"The tree is trimmed. The wreaths are up. And now it's time to hurry into your neighborhood Applebee's to get the perfect gift for everyone on your list," reads an e-mail announcing the deal. It describes the Bonus Card as "the perfect free gift for your mailman or your CPA."
But what if you're greedy like me and want to use the Bonus Card for your own personal gain? What would I recommend? Well, I'd grab a friend and get the 2 for $20--which comes down to $10 with your Bonus Card (check to make sure your location allows you to do this; there are some unspecified restrictions on the card). For an appetizer, I'd get either a side salad (Caesar) or the Boneless Wings. For the entree, I'd get the 7-ounce House Sirloin or the Chicken Tenders Basket. If I had to go solo, I'd choose from the Spirited Cuisine Menu. I'd probably choose the Sizzling Double Barrel Whiskey Sirloins. According to Applebee's, that's made by "grilling two 4 oz. sirloin steaks, flavored with blackened seasoning, garlic and thyme ... served with a delicious mountain of garlic mashed potatoes and topped with red peppers, mushrooms and onions caramelized with the smooth, subtle taste of bourbon." (Okay, guys, all bourbons are whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbon.) Failing that, my backup would be the Chicken and Shrimp Tequila Tango, a new dish made by seasoning chicken and shrimp and topping with chopped cilantro and a tequila avocado sauce. This is served on a bed of Mexican rice, sautéed peppers and sauteed onions.
But what if you don't want alcohol in your meal? Then I'd recommend the Honey Pepper Sirloin (on a bed of potatoes and topped with fried onions and jalapenos), the Bourbon Street Steak (Cajun spices with sauteed onions, mushrooms and fried red potatoes), or the Shrimp and Parmasean Sirloin (shrimp, scampi sauce and Italian cheeses on a 9-ounce sirloin).
Are you trying to watch your weight? (And after the holidays, who isn't?) No problem; Applebee's is Weight Watchers friendly. One example is the Signature Sirloin with Garlic Herb Shrimp, which is less than 550 calories. It is, according to Applebee's, "Seasoned shrimp in a cream sauce [on a] 7 oz. grilled sirloin [and] served with herbed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, bruschetta and sliced almonds."
Applebee's has two ways to purchase the gift card online. "Digital Gift Cards may be purchased directly from our website," reads Applebees.com. "Simply fill out the information requested and send to any email address. You can even personalize your Gift Card design with images, audio, mobile phone messaging and even post a notification on Facebook." But if you're a traditionalist who likes a plastic gift card, you can have a gift card shipped to a mail address (UPS does not deliver to P.O. Boxes). It can be shipped via standard mail or overnight delivery, while the digital card can be printed immediately. Gift cards can not be purchased over the phone. Gift cards do not expire.