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Nov 18, 2008 08:53 AM

Damon's food goes sharply downhill

I'm a chowhound as much as the next person but in the immediate, comfortable driving vicinity of where we live, 99% of the restaurants are chains and 1% are indies. 50% of the 1% are inedible, so that leaves like 2 indie restaurants and we get tired of visiting those, so we visit chains occasionally. We used to be regular patrons at Damon's but after 2 very disappointing visits, I'm done with this place.

My completely un-chowish confession is a love for cheese sticks. I honestly might select a restaurant based on the quality of their cheese sticks. Though I'm sure most get them from cysco or somewhere similar, so many of them are just completely bland and Damon's were always really, really good. Hot and good cheese taste. Last time we went we ordered them only to find that apparently to save food costs (we can come up with no other reason) they now have a "house made" cheese stick which consists of a thick, tasteless eggroll wrapper which they fill with a completely unpleasant and fake tasting cheese which they then deep fry. The result is a monstrous, impossible to eat, overly greasy item with either no taste or terrible taste depending on the bite you get. Absolutely awful. So we didn't go back for about 1.5 months.

We went a couple of nights ago and the menu changes are astounding. They've completely eliminated any way to get pulled pork as part of an entree (the only thing available now are pulled pork "sliders"). They completely eliminated about half the combos they used to have, including combos with ribs and steak and ribs and chicken, where the chicken used to be a quarter roasted chicken, which was pretty tasty and one of my favorites. All the rib dinners now only come with fries unless you want to "upgrade" to a baked potato ($). The ONLY dinners that come with a baked potato now are the steaks, and I wanted a potato so I got the strip. It was the most greasy, tasteless steak I have had as far back as I can remember. The ribs, which my dining companion got, had hardly any sauce on them and were not very good.

We will not be back.

Edited to add: we are not the only ones unhappy. The table next to us coincidentally complained about the cheese sticks they received and the server told them that with all the menu changes they've made recently, the first restaurant that made these changes recently went out of business. My guess is the whole chain will go down because of these attempts to cut corners.

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  1. We gave up on Damon's a couple of years ago. The food was just not good enough to merit the not-so-cheap prices. I suspect their problems started when then expanded from "Damon's A Place for Ribs" to "Damon's Grill."

    Our local Damon's is part of a "murderers' row" that also includes a Bob Evans and a Longhorn Steakhouse. Bob Evans is ok for breakfast, horrible for other meals, and as for Longhorn, I've read on here that it's awful, so we've never tried it. Can anyone vouch for Longhorn?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bob W

      Longhorn's food is VERY salty. I hear people talk about the macaroni grill being salty but I don't think they hold a candle to Longhorn. But a couple of times a year I do like to indulge in the cheese fries, minus the grody chili they put on them. It's a heart attack on a plate for sure, but a fun indulgence. And I like the atmosphere inside.

      Having worked at a competitor steak chain, I bet you can ask for them to leave the seasoning off everything (even the veggies are over seasoned and salty) but sometimes that leaves the food very bland and not tasty if they aren't using great ingredients (frozen then microwaved veggies are just not good plain).

      1. re: rockandroller1

        I asked for no seasoning at outback ONE time.......and I was certainly able to truly taste the steak. I've since been always tempted to ask for extra seasoning!

        The longhorn's around here (atlanta) are pretty good, but it started here, which may or may not have anything to do with it?

    2. Oh - I also forgot to mention that our server told us they also discontinued the onion loaf. I always thought that thing was way gross but I know it was a very popular item and she said a lot of customers are complaining.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rockandroller1

        Longhorn is goood. I used to work there and the seasoning or SALT which you speak off is for the most part, so called "Prairie Dust". The Firecracker Chicken Wraps 86 the Avocado are really good and you can order those with no dust. They used to have a good Cookie Dough Cheese Cake and the Apple Dessert was good too. Steaks were decent..