Monday, May 24, 2010

Outback Steakhouse

This past weekend, we met SP's family for dinner to celebrate his dad's birthday. His dad chose Outback Steakhouse for his family birthday dinner.

I have to admit that going in, I was not very excited about Outback. To me, it's a lot of meat, specifically beef, more specifically steak, which I rarely if ever eat and never when dining out (unless it's a cheesesteak sandwich). I also cannot eat garlic or spicy foods. I don't eat foods like ribs when I am out because they're so messy. While I will eat fish at home, I don't usually when I am out for the same reason that I don't order pork when I am out - because some places don't cook it all the way through and even a slight hint of pink/rareness can set my stomach off. If I ask for pork/beef/fish well done at a place like Outback, I end up sawing through a piece of leather.

Those restrictions (necessary due to my sensitive stomach) rule out huge chunks of the menu at Outback. They rule out all the Signature Steaks (yuck, beef), all the Perfect Combinations (all steak and/or ribs), all the Burgers/Sandwiches (except for chicken). The salads were also rejected - Caesar has garlic, I don't eat iceberg lettuce, and I don't eat chicken salad when I am out because sometimes it can be too mayonnaise-y and too much mayo/mayo based salads like chicken, potato, and macaroni often upset my stomach.

I ruled out nearly all the Outback Favorites - either beef, or garlic mashed potatoes, or messy like ribs. I also ruled out nearly all the appetizers as a meal -- last time I ate fried onions I had horrible, painful indigestion for nearly a week, I don't eat chicken wings (messy and usually too spicy), I don't like coconut, I don't eat seared tuna, and fries are not a good dinner.

So as I munched on some bread, I was feeling irritated.
The bread is OK. It's brown, but I'm not sure it's a healthy kind of brown bread because it tasted awfully sweet to me...

SP's family ordered some appetizers to share. I couldn't eat either. They ordered a Bloomin' Onion:and Seared Ahi Tuna with ginger soy sauce and wasabi vinaigrette:They said the appetizers were good. I avoided the onion since I feared an aftermath similar to the one after I ate a bunch of onion straws at Hop House. I also avoided the tuna - I don't like seared/raw in the middle tuna.

SP ordered a side salad. It looked OK. I snagged a crouton and promptly had to discreetly (or maybe not so discreetly) spit it into my napkin because it was a garlicky crouton. Yuck! It left a horrible, horrible taste in my mouth.For his meal, SP ordered Grilled Chicken on the Barbie - chicken seasoned and grilled with their signature BBQ sauce and served with fresh seasonal veggies. He got his BBQ on the side.He ate it all and seemed to like it. He didn't like the butter on his vegetables.

Z and SP's dad both ordered steak, ZSO ordered grilled chicken, and Googer ordered the pork tenderloin. They all seemed to enjoy their meals.

I had 4 choices:
  • the appetizer Alice Springs Chicken Quesadilla
  • the Alice Springs Chicken (flame-grilled and topped with sautéed mushrooms, crisp strips of bacon, melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar and finished with honey mustard sauce)
  • the Grilled Chicken that SP & ZSO ordered
  • the Chicken and Swiss Sandwich
The Grilled Chicken didn't excite me very much. I wasn't too thrilled with the Alice Springs options because of the bacon (which I had on my sandwich at Bravo earlier in the day) and the cheese. And I ate a sandwich for lunch so I really didn't want another sandwich.

I ended up ordering the Alice Springs Chicken.It was OK. Bacon is always yummy, just not healthy. There was a lot of cheese, maybe too much. It could have used more mushrooms. I didn't especially like the seasoning on the chicken - it was too salty, too spicy/peppery, and just too 'fake/bottled' season-y for me, like a pre-mixed grill seasoning bottle, and I never like those pre-mixed grill seasonings. I ordered vegetables instead of fries to try to be a bit healthy but the vegetables were swimming in butter which rolled around the plate and pooled under the chicken - yuck.

Proof the food was too salty: I drank 1.5 iced teas. Ask SP - it's surprising if I finish half my iced tea when we're out. To drink 1.5 glasses is astounding.

I only ate half my meal and I brought the rest of it home. No one ordered dessert.

The service was OK. Z had made a reservation and everyone was seated when we arrived. It did take a while to get some silverware/napkins, but our server did keep the drinks re-filled -- no small feat when serving SP and Googer, who both drink a lot. Like 3-4 full glasses, sometimes more, of whatever they're drinking.

All in all, it was what I expected from Outback. Not a very Yum Yum friendly place and I certainly won't be suggesting it for future meals. But everyone else enjoyed it.


  1. I am also kind of 'meh' on Outback, but I have to say, the cheese on that chicken looks so good!

  2. I've never eaten at Outback, but I bet my reaction would be the same!

  3. And she's the one who DOES eat beef! :)

    (I actually do like Outback, though. My choices are limited since the menu is cow central, but the bbq chicken is actually pretty good, and the rack of lamb is quite tasty)