Applebee’s 2 for $20 Deal: Is It Worth It? (2024 Review)

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Hey there, fellow foodies and deal hunters! 🍔🍟 Ever found yourself staring at a menu, torn between your rumbling tummy and your wallet’s whimpers? We’ve all been there. That’s where the siren song of Applebee’s 2 for $20 deal comes in. It’s been the talk of the town, the whisper in the checkout line, the beacon for hungry duos everywhere.

But hold your horses, partner! Before you saddle up and ride into your nearest Applebee’s, let’s dig a little deeper. This ain’t your average deal review – this is a deep dive, a treasure map to uncover if this deal is truly the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We’re talkin’ menu secrets, insider tips, and a whole lot of flavor exploration. So, grab your fork and buckle up, because we’re about to embark on a culinary quest!

Decoding the Deal: What’s on the Menu?

Alright, folks, let’s get down to brass tacks – what are we actually gettin’ for our hard-earned twenty bucks? Applebee’s ain’t shy about variety, so buckle up for a flavor-packed ride.

Main Attractions: The Entrees

You’ve got options galore here, from classic American comfort food to dishes with a little international flair. Think juicy burgers 🍔, sizzling fajitas 🌮, and cheesy pasta bakes 🍝. And for those lookin’ for lighter fare, they’ve got salads and grilled chicken dishes too.

  • The Classic Burger: A no-frills, all-American beef patty on a toasted bun. It’s a safe bet, but don’t expect it to blow your socks off.
  • Fiesta Lime Chicken: Grilled chicken breast topped with zesty lime sauce and a fiesta of peppers and onions. A decent choice if you’re craving a little spice.
  • Three-Cheese Chicken Penne: This pasta dish is pure comfort food, loaded with creamy Alfredo sauce and melted cheese. It’s a carb lover’s dream come true.

The Sidekick: Appetizers to Share

No meal is complete without a little somethin’ to nibble on while you wait. The 2 for $20 deal throws in an appetizer to share, and it’s not just your run-of-the-mill chips and salsa.

  • Boneless Wings: These bite-sized nuggets of chicken come tossed in your choice of sauce. They’re perfect for sharing (or not, we won’t judge).
  • Spinach & Artichoke Dip: This warm and cheesy dip is a crowd-pleaser. It’s served with tortilla chips for dipping, but you could always get creative and ask for some bread or veggies on the side.
  • Mozzarella Sticks: Who doesn’t love these crispy, cheesy sticks? They’re the perfect appetizer to kick off your Applebee’s feast.

The Fine Print: Portion Sizes and Menu Variations

Now, here’s where things get a little tricky. While the 2 for $20 menu boasts a decent selection, portion sizes might be a tad smaller than their regular menu counterparts. Don’t fret, though – it’s nothin’ a little strategic ordering can’t fix. And remember, menus can vary slightly from location to location, so don’t be afraid to ask your server for the full scoop.

Pros and Cons: A Balanced Perspective

Like any good adventure, the Applebee’s 2 for $20 deal comes with its share of sunshine and shadows. Let’s weigh the treasures against the traps so you can decide if this journey is right for you.

The Golden Nuggets: What Makes the Deal Shine

  • Affordability: Let’s be real, folks – dining out ain’t cheap these days. But this deal aims to ease that pain, offering two full meals and a shareable starter at a price that won’t make your wallet weep. Compared to ordering those items individually, you’re potentially saving a decent chunk of change. 💰
  • Variety: The menu isn’t half bad either. You’ve got options for meat lovers, veggie enthusiasts, and everyone in between. Whether you’re craving a hearty steak or a lighter salad, there’s likely something to tempt your taste buds.
  • Convenience: Ain’t nobody got time for slaving over a hot stove every night. This deal is perfect for those nights when you want a fuss-free meal without resorting to greasy takeout.

The Hidden Thorns: What to Watch Out For

  • Value Breakdown: Now, before you start doing a victory dance, let’s do some quick math. If you break down the cost of each item individually, is the deal really as sweet as it seems? Sometimes, the “savings” might be inflated, so it’s worth checking the regular menu prices to compare.
  • Nutritional Considerations: While Applebee’s is known for its indulgent fare, it’s worth noting that some of the 2 for $20 options might be calorie bombs. If you’re watchin’ your waistline, it’s wise to check the nutritional info before you dive in.
  • Unique Angle: The “Rush Hour” Effect: Ever noticed how restaurants get slammed during peak hours? This deal might exacerbate that, leading to longer wait times and a potentially less enjoyable dining experience. Consider going during off-peak hours for a more relaxed atmosphere.

