Outback - BLAHHHHH!!!!!!
- jfood Oct 25, 2006 01:48 AM
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
- 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?
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.
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...
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.
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?!
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.
When it was new and fresh, I liked the steaks at Outback. Now something has happened to them. Our last experience was one that turned us off because the service was terrible and the quality of what we got didn't measure up. Locally, there's a chain called Claim Jumper that really keeps excellent quality and its food tastes good, even the pizzas, the steaks, and everything else on its menu. I deeply admire a chain that can maintain quality, at whatever level it believes its audience demands and/or requires, and Outback seems to have lost that. Some of the chains I do admire for this, even if I don't always like the level of service and/or quality they've chosen, include Starbucks, In-and-Out Burger, Soup Plantation, PF Changs, all in the SoCal area. It's a hard job to run wide spread restaurants and keep them at a given level, so when a chain does it they deserve a tip of the hat.
Why does their meat suck, and why do people wait (unnecessarily) in line for 30 minutes for the privelege?
As for the first question - I have a theory. Many years ago, for about a week, I worked in a meat packing plant (don't ask - the stories are awful). There were a few "steakhouse" chains that bought their meat there, plus a few good individual steak houses. The individual steak houses actually had someone pick out the meat, it was locally grown, corn fed, aged, etc. The chains ordered by phone, and the meat packer took a big chunk of Australian factory beef out of the freezer, soaked it in meat tenderizer until it was thawed, cut it up, and sent it over. Outback. Australian. Hmmm.
As far as "gourmet fast food" goes, Outback is towards the bottom of my list. Then again, I am not a steak eater so I have stuck with the grilled chicken and shrimp. The ONLY saving grace is the "to go" option. I have to say pulling up, and not having to get out of the car in the rain is a nice option to have. Granted, what difference does it make if the food is lousy?? I will say this...I LOVE their bread!!!!
The three times I ate at the OutBack in the Forum at olympia Parkway in Live Oak,my food was fine. It is always crowded.
I prefer Texas RoadHouse as it tastes good,plus it is cheaper,and it's next to the movie theatre in Live Oak,and quite a few times I have had dinner and a movie.
Also,I can go to H.E.B. Grocery Store in either Schertz or Universal City and buy a family pack of nice steaks,3 or 4 to a pack and put them up in my freezer.Then get one down when I want one,and it's cheaper,since I am getting 3 steaks for say $12.00.
Althou a fellow poster raved about the pork chops, my exp was the exact opposite-sent those back for a chicken breast which was seasoned the same way! Which is my reason for staying away..the same seasoning on everything makes for a boring meal. In my area its popular because kids can scream as loud as they want (perhaps the sauce is too hot) and no one seems to mind :)