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Jun 6, 2011 11:29 AM

Texas Road House

OK not the "Original Texas Road House" "Texas Road House".

I spent a few months in Lexington KY and came across this chain's a cut and paste of my experience.
OK chain review...I have to say I love a good steak the top two of my life ...CUT and Cowboy Star but those Rib Eyes run $62 and $35 respectively..just for the steak. So for $20 dollars including sides and a 20 oz Kentucky Ale Texas Road House delivered in spades with a perfectly rare Rib Eye tender and seasoned well each time.

Just want any feedback if any locations on the west coast hold up.

Looks like most are in the east (very east bay) in the SF region ...but I do drive through Tracy a bit.

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  1. I can't answer for the west coast, but the Texas locations I've been to are consistently above the norm for a chain. For the price, it's an exceptional steak, well seasoned and always cooked to order. The side items are more than acceptable except the steak fries, which I simply don't prefer. I like the dinner salad, the blue cheese dressing and the chili is great on a cool winter day. I think Texas Road House is an exceptional dining experience considering nothing on our local menu is over $20. I do try to dine locally owned places as often as possible but Texas Roadhouse is an exception.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rene

      I agree 100% with you Rene.. I also can not vouche for west coast , but in PA the TRH is way above any chains and even out preforms a lot of locally own places (which kind of breaks me heart).. Now I have had better steaks and ribs before but not for the prices at texas road house...

      1. re: Augie6

        Agreed, I have had better steaks and so enjoy them on occasion... but Texas Roadhouse is delish, reliable, affordable any day (no occasion required) and actually fun in the casual way. However, if I feel like dressing and celebrating, I would make a much different choice.

    2. I can't vouch for the west coast, but I loved the Texas Roadhouse in Gainesville, Florida during my college days. Amazing baby back ribs in a sweet, smoky, thick sauce that fell off the bone, great yeast rolls, "Cactus Blossom" (their version of the Bloomin' Onion), and salads with one of the best honey mustard dressings I've ever had. They used to offer really great coupons too, making them a top-notch value for poor college students. We used to go there and eat like kings.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

        So I went to TRH for the first time yesterday for a late lunch early dinner. I chose to eat at the bar. Service was friendly and prompt. Told them that I had not been there before and they gave me their spiel about ribs being good, their rolls coming out every five minutes and served with honey butter. Definitely liked that they had 10 oz beer mugs. I like a good mug and I do not like to be pushed to buy huge amounts of beer if I do not want to.

        Food wise. I wanted country style food not just steak, so I ordered Country Fried Sirloin, essentially a breaded steak with cream gravy. The sides had a nice variety but I opted for green beans and the vegetable of the day which was broccoli and carrots. They were served quickly, and the steak was the size of the platter it came on, covered in a thin (not lumpy) country gravy that was mostly devoid of any flavor. Addition of copious amounts of black pepper helped remedy that. Breading was crisp but the meat felt more like processed chpped beef than a true breaded sirloin steak.

        Green beans were cooked country style with ham and onions (nice addition) but were still overly salty. Broccoli and carrots on the other hand were cooked right, not salty and still had some firmness too them.

        The rolls were pillsbury doughboy quality pieces of dough and the whipped honey butter is a nice touch, but would be nice to be able to vary it with biscuits, corn bread etc.

        The atmosphere feels very kitsch. The servers and bartenders are all late teens early twenties, wearing shirts that said I love my job on the back, almost as if it was a noose hung around their neck reminding them they were lucky to have a job. The most annoying part of the atmosphere was the line dance commercial in the middle of dinner where they servers were singing about how great the food was.

        Total for the meal, including two mugs of beer was 16 dollars before tip, which isn't too bad. Will go back, but perhaps find a way to avoid the line dance commercial.

        1. re: cwdonald

          If you wanted country style food, then why may I ask did you go to a steakhouse know for its ribs and steak? Reminds me of the time my friends wife ordered a fish sandwich at a local rib joint and then complained about it. When in Rome.......

          1. re: joe777cool

            1. It was my first time there..

            2. For me a steakhouse is Capital Grille, Morton's, Ruth Chris. I have local places for ribs that I like, and I am not a fan of low end steak .. so I wanted to see what could be had on this menu.

            3. If its on the menu, they should make it well or not serve it. And that holds for any restaurant. I am not condeming the restaurant by any means, but they can certainly do a better job.

            4. Country fried steak isnt rocket science ...

            5. We do not have many true country restaurants in the suburbs of Philadelphia...

          2. re: cwdonald

            I will agree with you on the line dancing... My location STOPED doing that , I am not sure why ... They must seem to keep the same demographic as far as workers.. Most of locations i visited are all attractive early 20s to teen servers.

            Stick to the Steak and possibly ribs ... other food is average

            1. re: Augie6

              Believe it or not, the line dancing presents legal problems in some locations.

              Three months ago, I was in the West Haven, CT location and a local official came in and shut down the line dancing. Seems the bar/restaurant liqour license was NOT a cabaret license and dancing was a violation.

              Dancing by patrons required a cabaret liqour license. Dancing by the employees require all kinds of licenses and permits for putting on a show.


