Dinner at Fridays, with the grandkids

Mark-John Clifford


The other night we were picking up two of our grandkids from our middle daughter's house. When we got into the truck, the youngest granddaughter, who is turning seven in December, blurted out she wanted to go to Friday's for dinner.

Now, this was about 9:30 pm, so Fridays was the logical choice for us since we always seem to go there for a late dinner, but how did this little know that Fridays was a good choice? No one knows, but that was her choice.

The kids were in their pajamas, but Friday's is casual, so we weren't too worried about dress since most of the time, we're there in jeans and sometimes work clothes in Patti's case.

Once there, the kids wanted Shirley Temples to drink. For them, that's the new thing when we take them out. As the future seven-year-old and dining critic stated, "if they don't have Shirley Temples their not real restaurants." That solves the mystery for me.

The Kids Food

The kids wanted to choose their meals, so we let them. That was an adventure for the youngest, The oldest picked out the biggest hamburger on the menu. The hamburger consisted of a nice and thick burger: cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and house sauce.


The hamburgers at Fridays are the best I've had around town for a semi-fast food chain. Nothing compares, not even the Angus burgers at one of the other fast-food chain burger joints. Sorry guys.

The youngest has chicken strips, and I don't think anyone can good them up. Wait, I take that back. Years ago, we were eating at Bass Lake, and our son ordered chicken strips at a restaurant, and they were raw when they were served. I mean, they were still partially frozen. We complained; they apologized and replaced them immediately and didn't charge us for the order of the second strips. Now that's customer service.

Chicken StripsFriday's

So on this night, the chicken strip were done to perfections as usual when you dine at Fridays. I don't think we've ever had an issue with chicken strips at Fridays when the kids have ordered them.

Let's Talk Fries

The fries at Fridays are famously great. I've had their fries at numerous locations over the years, and I have always found them to be crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The way a fry should be.

I can honestly say I've never had a bad order of fries in all the years I've been to Fridays. Even I first moved here, Friday's food wasn't that great; their fries were always great.

Tonight was no exception. The kids ate more fries than anything else. The burger was a one-bite meal for the oldest grandkid, and the youngest ate a couple of chicken strips, but her main course was the fries. All in all, an excellent night for fries.

Our Food

Patti and I went rogue on this night. Where we would typically order a sizzling dish for her and a burger for me, or sometimes vice versa, we both ordered things we had never tried. We wanted to test their cooking skills on some dishes we felt needed to be tested and reviewed.

I ordered the bucket of bones—a mix of ribs and chicken wings with the sauce of your choosing.

For this night on the ribs, I ordered the apple butter BBQ, and it was my first time having this sauce. Usually, I order the whiskey glaze, which I think is their best, but this apple butter is a tie for first as of now.

Bucket of BonesFriday's

The apple butter had just the right twang to the sauce, which complemented the wings.

I was impressed with the wings. I find in many restaurants their inability to keep the wings crunchy when adding a sauce to them. Adding the sauce on the side is one thing, but when the wings are combined with the sauce, most places end up with soggy wings. I'm not fond of soggy wings. These were perfect.

The ribs I had were cooked perfectly, and they weren't overdone, and the apple butter was the perfect complement to the ribs. Thanks to Joe, our server, for recommending the apple butter BBQ sauce.

Patti opted for the full racks of ribs. A daunting task if you ask me for her. I know I can handle them most nights, but there are some nights that I can't handle a full rack. On this night, Patti needed a doggie bag like the kids.

Rib MealFriday's

Patti decided to have the same sauce that Joe recommended, the apple butter, and she seemed happy with that choice. She said her ribs were tender and juicy with just the right amount of sauce on them. Plus, they gave her some extra on the side if needed.

Her ribs came with fries and coleslaw, which she kindly gave me since she is not a coleslaw person, but I am, and I love Friday's coleslaw.

The kids must have been full because they didn't ask for dessert. We were surprised because they usually want a piece of rainbow cake or something with ice cream, but not tonight. They were happy with their doggy bags.

In the end, it was a great night spent with our grandkids at one of our favorite restaurants in town that serves Shirley Temples.

Buon Apetito

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Patti, my wife, and I write about life here in Fresno, California, and the Central Valley. We especially enjoy writing reviews about restaurants we've dined at, along with the food that is served. From time to time, we also write about and share recipes that we are fond of and hope you'll try them and let us know your thoughts. We are not traditional food critics. We don't have to worry about restaurants making unique dishes for us. We're just the average customer going in to dine, and then we write reviews.

Fresno, CA

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