wasn’t asked to pay.