Is anyone here loyal to particular chain restaurants?
Outback Steakhouse. It's consistently good, and while many restaurants have raised prices while lowering quantity and quality, Outback has done the opposite. I can get an "Outback Special" (6 oz steak, 2 sides - one of which can be a salad - and bread/butter) for $9.99. So, when I'm out of town and want to go to a sit down restaurant, I look to see if there's an Outback nearby. They also have a rewards program where every time you eat there, you earn points which can be redeemed for free food once you get a certain amount. I'm about to earn a free appetizer!! (Unnaturally excited about that!)
Cracker Barrel I like to go to Cracker Barrel when I'm on a long road trip or when I want breakfast at a random time of the day. The food is consistently good, the gift shop is entertaining and cheap, and the prices are low. I feel like the prices are comparable with IHOP and Waffle House, but the food is better and there's not a 95% chance it's going to be filthy and smell like a bathroom.
Taco Cabana This is the only Tex-Mex fast food restaurant I will go to. Their tortillas are better than the ones you can get in some sit-down restaurants, and it's super cheap! A kids meal (burrito or soft taco with rice and beans or chips and queso and a small drink) is under $5.00
McDonald's for coffee and coke. They have the best fountain coke. I find that at a lot of places it's not mixed right - too syrupy/sweet. McDonald's coke is always spicy.
Shipley's Donuts Best donuts ever. I love the hot plain glazed.