I’ve actually been to T.G.I. Friday’s when I was in the States many years ago and I remember having quite a pleasant experience. I know this place had been in Adelaide for several years now, but because I don’t live in the area, I’ve never had the chance to check them out. I’ve also read many mixed reviews about this place, so to actually find out what they’re really like, I had to go there for myself.
The fit out of this place is typical of your American diner. There’s the main bar towards the rear surrounded by regular tables and booths. Most of the decor relates to anything American, with some well known brands and celebrities, and some not so well known. The menu is fairly snazzy with some delicious food photography. There are burgers, steaks, ribs, pasta, salads, tex mex and desserts, so essentially, something for everyone.
As an appetiser, we shared the Southwest Potato Twisters. The potato twisters were sliced so thin they were like potato chips. The twisters were topped with a spicy queso (melted cheese and chilli pepper), cheese, pico de gallo (chopped tomato, white onion and chilli), sour cream and coriander. It wasn’t too bad and it’s perfect to snack on while you’re watching television.
For lunch, I ordered the Baby Back Ribs. True to their name, the width of the ribs were smaller than usual, but expected. The length was just right going from one end of the oval plate to the other. The ribs were well marinated and perfectly cooked. The meat just simply fell off the bone. The tangy barbecue sauce had a subtle sweetness and it wasn’t too overpowering. The chips were the thin variety and well seasoned. The coleslaw was nice and creamy with a nice crunchy texture coming from the carrot and cabbage. The only criticism of this dish was that the ribs were 70% bone and 30% meat.
These are the dishes that my friends ordered. Everyone enjoyed their dishes and there were no complaints.
The staff were friendly and the service was above average. Drinks arrived promptly and were constantly refilled, plates were cleared as we finished and the staff seemed genuinely happy. The atmosphere was relaxed, although one of my friends complained about the temperature where she was sitting. I think the food is slightly overpriced, of course, you need to factor in such things as royalties and rent. The Southwest Potato Twisters was $17.95 and the Baby Back Ribs was $39.95. I thought the appetiser was really worth about $8 and the average price for a rack of ribs in Adelaide is about $30.
Verdict: Not a bad experience overall, but I still think the offerings are over priced.
WHERE: 297 Diagonal Rd, Oaklands Park