I’ll be honest, I’ve never stepped foot inside a TGI Fridays, and in the last year of being a full-time vegetarian, the prospect of lots of burgers and ribs around me didn’t entirely appeal. But, after dropping in for a naughty cocktail and dessert with the girl one night, I realised that it wasn’t just a carnivore’s paradise.

Weirdly the nice folks at TGI Fridays offered me and the mossters a meal on them to see what we thought, so we took a trip to TGI Fridays Basildon this weekend.


We hadn’t booked a table, but we were seated quickly our Menus dished out. Georgia had already looked at the kids menu online and decided she wanted the BBQ Ribs from the Major League section. I knew straight away what James would have – the Tomato Tubes from the Little League section.

Our waitress Sophie came over to say hello and take our drinks order, as it was a family friendly meal I decided to steer clear of the wonderful choice of Cocktails and opt for a Diet Coke. Georgia picked an Oreo Milkshake and James the drink of most kids his age, a Fruit Shoot.


My eyes scanned around the menu for something suitable for me, looking for the standard ‘V’s – thankfully there are a good selection of these. I went for the Cajun-Spiced Veggie Quesadilla, although was torn between that and the Veggie Fajita! Orders placed, we waited for the food, the kids happily working their way through the colouring books. Despite being a busy Saturday night, the food arrived very quickly.

By the time I’d taken a quick picture of mine, James was already tucking into his Pasta, and Georgia was eyeing up her generous portion of ribs.

Cajun-Spiced Veggie Quesadilla

I really enjoyed my meal, the portion was a good size, and it tasted fantastic, I demolished it in record time, although James proudly pushed his empty bowl at me just as I was finishing up. I’ve never seen him eat something in a restaurant so quickly, Georgia was demolishing the ribs with great aplomb, I must admit it makes me queasy seeing anyone nomming on bones, but G seemed very happy and had every last mouthful from her plate.

Demolishing the Tomato Tubes
Demolishing the Tomato Tubes
Destroying the ribs!
Destroying the ribs!

There was no question about having a dessert, everyone wanted one! I opted for the Apple Waffle Crunch, G had the Fairground Sundae (never seen a dessert with Candy Floss before!) and J had the Chocolate Brownie. Unfortunately our wait for the puddings was long, the kids were getting slightly restless, and Sophie came over an apologised for the delay, explaining a large party was in and they’d ordered their dessert when we had. It was a bit of a pain, but her apology was genuine, and the reason acceptable so we waited.

After an additional five minutes or so, the puddings arrived, with Sophie admitting she’d made one of them to get them out to us a little quicker which was lovely. Again the food was excellent, I really enjoyed ploughing through the Apple Waffle Crunch and the children fell silent as they ate theirs! We all cleared our plates, which suggested everyone was happy with their choices.

James' Chocolate Brownie
James’ Chocolate Brownie
Enjoying the Fairground Sundae
Enjoying the Fairground Sundae

Overall I was really happy with our meal, and suprised how relatively cheap it was, four of us had two courses and several drinks for £54. Obviously if our meals were more ‘meaty’ the cost would have been slightly higher, but it’s certainly on par with similar restaurants. The experience was very good, the delay on the puddings was a bit annoying, but the apologies and explanation from Sophie softened the blow.

On the subject of our waitress, she was probably one of the best I’ve met in a very long time, she was happy and bubbly, fantastic with the kids and seemed extremely switched on. I think there would be a lot more happy diners if more waiting staff were like her!

We left feeling full of American themed food, and will definitely be repeat customers of TGI Fridays!

Also worth noting that in the run up to Father’s Day TGI Fridays are hosting a ‘Daddy Cool’ competition in branches at the moment to win a trip to Wembley to watch a game of American Football!


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