It was with great anticipation that we watched the construction of TGI Fridays in a brand new mall here in Hyderabad. The signs were up, the lights were on, but on 3 separate occasions we made it to the door only to be told that they weren’t open yet, and were given conflicting dates for the big grand opening. We had been told by the manager that the menu was the same as the US menu, so we were very VERY excited, especially when he assured us that they did indeed have ribs!
Tonight was our lucky night! After a long day of working on Science Fair projects, we needed to get out for a bit, and we decided to try Fridays once again, in hopes that this time we would be welcomed in. Sure enough, the lights were on, the doors were open, and the music was playing!
For a brief time it felt like we were back in the US. Classic rock played on the speakers, the familiar red and white stripes surrounded us, and the waiters were reassuringly dressed in silly hats and lots of “flare”. (ok, maybe they didn’t have quite enough flare, but we’ll let it slide).
The menu was definitely similar to the US, but that doesn’t mean that it tasted the same. A burger here and a burger in the US are not equal. The meat was much different, much more crumbly. I have a sneaking suspicion that someone in back was trying to pass off mutton as beef, but I’ll never know for sure. Still, it was ok.
Scott’s steak was a bit tougher than a US one would have been, but it had that nice seasoned taste we have all come to know and love.
The appetizer of potato skins, hot wings and cheese sticks was good, but again, not quite the same. They don’t have sour cream here, so we had to do with blue cheese on the potato skins, and the cheese inside the cheese sticks was of a type unknown to us.
Ender’s ribs were great, though, and Addie’s fettuccini alfredo was delicious. The price was in line with what you would pay for a family of 4 at Friday’s in the US, which is, of course, quite pricy by Indian standards. However, for a little taste of home, we were willing to pay it.
The kids were showered with gifts…hats with built in sunglasses, balloons, crayons, and little personal fans. They loved it!
I was wondering, as were were eating beef (I think…) and pork, who they have for a chef. The majority of people in Hyderabad are either Hindus or Muslims, and one cannot eat (or presumably prepare) beef, and the other believes that pork is unclean. I would assume that willingness to prepare these foods has to be part of the job description, so does that mean that they can only draw their chefs from the small Christian population here? Things to ponder…. but I digress.
While I will probably stay away from the burgers from now on (they are not bad, its just the disappointment of them not being like the US burgers), we will definitely go back there again. It was a great way to get a little taste of home, and sometimes, we just need that.