Pros: Great Food, Great Fun
Cons: NO Reservations
We had an Outback Steakhouse open in our area about three years ago and it has grown to be our families favorite. We used to go to Black Angus for a fairly reasonable steak dinner, but now choose Outback.
Why Outback Steakhouse?
Curb Appeal- The two Outback Steakhouse that I have been to look like a log ranch style home. If it wasn't for the signs, you would think that you were going to dinner at a friend place.
The color of the Outback is natural wood, with deep brick red double front doors. There are windows all around the building and on the side there is a big outdoor patio.
The patio is an extension of the bar. Patrons can either choose to eat at the bar or just to wait for their table while enjoying a nice drink. The patio is just that, a patio. The patio does have a roof to protect you from rain or snow. They do have large area heaters that help keep the area warm when the weather is cold outside.
Inside Decor- The inside of the Outback is just as welcoming as the inside. It is very outbackish with pictures and cute down under things (boom-a-rangs, stuffed Koala Bears and pictures of Australia)
I do think that the lighting is a little on the dark side. Most of the seating in the restaurant are booths with a few tables that can accommodate more guests at one time.
Basically you can come dressed as you are. Whether it is your shorts and a t-shirt to your favorite tuxedo you are sure to fit in.
Staff- The staff at Outback is very friendly. To date I have not had bad service or experienced rude employees.
The Food- This is why we go to the Outback. THE FOOD! The Outback has a wide variety of food. Someone is sure to find something to eat on their menu.
Appetizers - The Outback has a tempting variety of appetizers. My favorite is the Bloomin Onion. The Bloomin Onion is a lightly battered, deep fried onion sliced. The onion is cut enough to where is does not fall apart but close enough to peel off pieces and eat.
Other Appetizers are: Grilled Shrimp, Cheese Fries, French Onion Soup and Buffalo Wings.
Main Course - As I stated above, there is a wide variety of main course from salads to ribs to fish and chicken. However, if you decide it is a good steak that you want you can choose from several cuts of meat in a variety of sizes (8 ounces to 16 ounces).
My favorite meal at the Outback is the Walhalla Pasta with chicken. The Walhalla Pasta is pasta noodles tossed with vegetables and a light creamy Alfredo sauce. I love to get mine with chicken which is about $1.00 more than without. The chicken has a nice spicy bite to it, which balances well with the vegetables and Alfredo Sauce.
Side Dishes - If you think appetizers and the main course will not be enough for you to eat, you can order a variety of side dishes. A few of the side dishes are: The salad (which I recommend), garlic mashed potatoes, saute mushrooms, fresh vegetables and grilled onions.
Desserts - I am not a big dessert fan so I don't usually order from the dessert menu. However, their desserts look and sound great. For example you have a choice of their Chocolate Thunder From Down Under - This is a pecan brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge with chocolate shavings on top. Mmmmm sounds good.
KID FRIENDLY - The Outback is definitely kid friendly. The Outback is not quiet restaurant, but you can still enjoy a nice quiet dinner if that is what you choose.
The Children's menu consists of wonderful meals for your little one. They have my daughters all time favorite: Grilled cheese! Other choices are: Hamburger, macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers or a small steak. The beverage is included in the price of their meal.
PRICES- I feel that the prices are pretty reasonable for the amount of food you get. My Walhalla Pasta with Chicken was around $12.00. My husband and I can usually eat at The Outback for around $50.00 with one drink each. I must say that he usually gets a hamburger or a chicken sandwich and I get my Walhalla Pasta. SO it can be a little more pricey with a steak or shrimp added in.
RESERVATIONS- I still have not figured out why restaurants do not take reservations. Personally I think it is ridiculous. The Outback unfortunately does not take reservations and the wait can sometimes be pretty lengthy. I think that the most I have had to wait is 1-1/2 hours.
There are two ways to avoid the wait.
1. Our local Outback takes preferred seating. What you do is call the restaurant as you are leaving your house. They put your name on the list and when you get there you tell them you are there. I have found that this dramatically decreases our wait time.
2. If you decide that you want to go to The Outback and you forgot to call ahead, you can always look for a seat in the bar area. When the waitress/waiter comes to take your drink order, just ask them if you can order your dinner too. Most likely they will let you, if not at least you will can order an appetizer to enjoy while you wait.
Final Thoughts If you are looking for a fun place to eat a good steak the Outback is the place for you. Just keep in mind that on busy nights you are most likely going to have to wait a while before being seated.
The amount of food you get for the price is well worth it. I usually get to enjoy my meal that night and then the next day for lunch or dinner.
*BONZER: adj : (Australian) remarkable or wonderful