Restaurant Review: Texas Roadhouse

One of the highlights of my week is when I can get together with good friends, catch up and talk about life at a nice restaurant. I wrote a post a few weeks ago, explaining why I’d easily choose a restaurant over a night club any day. But it costs money, and with a hectic schedule, I don’t always have the time for it. However, when one of my journalism assignments required me to write a restaurant review, I didn’t exactly hesitate. I had the perfect excuse to spend both time and money with friends. Below the pictures, you can read my very first restaurant review:

 

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Texas Roadhouse, Sioux Falls

The sound of steak knifes against porcelain plates and Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” blends in with the constant hum of chatter and cracking of peanuts. It’s 5 p.m. at the Texas Roadhouse this Saturday. The dimly lit room is whirling of people in flannel shirts and cowboy boots. The smell is surprisingly sweet and cinnamon-like for a steakhouse, but the open kitchen testifies that they do, in fact, serve meat here. A young waitress approaches us, shows us our table and takes our drink orders – all within the first two minutes after our arrival. She blows her hair away from her damp forehead, and then slides away as quickly as she showed up.

The basket of oven-fresh rolls and the cinnamon butter cream on our table explains the sweet smell that met us a moment earlier. Next to the rolls, there’s a milk pail filled with whole peanuts. Despite of the crowdedness and lack of light, the restaurant seems spacious. The wooden walls are sparingly decorated with scenic pictures of Native American chiefs, flags, plates and bullhorns. On one of the many rafters above our booth, there’s dozens of placks honoring the restaurant’s guests who managed to consume the prestigious 40 oz. steak. By the time we open our menus, Dolly Parton’s voice has been replaced with another country classic, and the atmosphere is impeccable.

The menu offers everything from burgers, sandwiches, fried chicken, “Fall-off-the-bone ribs,” pot roasts, salmon, shrimp, catfish, hot-dogs and, of course, the hand cut steaks they are so known for. For a steakhouse, they offer an impressive number of salads as well. However, the customer who skims through the salad page with the hope of finding a weight loss-friendly option might want to reconsider their choice of restaurant. The 1030 kcal Caesar salad will hardly fit into the textbook diet plan.

On the other hand, the customer without any diet restrictions will find that the Texas Roadhouse makes it incredibly easy to exceed the recommended daily amount of calories. The quality of the meat is in a class of its own, and the chef’s careful preparation becomes evident when the tenderness of the steaks is close to extreme. The knife next to my plate is massive enough to save someone’s life in the jungle, but doesn’t get to fulfill its potential – because the meat is practically as tender as the topping of a pumpkin pie. The 6 oz. “Dallas filet” ($12) could not possibly have been any better, and served together with steak fries and green beans, the serving size was perfect. A grown male should however, consider going with the 8 or 10 oz. size.

The “Fall-off-the-bone rib,” ($9) certainly lives up to its name. And unless the customer is of the same caliber as the people on the rafter placks, they should be prepared to bring a box of leftovers back home with them. They could always leave it for the many flies that flew around the table at all times, but I doubt flies know how to properly appreciate meat of such divine taste.

With only three different cakes to pick from, the dessert section could have been better. But the lack of sugary goods doesn’t do much harm to the overall impression of the restaurant. My friends and I came to the conclusion that after finishing our main course, desserts were completely out of the question.

The delicious sweet rolls, peanuts, meat, fries and vegetables had already covered our nutritional needs for the next few days, so we left the roadhouse and its movie-like atmosphere, outstanding service and all-American vibe feeling satisfied.

Maria Lavelle

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