I went to the Macaroni Grill for the first time less than a week after I dined at a ""fashionable"" Minneapolis Italian bistro, highly rated by the critics. Macaroni Grill was quiet (I had to yell in the trendy place); the wait staff was infinitely better trained, (they didn't spill my wine like the other place did); and I had to debate for a full 5 minutes about which of the many entrees I wanted.
Unlike the trendy place, I got bread and a salad and enough food to make a great lunch the next day. Most important: the food tasted GREAT and my bill was half of what I paid at the loud, poorly staffed place.
If your sense of sophistication prevents you from dining in chain restaurants, thats fine. It will mean a quieter time and less waiting for those of us at Macaroni Grill!
Pros: good service, good food, good value
Cons: at a mall, skimpy wine portions