Christmas Eve Dinner: Applebee's and Autism

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I don't often post a review of restaurants, as I don't feel I'm fully qualified to judge a chain's food properly.  But last night, as we sat and ate our dinner, it occurred to me that I needed to say something.

Ever since I had a nasty experience at IHOP in West Valley City, I've been reluctant to go to sit-down restaurants with my autistic son.  At IHOP, the place was so loud and the food so slow that our son went into a melt down.  What's more, it didn't have to be that way, because only 1/3rd of the place was full, we were just all crammed together.  I suppose it makes sense to the management, but it still sent our son into a meltdown that required me to walk him around in the deserted section, while a couple who sat next to us pointed out that their children were well behaved.  Hence. my total lack of desire to eat there, ever again.

But last night, at Applebee's, we had a wonderful time.  The food came to us fast and fresh.  Our youngest was the only one who got whiny, but that's because he had just woken up.  the food came just in time to help him calm down, and our oldest with Autism had a blast.  We were placed on the side by the window, and even though we had people on all sides of us, it didn't feel like we were crowded.  The noise level was very minimal, so much so that we could even whisper if we so desired.  And finally, the staff was very friendly.

We have been to another Applebee's in town, and had a similar experience, with one addition:  the waitress who served us was aware of autism and took a liking to Jonathan right away.  For these reasons, both my wife and I love going to Applebee's.  I don't know if all the Applebee's restaurants are like this, or if it's just the West Valley City and Taylorsville Applebee's, but they have made a happy customer out of my wife and I.

Does anyone else have a favorite restaurant to go to?  What makes it your favorite?