Review: TGI Friday’s, Clasper Way, Metro Centre Retail Park

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AS another long week at Echo Towers drew to a close, Clan Wheeler and I headed off to the one place where every day is a Friday.

Because of its mantra, TGI Friday’s is verging on being annoyingly upbeat, but it’s ideal for a hungry family on a pit stop from Metro Centre shopping.

Anyone who’s been in this global chain, which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, will know what to expect from the decor.

Think colours of the American flag mixed with film and music memorabilia and booth-style seating.

You can’t fault the staff’s enthusiasm as they led us to our table and presented my young niece Amy with some colouring-in goodies.

Indeed, because this is an American chain, service was spot on here.

Menu-wise, there’s nothing particularly extravagant or interesting. But then that’s not what themed diners of this ilk are about.

The starters menu boasts all the usual suspects: potato skins, chicken wings and bruschetta etc.

I chose the mozarella dippers. They’re a guilty pleasure of mine, but these were a bit of a damp squib. Though you get plenty for the £3.99 price tag, they’re missing the gooeyness that usually accompanies this “delicacy.”

The mothership fared better with her choice. She’d gone for the wedge salad and was presented with a whopping iceberg wedge drizzled with blue cheese dressing and topped with tomato, bacon and blue cheese crumbles.

It was pretty pungent, but tasted fab.

My brother, his wife and daughter, meanwhile, tucked into a plate of cheese nachos (£7.99). At practically dustbin lid-sized, it’s a bargain and comes with lashings of guacamole and sour cream.

For your main meal you can expect to choose from ribs, grill combos, burgers, quesadillas, steaks, chicken and hot sandwiches.

I struggled to find something healthyish, but decided the grilled chicken sandwich might be a safe bet. Unfortunately, it was bland and rubbery and way overpriced at £8.49.

The other main dishes were impressive though and I had a serious case of plate envy as I eyed up my sister-in-law’s Cajun-spiced chicken quesadilla (£9.99) and my mother’s surf and turf combo of sirloin steak and shrimp skewer which, for its high quality, was a bargain at £16.49.

All in all, it was a hit and miss meal, but pick wisely and you’ll be thankful for TGI Friday’s.