Insider Tips: Maximizing Your 2 for $20 Experience

Alright, my fellow bargain hunters, let’s turn up the heat and transform this deal into a culinary masterpiece. With a few savvy moves, you can elevate your Applebee’s adventure from “meh” to “magnificent.”

Menu Hacks: Flavor Pairings That Sing

  • Surf & Turf, Budget Style: Combine the Fiesta Lime Chicken with the Shrimp ‘N Parmesan Sirloin for a DIY surf and turf that won’t break the bank. The zesty lime and parmesan flavors play surprisingly well together.
  • Tex-Mex Fiesta: Pair the Chicken Fajita Rollup with the Spinach & Artichoke Dip for a Tex-Mex explosion. Use the fajita tortillas to scoop up that cheesy goodness – pure bliss!
  • Sweet & Savory Satisfaction: If you’ve got a sweet tooth, order the Classic Cheeseburger and get the Brownie Bite Duo for your appetizer. The rich chocolatey brownie is the perfect ending to a savory meal.

Upgrade Strategies: Little Tweaks, Big Impact

  • Protein Power-Up: Don’t be afraid to ask for extra protein on your salad. A grilled chicken breast or some blackened shrimp can turn a side salad into a satisfying main course.
  • Sauce It Up: Applebee’s has a variety of sauces available, from classic BBQ to spicy sriracha. Don’t settle for boring – experiment and find your perfect flavor combo.
  • Go Halfsies: If you’re not a big eater, consider splitting an entree with your dining companion. This way, you can both try something different and still stay within your budget.

Off-Menu Pairings: Drinks & Sides to Complement Your Feast

  • Margarita Magic: Nothing says “fiesta” like a frosty margarita. Pair it with the Fiesta Lime Chicken for a taste of the tropics.
  • Beer Me: If you’re a beer lover, try the Honey Pepper Beer-Battered Fish and Chips with a cold, crisp draft beer.
  • Sidekick Sensation: While not included in the 2 for $20 deal, the side of onion rings is a classic Applebee’s staple and pairs perfectly with burgers and sandwiches.

Insider Knowledge: Little-Known Secrets of the Deal

  • Menu Evolution: The 2 for $20 menu isn’t set in stone. It evolves over time, so keep an eye out for new and exciting additions.
  • Regional Differences: Some locations may offer slightly different menu items or variations on the deal. Ask your server for the local lowdown.
  • Happy Hour Hacks: If you time it right, you can snag the 2 for $20 deal during happy hour and score discounted drinks to boot. Now that’s what I call a win-win!

The “Hidden Costs”: What You Might Not Realize

Alright, my savvy spenders, let’s not get carried away by the allure of that $20 price tag. There are some sneaky costs lurking in the shadows that could throw a wrench in your budget-friendly feast.

The Psychology of Deals: Are We Impulse Ordering?

Unique Angle: Ever wonder why those limited-time offers are so tempting? It’s not just about the savings, my friends. It’s about the thrill of the hunt, the fear of missing out. This deal might trigger those impulse-buying instincts, leading you to order more than you intended or choosing less healthy options because they’re “part of the deal.”

The Beverage Upsell: Don’t Get Thirsty for Trouble

While the 2 for $20 covers your food, it doesn’t quench your thirst. Those tempting drink menus are designed to entice you with colorful cocktails and refreshing brews. But beware, my friends – these liquid delights can quickly inflate your bill. A couple of margaritas or a round of beers can easily double your final cost.

Gratuity Guidelines: Tipping on the Pre- or Post-Discount Amount?

Ah, the age-old tipping conundrum. Do you tip based on the original price of the meal, or the discounted price after the deal? Etiquette experts generally recommend tipping on the pre-discount amount, as that’s the true value of the service provided. But hey, I’m not here to judge – tip what you feel is fair, just be mindful of those hard-working servers!

Alternatives to Consider: Is Applebee’s the Best Bang for Your Buck?

Okay, before you commit to Applebee’s, let’s broaden our horizons. This town’s got more than one watering hole, and some of ’em might surprise you with their own tasty deals.

Competitor Comparison: The Battle of the Chain Restaurants

Let’s not forget that Applebee’s has some friendly rivals. Places like Chili’s, TGI Fridays, and even Buffalo Wild Wings might be slingin’ their own versions of a 2 for $20 deal, or they might have other promotions that tickle your fancy. A little research goes a long way – check out their menus and see if anything tickles your fancy.

