In defense of Applebee's

First, a disclaimer: I'm not a fan of Applebee's. There are many more interesting culinary developments happening in metro Detroit where I'd rather spend my hard-earned cash, and there's nothing about a menu item like, say, chicken fried chicken, "a flat pancake of a chicken patty, breaded and deep fried, served atop two mounds of mashed potatoes and flooded with a peppery gravy that’s been nuked in a Styrofoam cup" that sounds particularly appealing to me. 

So I understand fully the knee-jerk reaction among a certain demographic to the news that Detroit is getting its first Applebee's later this year — something along the lines of, "Keep the chains in the 'burbs!"

But of course, that's an entirely snobbish thing to say. The reality is there's only room in the scene for so many locally sourced, artisanal eateries — not everyone cares about that shit, nor should they. Certainly, there ought to be more places in the city that cater to the strip-mall clientele as well as average, everyday Detroiters who want to take their family out somewhere to eat without having to drive all the way out to the suburbs. As Jalopnik pointed out, Detroit needs more places to eat that are somewhere between a coney island and Roast.

Sure, handing the old Michigan State Fairgrounds over to private developers isn't as interesting as the alternative plans we've heard about for the location. But let's face it, every major American city probably has at least one Applebee's. New York City probably has more than twenty.

So chill out, OK?

Lee DeVito

Leyland “Lee” DeVito is the editor in chief of Detroit Metro Times since 2016. His writing has also been published in CREEM, VICE, In These Times, and New City. He once asked porn star Stormy Daniels to spank him with an issue of Metro Times. She obliged.

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