Running, as much as I love it, altered my diet greatly. I have to think about everything I put in my mouth. But for one week only, I can almost cast all of this aside and indulge in a week of eating for free. It’s the best week in my world, and that is: my birthday week.
I was introduced to free birthday meals/ice cream/ candy/ makeup deal by my friend and birthday buddy, Ben. A few years back, Ben urged me to sign up for Red Robin’s free birthday burger online so we could enjoy free burgers together. I signed up, sure that it would be some gimmick and that I would end up paying more than I intended for “free food”. But, when we got to Red Robin and I found out that all I needed to purchase was a drink to get any burger I wanted AND fries, I was in heaven. Red Robin has awesome burgers it turns out, and you get an endless basket of fries. It’s been a yearly tradition ever since. The only downside is that you now have to get a card from them instead of just getting a coupon in your inbox.
Since that day many years ago, I’ve made it my mission to find every single birthday deal out there and share them with everyone I know. I’ve spent endless hours researching to compile this list, but I’ll only post a few of the deals I’ve found here. No one should go without getting something for free on their birthday. NO ONE.
I’ll start with one of the best and worst birthday deals out there and then give you a small description of others. Most of these places I’ve tried and love their food/product. Enjoy:
Worst: Red Lobster
Red Lobster is one of my favorite places to eat seafood. I never understood what people were talking about when they made claims that they would kill their sister over a basket of cheddar bay biscuits. I never understood the power of the cheddar bay biscuit, until I took my mother there for mother’s day one year. I was hooked. Three baskets later and I found that I had no room for my delicious steak oscar which I somehow shoved down my throat.
I love their food. It’s expensive, but the mere mention of “cheddar biscuits” to my friends Mikey and Olivia causes all plans to be dropped for an immediate trip to Red Lobster. We’d fork over anything just for a taste of those cheddar biscuits.
So being that this place has such awesome food, I expected them to have an equally awesome birthday deal. I was wrong. So wrong:
This is their birthday coupon? What kind of shenanigans is this? Couldn’t you just have made it five bucks off of ONE meal?! So we get 2.50 off per meal? That’s so wonderful!!! You’re so generous!!!
If you’ve ever eaten at Red Lobster, you know it’s expensive. Even if you go cheap, you walk away spending 10-15 bucks and that’s a small meal of shrimp hidden in noodles. If you want something really tasty, like the steak oscar (steak covered in lobster and shrimp smothered in a delish cream sauce, with asparagus and garlic alfredo mashed potatoes) get ready to fork over 30 bucks. So 5.00 off of a potiential 50 dollar meal feels like a smack in the face. Not to mention this is a coupon they offer to regular customers. I know it’s nice to get something from them, but come on, 5.00 off a meal for two? Groupon offers better deals than this crap. Stop being cheap, Red Lobster. Give us a decent birthday treat. You don’t even offer free dessert on your birthday…shenanigans.
Best: Joe’s Farm Grill, Joe’s BBQ, Liberty Market
Unfortunately this deal only applies to those of us fortunate (or unfortunate depending on the temp) to be Arizona on your birthday. If you visit these places on your birthday, they give you ten bucks towards your meal. Being that these places aren’t very expensive, that’s a great deal. Also, all three of these places are delicious. Being that I am from the south, I am a bit of a BBQ snob, but Joe’s BBQ has got to be some of the best BBQ I’ve eaten outside of Georgia. They have a potato that is the size of a football that is a bottomless pitt of BBQ’d meat of your choosing and toppings galore.
Joe’s Farm Grill has an amazing ahi tuna burger not to mention rib’s and waffles. That’s right, rib’s and waffles. I thought chicken and waffles was the most epic of all food combos, but Joe’s Farm Grill took it a step further. The ribs are fall off the bone good. Also, I never realized how good butter, maple syrup and barbecue sauce taste together.
As for Liberty Grill, they have bread pudding french toast (DROOLS) and the best white pizza with pine nuts, arugula and bacon that I have EVER eaten.
I plan to visit all three of these places on my birthday. The rumor is that you can get a coupon for breakfast lunch and dinner from each of these places. Lord knows I am going to try. These three places are probably the reason why I still reside in Gilbert. So if you don’t live in AZ and you want to try the awesomeness that is ribs and waffles, you should come visit me on your birthday.
So now that you know the best and WORST (for SHAME Red Lobster), here are some other deals. Some of these causes you to join a email list (yay spam) while others allow you to walk in with your ID to claim your gift:
Denny’s: Free grand slam on your birthday. What a great way to start out your birthday: free breakfast! I used to hate Denny’s until they started serving grits. I LOVE grits.
Coldstone: Free love it sized ice cream on your birthday. I like Coldstone, but my stomach hates dairy so I can never enjoy my free scoop without paying for it later. So, if you do like Coldstone and happen to live in the vincinty of AZ, I’ll allow you to benefit from my birth by giving you my free Coldstone birthday coupon.
Baskin Robbins: Same deal as Coldstone. However, you’ll need your ID to collect so if you are a 31 flavors fan, let me know and I’ll go with you.
Papa Johns: Apparently Papa John’s has a birthday club and you get special discounts and a free side item on your birthday. I am not a fan of the Papa, but if that side item includes wings, I will take the wing and you can have the pizza discount.
Papa Murphys: Never tried it, but apparently they give you cookie dough for your birthday. Who doesn’t like cookie dough?
Burger King: If you actually still eat at this place (blech) you get a free kids meal up to age 13.
Sephora: If you sign up online, you become a part of their birthday club and they give you free makeup on your birthday. How cool is that!
Red Robin: Free burger and fries with a purchase of a drink on your birthday. You’ll need their rewards card (free to get) to cash in on one of these tasty burgers, but it’s worth it.
BJ’s Brewery: Free Pizzokie on your birthday. Goes great with their Buffalo Chicken Pizza (YUM).
Oregano’s: They also give you a free Pizzokie on your birthday and if you are a Pizzokie Virgin (meaning you’ve never had one before). They have some of the best pizzokie around. Quick story: three of my closest friends and I from my freshman year at Arizona State would visit Oregano’s to collect our free pizzokie every three months since they don’t ask for ID. So, on my third pizzokie attempt, I got the same waiter from three months ago. He recognized me and mentioned that I had been here before.
I respond: “Oh, that was my twin!” Just knowing I would be busted for my response, I start to gather my things when the guy says: “Oh twins! How cool! What kind of pizzokie would you like?” Ha! Yay for waiters that are dumber than I am.
Applebees, Chili’s, Friday’s, Hard Rock Cafe: All these places will sing at you and give you free dessert for your birthday. If you can get past the food it’s worth it.
Black Angus: Free 20 meal with a purchase of another 20 meal.
Bennihana’s: Sign up online and get 30 buck gift certificate on your birthday. SWEET! Everyone love’s tempenjaki!! (Probably spelled wrong, but who cares?)
Chevy’s: Free dessert and a Sombero?! WHAAAT! I love hats!
Country Buffett: Free Meal on your Birthday. Nice!
Krispy Kreme: If this place is still in business near you and they can still afford it, they give you a full DOZEN donuts on your birthday. That is awesome.
Macaroni Grill: Free dessert and appetizer.
Ruby Tuesdays: Free Burger.
Souper Salad: Free meal the week of your birthday.
SCHLOTZKY’S: Free sandwich.
Pizza UNO: Free personal pizza.
Well, there are ton’s more free deals out there, but this blog is already long enough. Happy Birthday to all you June birthdays! May your month be filled with love, laughter, happiness, and of course, free food.