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Outback - BLAHHHHH!!!!!!

Wantd something quick to take back to my hotel room an watch game 2 and play on chowhound. Outback across the street, look up on the web and do my normal hedging on dinner.

- Heard lots of good things about the Bloomin Onion, one in the bag
- Reading on CH thought the steak may be OK, went with the PH Med-Rare
- Always like to try ribs, thought I'd get the app size but what the heck, I'm alone and went for the dinner size
- What the heck have some wings too, what's baseball w/o wings

Report -

- Bloomin Onion was way over the top salty. What the heck is in that dipping sauce, Blah "Zero points"
- Same cook must have made the wings, tasted like they brined it after they cooked them, Blah "Zero points"
- Steak. Hooray they cooked it medium-rare. The filet side wasn't bad. The strip side was inedible, a huge vein of grizzle throughout. "0.5 points"
- Ribs - not bad, at least i can give it an integer on the Jfood meter. "3 points"

All in all a very disappointing set of dishes.

Whay do people like this place?

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  1. I recieved a gift certificate to Outback a few years back. Outback has the distinction of being my Worst Experience Ever in dining. They hit the trifecta of worst service, food, and atmosphere. Quite an accomplishment. Girlfriend and I went and have never been back since. Had to wait a half an hour (even though the place was only half full), the wait for food was also long. Yet the waiter kept coming by to ask "How're things goin, guys?" We kept asking where our food was and he kept disappearing and coming back with the same moronic question. I kept ordering beer. We also got the stupid salt-cured onion and "dipping sauce," which tasted like rancid mayonnaise and pickle relish. Completely inedible. My t-bone steak was cooked properly, but was also particularly gristly. I actually like gristle so that wasn't too bad, but I was expecting more meat THAN gristle.

    At one point, someone decided to crank up the music AND the televisions at the bar, which I didn't mind too much because I'd basically given up on the meal and was good and tight anyway and didn't give a damn. But then a family takes the booth next to us and mom proceeds to take out some kind of crank operated playtoy that sounds like a cross between a steam shovel and a rusty chainsaw. So when waiter comes back with the same stupid question, I ask if he can possibly get Ma and Pa Chainsaw to put the noisemaker away. Waiter disappears again. So I take it up with the manager who basically offers me another gift certificate for a free bowl of kangaroo mucus with a stupid name like "G'day Snot" or something and we just walk. No apology. Just a coupon for free snot.

    I can only assume people like this place because it's kid-friendly and deafening so they can't hear their spawn scream, and the menu is just meat, fried stuff, and salt, so if that's what you're into, they've got it in spades.

    So I figure they're slogan "No Rules, Just Right" is apropos, at least the first part anyway: no rules about behavior, noise, service, or even human dignity.

    1 Reply
    1. i have not been to an outback, but consumers reports says that they have good hamburgers. a neighbor also told me this. we have tried to go any number of times, but the lines are way too long and my husband will not wait - so no outback for me!

      4 Replies
      1. re: meb903

        At our local location, you can call ahead, and if you do, you never have to wait more than 5-10 miutes, regardless of how crowded it is.

        I recently discovered their "Jackeroo chops" - two 8 oz. center cut pork chops which are fantastic. Their steaks do tend to be hit and miss, but their ribs are not bad and my wife likes the chicken pasta, so overall a safe bet - I wouldn't go near that "bloomin onion" though...

        1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

          Of the things I've had from Outback, the pork chops are by far the best.

        2. re: meb903

          I found myself at an Outback earlier this week, not by choice, work birthday lunch. The burger was not bad. Three appetizers I tasted were awful. Fries weren't good. The salad next to me looked really sad.

          I wouldn't go there for the burger, but if you find yourself at this place it's a safe option.

          1. re: meb903

            call ahead so you will not have to wait..

          2. Yeah, it's probably my least favorite chain... I know everyone says that Applebee's is the worst offender, but I think Outback is because they have Applebee's food but charge you three times as much! Their specialty is their steak, so why does their steak suck so bad?!

            1. Garbage...that's how I feel about most chain restaurants in this country. Sure, they're consistent and always taste the SAME (why do people want that? I wonder). The service is cookie-cutter and the companies that run these places keep the employees in constant fear of losing their jobs over not upselling or using the proper language.

              Let's all abstain from that kind of eatery if at all possible!

              I had a steak at Outback once and it was awful, barely tasted like meat.

              1. There are only a few places where you should get a porterhouse and really only one PL.

                Get a spotted dog sundae off the kids menu for dessert. ask for extra chocolate sauce. Best three bucks you will ever spend in a chain restaurant.

                1 Reply
                1. re: SeanT

                  You got that right! The dog is the bomb!