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Jul 5, 2012 08:17 PM

Been a while - Outback

Had dinner at Outback this evening and was more than satisfied. I'm a huge fan of great steaks, but can't afford to go to Peter Luger, Bobby Van's or Morton' too often. So tonight I had a $25 gift card and a friend offering to take me to dinner so we hit up Outback. It's been at least two years since I've been and wasn't sure what to expect. I remember my last visit being a little off.

So we ordered some beers and perused the menu. I will say this about the menu. It's daunting when you see the calories next to some of the appetizers (1966 for the Blooming Onion). We went with the Coconut Shrimp. Sure it's probably not fresh, but honestly, they are tasty and the dipping sauce is nice. Great? No, but not bad. Our service was great, but I do have to say our waitress did mess up my order. I ordered a 22oz rib eye, but was given the 22oz porterhouse. As I mentioned on Facebook, when this is the worst thing to happen in your day, it's a good day. The steak was perfectly cooked, medium rare. The mashed potatoes were seasoned perfectly and the sauteed mushrooms were delicious. Swimming in their own juices, it made a wonderful sauce for the steak.

A little pricier than most chains, but the steak was truly wonderful. The same size and quality steak would cost double at a high end steak house. And yes, i have had worse at very high end steak houses. Glad I went back.

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  1. Glad to hear you had a good experience. Outback doesn't get a lot of love on these boards. I'm generally pretty happy with the food there, but the prices have shot up in recent years. I too like the Shrimp better than that Bloomin' Onion that feels like a heart attack just waiting to happen even if shared.

    We've never had a Steak come out other than perfectly cooked, although I can never get the Prime Rib as rare as I like it.

    1. I enjoy Outback, we occasionally (maybe 4x/year) have a drink at the bar and do takeaway for a quick, celebratory-feeling meal. We split a steak, salad, and potato dinner, after onion appetizer. (Bloomin Onion may be ~2000 calories but generally breaks down to 5 servings in all for us; it reheats well in oven/toaster oven if stored loosely in fridge.) Staff are always pleasant and positive. Steak generally tastes better than you'd expect. I'm a fan.

      1. It sure as hell won't get any love from me. Last time I ate at an Outback, I watched a server carrying a water pitcher around the dining room, from table to table. He carried it by inserting his thumb in the spout. When called on it, he didn't seem to think it was a problem.

        Like I said, it was the last time I ate at an Outback.

        8 Replies
        1. re: emu48

          If I judged every restaurant based on the actions of their worst server, I wouldn't ever dine in a place twice.

          1. re: jhopp217

            It's not about judging a whole restaurant chain based on one incident. Bad service can and does happen in good restaurants. But the memory of that grubby thumb in my drinking water is very vivid. It's about flashback and my gag reflex.

            1. re: emu48

              "Bad service can and does happen in good restaurants. But the memory of that grubby thumb in my drinking water is very vivid. It's about flashback and my gag reflex."

              Right. So don't go back to THAT PARTICULAR Outback. But don't trash the whole chain either.

              1. re: ttoommyy

                Very true. Many years ago my husband, then boyfriend, went to a very popular restaurant near his house. The place got great reviews and was always packed. We had terrible service. They basically told us at the door we would have to wait, despite open table and seating other people who came in after us. I think as I had on a jean mini-skirt, they didn't think I was their type of clientel (and this was a casual place). We walked out, never going back and when we went back to were he used to live (its been 5 years) they were closed.

                We have an Outback near us and have eaten there many times in the last few years. Only once we had below average service. Our server wasn't terribly friendly. Oddly he still works there so I assume (as its been 2 years) he was just having a bad day. Other then that I have had no problems and the food is quite good.

                1. re: libgirl2

                  There seems to be some confusion of poor service, which is merely annoying, and sanitation practices that can leave you much more than annoyed. Getting repeat business is about leaving customers with a pleasant memory. You dig what I'm saying? An experience in one chain store, good or bad, will influence your feelings about the entire chain. That's not entirely irrational: All the stores in a chain are managed similarly.

          2. re: emu48

            I'm sure the stuff you don't see in the back of the house is much worse. My exterminator does restaurants and there's only one he'll eat in from his roster.

              1. re: acgold7

                It's a diner in a town near his office; says the owner does everything he tells him to and that the results are that the area is free of bugs/vermin and clean. He says it's the only customer who goes the distance to get the results.

          3. my aunt/uncle love it and turned me around on it. everything is quite salty (though this doesn't bother me), but the other spices are quite complimentary. my favorites there are the chicken wings with bloomin onion sauce, and whatever the 13.99 combo surf and turf. last time was a lobster tail and sirloin, currently its snow crab legs and the sirloin.

            1. They season their steaks nicely & cook 'em properly, and the Kookaburra wings are awesome. They even serve a lovely rare, peppered ahi tuna. I have no shame in enjoying Outback.