Pros: The food; Reasonable prices; Theme
Cons: Long wiat for a table; Peanut shells on the floors
Texas Road House is a western- style restaurant chain known for its ribs, steaks, and other American- style dinner foods. This full- service restaurant chain was founded by Kent Taylor in Clarksville, Indiana, in 1993, and today it boasts about 155 locations nationwide.
This sit- down restaurant features the following menu selections:
Appetizers/Salads- To start you off, Texas Roadhouse offers foods like buffalo wings, cheese fries, tator skins, chicken strips, red chili, and an assortment of salads.
Steaks/Ribs- The most popular part of the menu, this section includes sirloin steak, ribeye steak, T-bone steak, prime rib, and other steak selections along with the restaurants famous baby back ribs. Each of these steak and rib meals includes your choice of two side dishes.
Country Dinners/Seafood- If youre not in the mood for steak or ribs, you can turn the page on the menu and select from one of the dinners. Here, you will find choices like country fried steak, pork chops, grilled barbecue chicken, oven- roasted chicken, salmon, catfish, and even a vegetable plate for those who dont want any meat. Each of these dinners is also served with your choice of two side dishes.
Sandwiches/Kids Meals- Cheddar burgers, bacon burgers, barbecue chicken, and southwest chicken grill are some of the sandwiches offered. There is also a kids meal that includes the childs choice of hot dog, hamburger, chicken strips, macaroni and cheese, or sirloin steak. Fries are served on the side with all sandwiches and kids meals.
Desserts- Texas Roadhouse serves dessert, but the menu is limited. The choices include strawberry cheesecake, brownies, and apple crisp.
Beverages- Coca- cola products, lemonade, tea (hot and cold), coffee, and bottled water are among the beverage choices along with a fully- stocked bar. All soft drinks include unlimited refills.
Texas Roadhouse is a southwestern- themed restaurant with a country feel. The interior of the restaurant features lots of wood, with the tables, chairs, booths, bar, and other fixtures primary made from stained wood. Music is piped in and can be heard through the ceiling speakers. Its usually country music of some sort. Televisions can be found around the bar area and they are usually showing some type of sports entertainment.
To help with promotions, Texas Roadhouse has teamed up with music legend Willie Nelson and his influence can be visibly seen at every restaurant location. Its common to see cardboard cutouts of Willie and posters promoting his music throughout the restaurant. Some of Willies favorite mixed drinks are available on the menu and each restaurant also features Willies Corner- a special booth that is setup to honor and promote Mr. Nelson and his music.
Prices at Texas Roadhouse are pretty reasonable. A sandwich and fries will cost you about $6 to $8; dinners cost from $6 to $10; steaks cost between $10 and $18 (depending on type of steak and the size you order); and ribs sell for about $15 for a full slab. Appetizers sell for $4 to $8 each and salads retail for between $3 and $8.
Texas Roadhouse is a good restaurant with some tasty food offered at a moderate price. I have visited this restaurant a few times and I can remember the first time I walked in the door of one of these establishments. I entered the restaurant full of anticipation. There arent many new restaurants left to visit so I was anxious to sample this new place and see what it had to offer.
Probably the first thing that caught my attention was the buckets on the tables. I found out, once I sat down to be served, that the metal buckets are a common feature in all Texas Roadhouse restaurants and they are always filled with peanuts. This was a little different and I found it interesting, although I got tired of peeling off the shells to get to the peanuts inside. I assume that the management does this not only to give patrons something quick to snack on after sitting down, but also to give customers something to do while they wait. Peeling shells off peanuts isnt the most exciting thing to do in a restaurant, but its better than allowing frustration to set in on those days when the food isnt reaching the table in a reasonable time.
The other thing that stands out about this restaurant is, of course, the southwestern theme. As you sit in the dining area or the bar, you are surrounded by wood and the aroma of barbecued beef. Country music is usually playing in the background, and its common to see pictures of Willie Nelson with facts about his life and musical works along with promotional materials and merchandise to buy. Besides Texas Roadhouse t-shirts and glassware, its also common to find Willie Nelson CDs for sale behind the counter when youre ready to leave.
When I first visited Texas Roadhouse, I came here anticipating ordering some ribs, after hearing about how good they were. But I ended up choosing one of the dinners instead. I opted for country fried steak with some potatoes and baked beans on the side. My food was served piping hot and tasty- just like a home- cooked meal. Freshly baked bread is also included with every meal and to add a twist to the usual bread and butter that other places offer, Texas Roadhouse serves a special butter blend that includes cinnamon and other ingredients. This sweeter- tasting spread is better than ordinary butter and it adds to the overall enjoyment of the dining experience.
Ribs are the specialty of Texas Roadhouse, and they are served in half- slab or full- slab sizes. The ribs are slow cooked with Texas Roadhouses own special blend of seasonings and served with the restaurants own barbecue sauce. The ribs are tender and juicy, and a full slab should satisfy most appetites.
This restaurant is still in a growth stage, with about 20 30 new locations opening up each year. The name of the restaurant and the western theme would lead most people to believe that the majority of the locations are in the southwestern United States. The state of Texas does have a large number of location- 22 to be precise- but the other western states still waiting for Texas Roadhouse to open more restaurants. Only about 15 locations exist in the Rocky Mountain states and the Pacific Coast states. The chain was founded in Indiana, and most of the locations are clustered around this region. Indiana itself has 17, Ohio has 15, Kentucky has 8, etc. All together, 31 states have at least one Texas Roadhouse restaurant.
Overall, I have found Texas Roadhouse to be a very pleasant dining experience. There are a few annoyances, like the long wait for a table during the peak dinner hours, the messy peanut shells that are scattered on the tables and the floor, and the limited menu selections in certain areas like desserts. But its still a very good American restaurant with prices that are fair and service thats courteous and friendly. Its also a restaurant thats on the rise, with fast growth and some impressive recognition by restaurant critics. Restaurants and Institutions magazine, for example, awarded Texas Roadhouse its top prize as Best Steakhouse in the U.S. for 2003, edging out the ever- popular Outback Steak House.
Check out Texas Roadhouse the next time you have the chance. Even if you dont care for Willie Nelson and the country- ish theme, Im confident that you will enjoy the tasty southwestern food, the nice assortment of beer and other drinks served up cold and delicious at the Texas Roadhouse bar, and the friendly staff that await your visit to this restaurant. Its a nice place to sit back, enjoy some food and drink, and catch up on the latest sports.
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