Cracker Barrel

Top Ten Mid-Scale Restaurant Chains

Here's how I ended a review of a chain restaurant one time:

Sometimes I want quirky individuality and local color. Sometimes, when I'm tired, I just want a decent, trouble-free meal at a place that keeps the water glasses filled.

I think many of us have been at that point, especially if we have kids. As Happy Eater Rob said when we were talking about the problems with making up this list, "The times I ate in chains was when I was schlepping a kid to and from a sporting event."

That's pretty much true of me, too. Without a kid at home, I can...