              If servers, who are paid at a legal lower minimum wage because they receive tips, ae required to dance x minutes per hour, they should be paid the non-server minimum wage for that time. What a bookkeeping nightmare.

              It would be an interesting class action for some attorney to bring against TRH.

              1. re: bagelman01

                "It would be an interesting class action for some attorney to bring against TRH."

                Servers are made to do alot of things like clean, hostess, sometimes dishes, line dance etc. that is above and beyond their server wage. However, if their tips accumulate to more than minimum wage its a moot point. Probably wont stop some society destroying scumbag lawyer from filing a CAL one day.

                1. re: joe777cool

                  This isn't an above and beyond work situaion in Connecticutt. If the servers are acting as licensed entertainers and are not getting paid as such, that's a legit concern, not a scumbag lawyer tactic.

                  1. re: Fibber McGee

                    licensed entertainers? serious? whats next, are you going to tell me that if someone comes over to my table and sings happy birthday they are an entertainer too? This is a complete blurring of the meaning and spirit of the law.

                    Just for the record, I find the line dancing, the yelling "its x customers birthday....," and other antics completely annoying, yet I still very much enjoy a good meal at TRH

                    1. re: joe777cool

                      I don't write the laws that forced them to stop doing it in Connecticutt. But that's what it is.

                      1. re: joe777cool


                        Singing happy birthday is something that may or may not happen on any given day or shift. BUT TRH standards call for the staff to perform a line dance on the hour from 5PM through 9PM.

                        This is something that mystery shoppers have to report to corporate about. I have seen the form that the mystery shoppers have to fill out and submit for this chain. No I do not mystery shop TRH.

                        Therefore this is a mandated employee activity.

                        As to localities wanting them to have cabaret or other licenses, in these tough economic times government is looking for every dollar they can bring in. Furthermore, it may have been a competitor who made the complaint.

                        But in Connecticut, a venue with a restaurant liqour license may not porvide music and allow dancing, it needs a cabaret license, which #1 costs more, and #2 would require a different set of public hearings before it could be granted.

                        1. re: bagelman01

                          What I was speaking to is the thought that 3-4 minutes of dancing a few times a night should earn a server an :entertainers wage" higher than minimum and that since TRH is not doing this a class action lawsuit is the obvious next step.

                          As for the Conn. law, im sure TRH will pay the extra $50 per year to get past this blue law. But a higher wage? not a chance.

                          1. re: joe777cool

                            first of all 'Blue Laws' refer to laws that restrictied activity on Sunday dating back to colonial times and have nothing to do with wages which must be paid to different classification of workers.

                            Businesses often pay workers differnt rates depending on the job they are doing at a particular moment. There are software applications that will allow you to track this. Thus, a carpenter might be paid one rate while framing and a higher rate while doing finish work on the same project.

                            As an example: If a server can be paid $2.96 per hour while serving, but is asked to host for 30 minutes, the server should be paid at the $8.25 per hour minimum wage in CT for the half hour. If the same server is asked to dance for 6 minutes per hour on his/her 4 hour shift, then 10% of the server's time should be paid at the higher minimum wage rate.

                            Easier solution: Have non-server minimum wage personnel (hosts, buspeople, management) perform the line dance,

                            This still doesn't do away with the necessity to comply with local licensing requirements.

                            1. re: bagelman01

                              The reason this dosnt work is in many restaurants, the server IS the dishwasher and host and cashier and busser etc etc etc and still makes minimum wage.

                              we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

          3. I thought this place was no better than Outback Steakhouse. No better, no worse.

            7 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              I disagree. Texas Road House (at least the one I went to ) served local beer and the Rib Eye was cooked and seasoned perfectly. Nothing against Outback but Texas Road House delivered on a higher level.

              1. re: chris2269

                It's also significantly lower priced than outback.

                1. re: chris2269

                  Regarding the beer selection in the Philadelphia area... their "local beer" was Yuengling.. hardly a Victory, Yards, Sly Fox, Dogfish Head or Flying Fish local microbrew. And they ruin the beer by provding it in frosted mugs.. guess flavor doesnt matter.

                  To me TRH is on the same level as Lone Star or Longhorn...

                  1. re: cwdonald

                    I have only the eaten at the Lexington KY location . That location rocked both food and local beer. That's why I posted to see if the quality was the same across the chain.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  The TRH's in RI are terrific. Much better than Outback, the old Bugaboo, Lonestar, Longhorn etc. Good bang for the buck IMO

                  1. re: joe777cool

                    Tried a RH in East Greenwich about a year ago. The noise level was unbearable - couldn't hear the waitress & had to yell for her to hear me. Asked for a "low noise" section - one does not exist.. It took a while (perhaps 10 minutes), but it hit us that it could never be an enjoyable experience no matter what the quality of the food. Best guess is they keep the noise level high to get a turnover. Agree that Bugaboo is terrible, find Lonestar OK, Outback acceptable, but Longhorn to be the best of the bunch..

                    1. re: Clams047

                      Has to be a generational thing, the music has never bothered me or interfered with the conversation with my dining partners. I cant say I enjoy the country music, but the food more than makes up for it.