Applebee’s Will Let You Top Anything With Mozzarella Sticks So This Blog is Basically Writing Itself

Other options include beer cheese bacon goop or bonus fried shrimp salt piles.

Applebee's "Topped and Loaded" Menu

Breaking news from Glendale, California! Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar has recently unveiled their new limited-time “Topped & Loaded” menu, starting at just $10.99.

How does one “top and load,” you ask? In addition to their regular lineup of food incongruously topped with other, smaller, saltier food, the new “Topped & Loaded” menu offers customers a choice of chicken breast, pork chop, or two sizes of sirloin steak, topped with one of the following:

  • The Marinara Mozzarella Stick Topper, consisting of crispy mozzarella sticks, classic marinara sauce and parmesan cream sauce. 
  • The Bacon Beer Cheese Topper, made of BLUE MOON®1 White Cheddar beer cheese, bacon, crispy onions and fresh green onions.
  • The Cajun Shrimp Topper, including blackened shrimp, sautéed onions and savory lemon butter.


From the press release:

“Our Topped & Loaded menu gives guests what they’ve always wanted – the chance to top one favorite with another to discover a creative and tasty spin on a classic,” said Thomas Yun, Executive Chef of Applebee’s. “For example, pairing the Chicken Breast with the Marinara Mozzarella Stick topper with a parmesan cream sauce is a deconstructed and reinvented chicken parmesan that satisfies and delights the taste buds in a way that is uniquely Applebee’s.”

It sounds good on paper, to be sure. But look, choosing one frozen food from Column A and topping it with a second frozen food from Column B doesn’t make you Wiley fucking Dufresne. You’re not “deconstructing” or “reinventing” a classic chicken parmesan; you’re eating like a drunk divorcee at the end of a three day bender. “Customizing” terrible food to make it taste exactly like something you’ve already eaten a billion times isn’t offering consumers a real choice; it’s trying to fool customers into thinking they’re making creative decisions, instead of being tricked into eating whatever pre-cooked muck is sitting half-frozen in a bag at the bottom of the walk-in, to make space before the next shipment arrives from corporate headquarters.

Written by Malcolm Bedell

Malcolm is the author of "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as a frequent contributor to Serious Eats,, Eat Rockland, Down East Magazine, The L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and more. When not poisoning his body with garbage and then posting sardonic commentary about it on the Internet, he also owns and operates the 'Wich, Please food truck, named's "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

McDonald's Lobster Roll

REVIEW: The “Lobster Roll” from McDonald’s

Thomas Keller's BLT

13 Creative Alternatives to Bread for Gluten-Free Sandwich Lovers