I'm a chowhound as much as the next person but in the immediate, comfortable driving vicinity of where we live, 99% of the restaurants are chains and 1% are indies. 50% of the 1% are inedible, so that leaves like 2 indie restaurants and we get tired of visiting those, so we visit chains occasionally. We used to be regular patrons at Damon's but after 2 very disappointing visits, I'm done with this place.
My completely un-chowish confession is a love for cheese sticks. I honestly might select a restaurant based on the quality of their cheese sticks. Though I'm sure most get them from cysco or somewhere similar, so many of them are just completely bland and Damon's were always really, really good. Hot and good cheese taste. Last time we went we ordered them only to find that apparently to save food costs (we can come up with no other reason) they now have a "house made" cheese stick which consists of a thick, tasteless eggroll wrapper which they fill with a completely unpleasant and fake tasting cheese which they then deep fry. The result is a monstrous, impossible to eat, overly greasy item with either no taste or terrible taste depending on the bite you get. Absolutely awful. So we didn't go back for about 1.5 months.
We went a couple of nights ago and the menu changes are astounding. They've completely eliminated any way to get pulled pork as part of an entree (the only thing available now are pulled pork "sliders"). They completely eliminated about half the combos they used to have, including combos with ribs and steak and ribs and chicken, where the chicken used to be a quarter roasted chicken, which was pretty tasty and one of my favorites. All the rib dinners now only come with fries unless you want to "upgrade" to a baked potato ($). The ONLY dinners that come with a baked potato now are the steaks, and I wanted a potato so I got the strip. It was the most greasy, tasteless steak I have had as far back as I can remember. The ribs, which my dining companion got, had hardly any sauce on them and were not very good.
We will not be back.
Edited to add: we are not the only ones unhappy. The table next to us coincidentally complained about the cheese sticks they received and the server told them that with all the menu changes they've made recently, the first restaurant that made these changes recently went out of business. My guess is the whole chain will go down because of these attempts to cut corners.