DIY Option: Can You Cook Up a Better Deal?

If you’re a kitchen whiz, why not channel your inner chef and whip up your own feast? Grab some groceries, put on your apron, and see if you can create a similar meal for two for under $20. You might be surprised at how much you can save (and how much tastier homemade can be!).

Unique Angle: Exploring Alternative Dining Experiences

Who says date night has to be at a chain restaurant? Shake things up and try something new! Food trucks often offer delicious and affordable meals, and ethnic cuisine can transport your taste buds to far-off lands without breaking the bank. Plus, you’ll be supporting local businesses and getting a more unique experience.

Conclusion: Is the 2 for $20 Deal Your Golden Ticket?

Well, my fellow adventurers, we’ve trekked through the menu, weighed the pros and cons, and even uncovered some hidden secrets. Now, the million-dollar question: Is the Applebee’s 2 for $20 deal worth it?

The Verdict:

Like any good treasure, the answer depends on your map.

  • For Budget-Minded Explorers: If you’re seeking a wallet-friendly meal that won’t leave you hungry, this deal can be a solid choice. Just be mindful of those sneaky upsells and choose your dishes wisely.
  • For Culinary Connoisseurs: If you’re a foodie seeking a gourmet experience, this might not be your holy grail. The 2 for $20 menu is geared more towards comfort food than culinary artistry.
  • For Families on the Go: This deal can be a lifesaver for busy families. It’s a quick, easy, and relatively affordable way to feed the crew without sacrificing flavor.

Ultimately, the 2 for $20 deal is like a choose-your-own-adventure novel. It’s what you make of it. By understanding the menu, maximizing your choices, and being mindful of the hidden costs, you can turn this deal into a delicious chapter in your dining story.

So, what’s your verdict? Have you tried the 2 for $20 deal? Share your experiences, tips, and tricks in the comments below! Let’s keep the conversation going and help each other discover the best deals and tastiest bites out there.


Does the Applebee’s 2 for $20 deal apply to all locations?

While the deal is widely available, there might be slight variations in the menu options or participation depending on your location. It’s always best to check your local Applebee’s website or call ahead to confirm.

Can I substitute items in the 2 for $20 deal?

Officially, substitutions are not allowed within the set menu for the deal. However, some locations might be flexible depending on the requested change. It never hurts to politely ask your server if a minor adjustment is possible.

Is the quality of food in the 2 for $20 deal the same as the regular menu?

Applebee’s maintains that the quality standards for both the deal and regular menu items are the same. However, some diners have reported slight differences in portion sizes or ingredient variations in the past.

How often does the 2 for $20 menu change?

Applebee’s typically refreshes its 2 for $20 menu every few months to keep things interesting and cater to seasonal preferences. It’s worth checking their website or social media for updates on the latest offerings.

Can I use other coupons or discounts with the 2 for $20 deal?

Usually, the 2 for $20 deal cannot be combined with other discounts or coupons. It’s a standalone promotion with its own set of rules and restrictions. However, some locations might have exceptions or occasional special offers, so it’s always worth checking.

Are there healthier options available within the 2 for $20 deal?

Yes, Applebee’s usually includes some lighter options like salads or grilled chicken dishes in the 2 for $20 menu. You can also request modifications like dressing on the side or grilled instead of fried to make your meal healthier.

Can I order the 2 for $20 deal for takeout or delivery?

Yes, the 2 for $20 deal is typically available for takeout and delivery as well. Check with your local Applebee’s or use their online ordering platform to confirm availability and any specific terms.

What happens if I don’t finish my food? Can I take it home?

Absolutely! Any leftovers from your 2 for $20 meal can be packed up and taken home to enjoy later. Just ask your server for a to-go box.

Are there any secret menu hacks for the 2 for $20 deal?

While there’s no official secret menu, some savvy diners have discovered ways to enhance their experience. This includes customizing dishes with different sauces or toppings, or combining items for unique flavor combinations. Don’t hesitate to ask your server for recommendations or suggestions!

Is the 2 for $20 deal really the best value at Applebee’s?

The value of the deal depends on your individual preferences and priorities. If you’re looking for an affordable meal with a decent variety of options, it can be a good choice. However, if you’re seeking gourmet cuisine or large portions, you might want to explore other options at Applebee’s or elsewhere.

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