TGI Fridays in Utrecht

I didn't go all the way to Utrecht Central station just to visit the Normal store, as I wanted to eat at the TGI Fridays restaurant ever since I heard they opened late April. Spare ribs, hamburgers, and chicken wings are some of my favorite food, so I was sure that it would become one of my favorite restaurants.

TGI Fridays utrecht paviljoen entrance

I went there late afternoon and it was quieter than I thought it would be. There were only 2-3 tables with people, but it did got more crowded later on.

After reading the menus and the little book of drinks, we quickly got the drinks that we ordered: a large glass of Tropical Raspberry tea (€4) and a large glass of Strawberry Passion tea (€4.25).

tgi fridays utrecht drinks strawberry passion tropical raspberry tea on table

I had the Strawberry Passion tea and I really loved it! It was full of flavor and what I expect from a good and refreshing strawberry lemonade. The tea flavor and passion fruit flavor weren't as pronounced, but you do get a hint of them at the end. Near the end, the drink got a bit diluted by the ice cubes, but the first few sips were heavily concentrated and great. It was also nice and cold, perfect for the hot weather on that day. I heard the Tropical Raspberry tea was really good too. There were actually visible bits of raspberry in the glass.  

tgi fridays utrecht drinks strawberry passion tropical raspberry tea closeup

After we got the drinks, we waited a while for the food, but it wasn't very long. I took that time to take some pictures of the restaurant interior. 

tgi fridays utrecht alcoholic drinks bar
tgi fridays utrecht gold bar details

tgi fridays utrecht interior restaurant
tgi fridays utrecht kitchen windows

We expected to only to be able to order from their simplified lunch menu, but the waitress told me that I could order from the regular menu. It was an unexpected change of plans, so we needed some time to decide what we wanted to order. We originally planned to order a burger and the Carolina BBQ ribs. But now that everything was available, I could try the chicken wings that I was so curious about. There are three different kinds of chicken wings on the menu: Elote wings, Buffalo wings, and Tennessee glaze wings. The Fridays Wing platter (€14.95) has 3 of each kind. It is actually a shareable appetizer, but we just told the waitress to bring it together with the main that we ordered.   

Doesn't it look like a feast?

tgi fridays utrecht wing platter elote buffalo Jack Daniels tennessee glazed wings

Even though I love chicken wings, I don't think I could finish this on my own. So, we decided to share the two dishes that we ordered.

Out of the three kinds of chicken wings, I liked the Tennessee glaze wings the most. It is the chicken wings in the middle and although they look a bit pale, the flavor was great and on some parts, there was a crunchy coat of sugary glaze. The same glaze can also be found in the sauce cup on the right. It was sweet and savory. You don't really taste much of the alcohol flavor of the Jack Daniel's Tennessee whisky that is in it.

In the other sauce cup, there was a blue cheese sauce, which probably tastes the best with the cheesy and creamy Elote wings on the right. The blue cheese sauce wasn't as bad as I thought. The pungent blue cheese flavor wasn't really strong and you basically taste a very flavorful cheese sauce with a tiny hint of the blue cheese. The Elote wings were covered with corn cream and different kinds of spicy sauces and chunks of white cheese. It was a bit too heavy for me. 

The Buffalo wings on the left are covered with a spicy Buffalo sauce and celery shavings. It was mainly very spicy and I had to dip it in the Tennessee glaze sauce to lessen the spiciness.

Overall, the chicken wings were large and filling, but the chicken meat was a little on the dry side and some of the bones were broken. The bones also looked a bit black.      

We had a difficult time choosing between a burger, spare ribs, and a steak. In the end, we decided on the New York strip steak (200 g, €19.75).

tgi fridays utrecht new york strip steak

We wanted the New York Strip steak to be medium to well done and it came on a metal plate with mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.

tgi fridays utrecht new york strip steak medium to well done

The slice of beef was pretty thick and even after sharing it, we both had quite a large piece for ourselves. The beef was very tender and it had a nice grilled flavor. The gravy was sweet and a bit earthy from the cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. It complimented the meat well.  

tgi fridays utrecht new york strip steak shared cherry tomatoes button mushrooms

With the steak, you get a side dish of your choice. You can choose from: a seasonal side salad, coleslaw, roasted Brussels sprouts, sweet corn mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, mac 'n cheese, grilled vegetables, skinny fries, and classic fries. We took the skinny fries and it was very crunchy, because they were probably double fried. It was close to being too burned, so it took a lot of effort to get this perfect.  

tgi fridays utrecht classic fries cutlery wet tissue

I also liked how the waitress brought us two small plates, two steak knifes, and two packets of wet towels for the chicken wings without us needing to ask for them. It was very attentive. 

What do I think?

The meal was a bit expensive for lunch, but the portions were really generous and I was so full that I only had a light salad for dinner. Every dish and drink was made with care and they were full of flavor. Spending about €20 per person for a good lunch once in a while is not that bad.  

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