TGIFriday’s
Stoughton, MA

Crispy Green Bean Fries
Shrimp Key West
Two skewers of plump shrimp are dusted with Cajun spices, then fire–grilled and seasoned with a zesty lime splash. We serve the shrimp with steaming broccoli florets for a main course that’s big on flavor!
BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad
Crispy Romaine and iceberg lettuce tossed in Ranch dressing. Topped off with corn, black beans, shredded cheese, jicama and diced chicken breast. The salad is topped off with Jack Championship BBQ sauce and Cajun onion straws.

 

Firstly, let me say I was shocked we were able to walk right in and be seated at a little past 6 on a Friday, with the first Sox-Yankees game of the season on. Then again, the location seemed newly-developed and off the main way, so that may have helped.

Observation #1 is about the Shrimp Key West: As tasty as it sounds in the menu description and looks in the pictures, it has always bothered me that this entree is totally sans rice. I am a starchy carbs person, and a meal without a carb for me is incomplete. Meghan solved this dilemma and ordered a side of rice. I was expecting they’d bring plain old white rice, but instead it was saffron, seasoned rice. I was impressed. And she could have substituted her rice in lieu of the broccoli, but she was a good girl and ate her veg too.

All day Friday as I was looking forward to my girls’ night out, I was salivating over the idea of a big, juicy burger. However, when I got to the restaurant and started perusing the menu, the salads caught my eye. Big bowls of lettuce with various meats and toppings. They looked so good. And then I saw that the BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad had jicama! JICAMA! Are you familiar with jicama? The first time I encountered jicama was probably a week after my family had moved to Las Vegas and we were having dinner at a steak-and-salad-bar restaurant. The white, carrot-stick-looking vegetable intrigued me. How to describe the taste and texture? It’s like a raw potato, but with the sweetness and crisp of an apple. I haven’t had jicama since I moved to the East Coast 7 years ago. I was sold. I told our awesome waitress that it was the jicama that sold me, and she had no idea what jicama was. I was a little surprised that a server wouldn’t be familiar with the ingredients, especially the more unusual ingredients, in the menu.

Wait, here’s a better description of jicama (from the link above):

“The root’s exterior is yellow and papery, while its inside is creamy whitewith a crisp texture that resembles raw potato or pear. The flavor is sweet and starchy, reminiscent of some apples or raw green beans, and it is usually eaten raw, sometimes with salt, lemon, or lime juice and chili powder.”

I have started seeing jicama roots in some specialty grocery stores in the area, so I guess I need to find myself a steady supplier and start introducing my East Coast friends to this fantastic veg! A lime juice and chili dipping sauce with jicama for dipping…it sounds delicious, I should figure out a recipe!

The skewered shrimp did put up a bit of a fight. The buttery “lime splash” certainly splashed all over as Meghan tried to de-skewer her shrimp, so she had to perfect her technique on the second skewer. The Cajun spices and fire grilling can’t have imparted too much heat, because I didn’t see steam coming out of her ears. She isn’t a shrimp person and she liked it, so it must have been good.

My salad was a perfect balance of ingredients, flavours, and temperatures. The barbequed chicken was not too hot in temperature to wilt or turn the bed of lettuce; the BBQ sauce was not so plentiful as to overpower the chipotle ranch, and vice versa; there was not so much chicken that it overshadowed the bed of crisp vegetables, and corn and black beans balanced the meat. It was sweet and tangy and crisp and cool and warm all at once, a perfect 10. The only downside was the sheer size of the salad. I was able to do some damage to it and ate all the chicken, beans, and jicama and a good amount of the lettuce, and all that I let go was lettuce. If I could have ordered a half-sized salad, it would have been absolutely perfect. Maybe during the lunch hours they offer a smaller portion — if so, you have to get this salad!

 

NB: I joined the TGIFriday’s Give Me More Stripes club, and we earned 40 points toward our first rewards coupon.

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