I've seen that even Chowhounders have their guilty pleasures and can be found surreptitiously indulging in the siren-call of chain-food. So on that note:
Even the biggest chain restaurants suffer inconsistency in food and service. I'm thinking mostly of fast food here, Mcdonalds, Subway, etc, though other smaller chains can be included.
I'm just curious if others have found any obviously better or more consistent locations for a particular food chain.
Admittedly I feel more out of touch with the chains these days, but this was brought to mind when I wanted a Harvey's burger and rings recently. If I want Harvey's the one location I'll try to make it to isthe one on Don Mills Rd north of Eglington (in the same place with Congee Star and Mongolian Grill).
I find it's been really consistent over the years in putting out the best Harvey's has to offer in their product, vs the hit and miss quality of many other locations I've tried.
There's also a Swiss Chalet in the same mall area that is decidedly mediocre compared to the Once Great location on O'Connor
Drive. The O'Connor Swiss Chalet used to be housed in a more traditional Swiss Chalet design, and was consistently fantastic, head and shoulders above the average Swiss Chalet. Unfortunately they changed to a different building, newer look, less consistent quality.
Best Mcdonald's? Not sure on my end. I remember one Mcdonald's on the drive up to cottage country that was always amazing, but can't remember exactly which one. A truly fresh Big Mac (and even a fish fillet) is a thing of beauty, and it's so rarely encountered in it's best execution. We have a mini-take out Mcdonald's on the corner of Broadview and Danforth which is mediocre in terms of execution and freshness (except when the cookies come out of the oven). The Mcdonald's on Pape is pretty decent.
As far as bad chain locations, the one that really sticks out for me is the Mr. Sub on the York Mills, between Leslie and Don Mills Rd. OMG. I was desperate for a Mr. Sub a couple weekends ago, was in the area, and ended up walking in. As soon as I did I went "uh-oh, didn't I have really bad experience with this place?" The lighting, the set up, it's just immediately depressing somehow.
One look at the produce and it was obvious good times were not ahead. Sure enough, the "grilled buffalo chicken" was pretty much as inedible as the last time I tried this location - wilted produce, utterly freezer-shocked, dried-out, slab of cardboard in between a sad bun. I tossed most of it.
Looking for other info/opinions....