Best Chain Restaurant St. Louis 2012 - Houlihan's
Be it the décor, the food, the drinks or the conversation, it's hard not to find something to like at the Brentwood Houlihan's. For those who recall the previous mid-county Houlihan's that for years occupied the north end of the Saint Louis Galleria, this new stand-alone location is a definite upgrade — soft lighting, spa-like walls of stone and wood, cozy booths and an ample outdoor patio. The food isn't bad, either: everything from a $26 filet mignon to a $5.75 order of spicy chicken and avocado egg rolls. (We've taken a liking to the $4.25 Tuscan white bean salad.) Even more expansive than the food menu is Houlihan's list of drinks. There's beer, of course, and a dozen white and red wines that can be ordered by the glass or bottle. But it's the froufrou drinks that really impress, from chocolate martinis to strawberry gin lemonade and — gulp! — nine Long Island iced tea versions. The Brentwood location sits adjacent to the SpringHill Suites hotel, which means Houlihan's horseshoe bar almost always hosts a few out-of-towners looking to engage in idle chitchat. Start by asking them how many varieties of Long Island iced teas they can name.