As the proud granddaughter of a World War II and Korean War veteran, Veterans Day holds a special place in my heart. I’m thankful to the brave men and women who have served and are currently serving our country in the military. Veteran’s Day is just a few short days away, and I’m proud to say that there are quite a few restaurants across the country who are thanking these selfless heroes for their sacrifice by offering them a free meal. Applebee’s is just one of the many restaurants who is generously providing meals to active military service members and veterans!
This morning I was joined by renowned chef Steven Bulgarelli (Applebee’s chief culinary officer) for an interview. He dished on the 11 years that Applebee’s has been providing meals to veterans, this year’s menu, the top seven full entrees being served and how veterans and active military service members can obtain a free meal on Veteran’s Day, Monday, November 11, 2019.
Chef Steven Bulgarelli shared all the details in the YouTube video below! I transcribed the interview for you as well. Please share this interview with the veterans and active military service members in your life, so they can obtain their free meal!
Applebee’s Has Been Giving Veterans Free Meals On Veterans Day For 11 Years
Candie Anderson: Applebee’s has been serving free meals to veterans on Veterans Day for 11 years now. How did the restaurant get started and what inspired it?
Chef Steven Bulgarelli: “We love to give back to our communities. We’re in so many different neighborhoods. Our best way to honor our active service and veterans to give what we know and that’s great food and great service. We’ve been doing this for 11 years now; 9.8 million meals served so far.”
The 7 Free Entrees For Veterans And Active Military Service Members
Candie Anderson: Does the menu change every year?
Chef Steven Bulgarelli: “It does change, and I’d be happy to walk you through our menu this year. We have seven amazing entrees.
I’m going to start with our Fiesta Lime Chicken. It’s one of our fan favorites. This is a grilled chicken breast smothered in melted cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, our fresh pico de Gallo, our Mexican-style rice, fresh lime.
We also have our Classic Bacon Cheeseburger. This is fresh (never frozen) beef. We sear that on the flat top, melt cheese, add bacon on a brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. We serve it with classic fries.
We also have our USDA Top Sirloin Steak served with mashed potatoes and broccoli.
One of my favorites that I’m going to walk you through right now is our Three Cheese Chicken Penne. What I do is I start with a little bit of our parmesan cream sauce. I’m going to add that right to the pan, then I’m going to take our fresh penne pasta, and we are just going to toss that just to make sure all our pasta is tossed in that amazing delicious sauce. Then I’m going to take our seven ounce grilled chicken breast, put that right on top.
If you’re like me, there’s never enough cheese on pasta. I’m Italian, I can’t help it! I’m going to put some fresh parmesan cheese on top of that, then we’re going to take our fresh Bruschetta. This is fresh tomatoes, fresh garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and finished with fresh basil which will give you that fresh from the garden flavor. Then I’m going to add just a little more parsley – just for flavor and color. Then we add our breadstick, which is covered in fresh butter, garlic and parsley. That is our Three Cheese Chicken Penne.
(Please see video above to watch chef Steven Bulgarelli demonstrate how he prepared his Three Cheese Chicken Penne).
Also in the menu is our Chicken Tender, our Double Crunch Shrimp, as well as our Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad, – seven full sized entrees for all of our veterans and active military service members.”
How Veterans And Active Members Can Get A Free Meal At Applebee’s On Veterans Day
Candie Anderson: Do veterans and active military service members just need to walk into an Applebee’s on Veterans Day or is there anything specific that they need to do beforehand so they can get their free meal?
Chef Steven Bulgarelli: “All they need to do is walk into their neighborhood Applebee’s, tell them that they’re active service or a veteran and they can enjoy a free meal.”
Candie Anderson: Do you have any additional information you’d like to share with us?
Chef Steven Bulgarelli: All they need to do is go to applebees.com and they can get all the information on this program, as well any other ones that we have happening.
With Veterans Day Weekend upon us, I must thank my favorite World War II veteran and hero, my late grandfather Jack.
Thank you veterans and active military service members for your service!