Texas Roadhouse in Union City
This is a chain but I think it offer some great value.
Free bucket of peanuts which is quite tasty and you can throw away the shells on the floor which makes the place looked interesting like a barn sort of.
Dinner rolls were soft, yeasty and brushed with butter on the top for added flavor. Great cinnamon butter. This is really good and worth the admission by itself.
Each dinner comes with not one but TWO free sides. The caesar salad is one of the best I had tasted. Great dressing and everything is just perfect. Decent sweet potatoes and baked potatoes. I made a mistake getting the vegetables. It came with large cauliflowers, brocollis, etc that were just simply boiled.
The meats: ordered the 20 oz ribeye for only like $22 which were decent (nothing spectacular). The meat were not the most tender. I ordered medium but was probably mistakenly medium well and returned it the kitchen. Otherwise very decent. Also got the onion and mushroom options which was very good. We also got a combo plate with a sirloin and chicken which both were done competently but agaon nothing spectacular.
In the past I ordered their appetizer combo which was outstanding. So, this place is well worth it for all the accesories but the meat itself is just allright. The atmosphere and service is also great here.
In the future, if just 2 of us dining, we will just order the appetizer and get a nice big ribeye or primerib plate with caesar salad and maybe a baked potatoes. We just split our meals.
Also it is important to make phone reservation one hour ahead of time and make sure to remember the name of the person. They actually forgot to write my name down. Otherwise you might have to wait 1 hour.
32115 Union Landing Blvd.
Union City, CA 94587
re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
I second the ribs recommendation. I had a chicken breast there one time with the Jack Daniels (or Jim Beam, whatever, I don't remember) BBQ sauce on it, and it was SO good I realized I'd have to get the ribs next time.
They were so so awesome. Totally fell off the bone. (These were baby backs.) But lots of meat -- a half rack was more than I could eat.
Bonus: Their kids mac n cheese is the Kraft kind. Good to know for my picky 4-year-old, who turns up her nose at nice homemade kind but will crack out on the Blue Box crap. . .
There is one in Live Oak,Tx here by me.They do have I think several in San Antonio.Never had a problem with the steaks.Ribs are good,and next time I go I want to try the porkchops.Pretty good value for the money.
wow. we have one in Asheville NC and it is AWFUL. The salad was wilted, the ribs had very little meat and the sides were cold. The only thing decent was the bread. As for the peanuts on the table--I will never eat out of a communal bowl of anything at a public eating place (saw a special on 20/20 or dateline where the bowl of peanuts on a bar was analyzed and what they found was atrocious!)
I guess if you're going to worry about the peanuts, no, it wouldn't be safe even if they're in the shell because you have hands going into the bucket and touching the shells. Then your hand touches the shells, cracks open the peanut, and deposits the now-contaminated nut to your mouth.
Having said that, I'm a rebel. I eat the peanuts. (I'm also a firm believer that we're over-sanitizing ourselves and in turn aren't building up the natural antibodies that we need to fight some common bugs.)
I live on the edge. ;-)
Might as well stop using money too; the majority of bills in circulation have cocaine on them.
You should have seen the Mythbusters where they saw how far the spray on a toilet goes. The answer is EVERYWHERE. Every single surface in the bathroom (including the items they had in a sealed container to act as a control) tested positive for fecal coliform bacteria.
Ate at TR in PA once, and I stress once. While waiting for a table I watched them cook the steaks. I have never seen so much seasoning placed on meat, blah!
Because I was completely aghast by the seasoning I went for the ribs. Double Blah!! These were horrible. So I ordered a BBQ chicken. Whe I tought things couldn;t get worse, they proved me wrong. This was inedible. Triple blah!!!
Paid my bill, thanked them very much, went back to the hotel and crossed TR off my list.
That is...strange. Actually, when it comes to the steak itself, I think that TR does a better-than-adequate job on the ribeye that I usually get, no matter which size I choose. I think I've only ever been served one that was improperly cooked (overdone) one time, and those kinds of things can happen anywhere. I've never had any complaints about the steak: well-prepared and reasonably priced, and I've never *ever* had any complaints about spices on my steak. Ever. And I'm one who would send such a steak back...and remember.
Now, that's not to say that TR has a perfect track record. I will advise everyone, everywhere, ever, to steer clear of what they honestly call "Chicken Critters" on their menu. If we were playing "Pyramid," and you gave me this singular clue, my first guess would be "Things That Inherently *Sound* Edible, But Clearly Aren't."
The other thing that TR really needs to work on is their side dishes. It's pretty shameful when I end up ordering a dry baked potato and salad *every single time* I go there, because all of the things they actually have (and I use this term loosely, here) "recipes" for are just pretty lousy. Even the vegetable medley is terrible, and that only requires boiling (which they obviously overdo)! I don't mind a baked potato with a steak at all, as it's a good side for it, and the salad is functional, but there are times when I'd really like something else...and regret it when I do.
If it seems like I'm down on TR, I'm not. No arm-twisting necessary to get me to go, because they get the most important thing right: the *steaks*. Other things, such as sides, silly teen-to-college servers, and Chicken Critters are in the "Go With The Flow" category to me. It's not like I'm paying $40 for my steak, and then getting extras a la carte...I'm paying $20 out the door, tax and tip included usually, and everything comes with it. To me, it's worth the slight trade-off, and if they could vastly improve their side dishes, they'd be a genuine hit with me.
I'm surprised at the steak seasoning comment as well, because I've never had an issue with that, at all. As a matter of fact, I truly enjoy their ribeyes. (In contrast, though I'm obviously not anti-chain, I refuse to set foot in an Outback because they seem to dredge everything in a spice blend - and I use the term "spice" loosely - it's more like they dredge everything in an "Aussie" version of Montreal Steak Seasoning. It's like sitting down to dine on salt crystals.)
We're lucky, because our TR seems to have gone out of their way to teach their college-age servers to never, ever be cutesy. (Not a single smiley-face-on-the-check or "hey, guys, how're we doing? Can I sit here and be perkier than your 9 year old for a minute?")
As to the sides... I too end up with a salad and potato (loaded with butter, sour cream, chives, bacon and cheese - sue me LOL) each time, but that's because I enjoy both. My kids always get the veggie medley, which at our location seems to be steamed, and always *understeamed* in my opinion. Just the wrong side of crisp-tender.
One daughter does have an addiction for their sweet potatoes, though - sometimes with their cinnamon butter, sometimes with butter and brown sugar if she's having pork chops.
As for the ribs - I've never had bad ribs there, ever. If you're a fan of the "fall off the bone" variety, that's what they do, and tend to do very, very well.
I am curious as to one thing about Jfood's experience - were the ribs tried and returned to the kitchen, to be replaced by the inedible chicken? If so, did you get comped? I know the one time I complained to our local TR that steaks just didn't seem up to par - I had a grisly streak - I emailed the restaurant and received not one, but *five* entree gift certs - with a note signed by the mgr. that we could use them all at once. So our family of five was completely comped for one bad steak.
Texas Roadhouse's steaks are good. I've never had over-seasoned steak from there. The local Outback used to really over-season their steaks, but they must have had a lot of complaints or something because the last couple of times I've been there, Outback has gone very, very, light with the seasoning. Even so, TR does steak better. In the space of about a week I had the strip from Outback and sirloin(in the sirloin & ribs combo) from TR, and TR's sirloin was better than Outback's strip steak.
You're right about a person needing to be a fan of falling off the bone ribs to like TR's ribs, but I think TR does faux-BBQ ribs better than the other comparable chains. I read on a website that TR dips their ribs in bacon grease, bakes them, then grills them.
FWIW, I don't like the BBQ chicken from Texas Roadhouse either.
re: Chimayo Joe
"FWIW, I don't like the BBQ chicken from Texas Roadhouse either."
I suppose it's my own fault for ordering the Chicken Critters (or *any* kind of poultry, really) from a stated *steak* place. This is, especially when it comes to chains, a good rule of thumb: stick with what they claim to know. It might be different if it were a non-chain, but in the case of a chain, they should know best what they claim to be, and if they can't get *that* right, the place is more than likely a loss.
I wouldn't *ever* go to Chick-Fil-A if they couldn't pull off the glorious chicken sandwich that they do, and if TR didn't do good steaks, I'd have no reason to ever return. Fortunately, they do. :)
No, I did not return them, just pushed them to the side and the waitress removed the 3/4 plate when I ordered the chicken. When I asked for the check after eaten a couple of bites of the chicken it did not even phase her. I paid the check and licked my wounds.
It was a really long day and I was not into a conversation with a manager, so just paid. Likewise even if they did give me five coupons, i would just leave them next to the coffee maker at the office with a smiley-phase "please take and enjoy."
I am a huuuuge fan of fall off the bone ribs and use to bring 20-30 pounds back from Sonny Bryant's in Dallas all the time. But the batch I had at TR in Bensalem PA was inedible.
My response to TR being better than Outback is that once you cross into inedible (both have been in my experience) it truly does not matter.
If others have done better in their visits, I'm both jealous and happy for you. I'll probably continue avoiding.
I personally don't see the attraction, I guess it's what you're used to or what's available. With the exception of my husband and myself, everyone we know is terrified of any moisture in meat. So anything can be "seasoned" and cooked well-done, and they think it's great. I want my steak with a bone, so if I have to go there, at least I can get the T-bone, ordered rare, just to watch them sqirm ;-) however, it's not my first choice, you have to ask for them not to bring everything sugared. The rolls are sweet, the butter is sweetened - I don't want dessert in the middle of my dinner!