Report Card: Texas Roadhouse

fried-catfish
Texas Roadhouse on Urbanspoon
http://www.texasroadhouse.com/

 

Overall GrubGrade B-

The Breakdown:

 

Atmosphere:  Grade C:  Texas Roadhouse is one of our favorite places to dine when we have our kids with us, since both of our rug rats really like their rice.  So, you could say that we’re fans of Texas Roadhouse…keep that in mind while you read this review, just in case our comments make it appear that we are not fans.  From the outside, there’s nothing to really distinguish Texas Roadhouse from any of the other “steakhouse” chains (like Outback or Longhorn) except for the neon outline of the state of Texas on their sign.  Inside, the place is quite spacious.  They could probably turn the country music down a couple of notches to prevent a general over-consumption of alcohol amongst the diners.  I know after the third song played I was drinking my beers much faster.  So, it’s a tad loud, but at least the tables and booths are well spaced, so you only have to suffer the country music and not someone else’s conversation.  Our big beef with Texas Roadhouse, with respect to atmosphere and appearance, is the peanuts.  As mentioned in our review of River City Café, the whole peanut thing really makes your establishment look very dirty.  We appreciate the empty buckets for the shells, but it appears most of the guests are using the buckets for spittoons and throwing their shells on the floor – gross (the spittoon comment was, of course, a joke).

High marks:  Spacious

Low marks:   Music too loud, peanut debris makes place look dirty

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Service:  Grade B:   Because our munchkins dig the food, we’ve visited Texas Roadhouse quite a few times.  Service is usually mediocre to good, but on this occasion, we’d say our service was really good.  Our server, Brandon, did a real nice job of taking care of our needs without hovering.  We were about the only ones in the restaurant since we arrived 5 minutes after it opened.  It would have been easy for Brandon to annoy us by hanging out around our table waiting to be needed.  We only saw him when we did need something – almost like he could read our minds.  And, he fetched us some butter when we were initially told they were out (more details in the next session).  Why not an A, you ask?  Well, the lack of other guests made this service a slam dunk, so I would have expected to be wowed.  And, there was an issue with a drink that wasn’t Brandon’s fault, but he probably should have caught it and corrected it before it made it to the table – more details on this later as well.  We had minimal waits for our food and drinks, so the meal had a really nice flow to it.

High marks:  Minimal wait, solid service

Low marks:   Service not spectacular, minor drink errors

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Food/Spirits:  Grade B:  Texas Roadhouse has a lot of things going for it when it comes to food.  For starters, while they might not have the best bread/rolls around, their cinnamon butter is some of the best you can find.  So we were quite disappointed when the young lady who led us to our table did not bring us butter for our rolls because they were “out.”  Evidently, that meant the butter was out of her sight, because our server promptly fetched us some butter once we were settled into our seats.  Katina ordered the catfish dinner for her entrée and I selected the Fort Worth Ribeye.  I usually also order the catfish, but I thought I’d try something different so I could blog about it – see what I put myself through for you all.  Anyway, the catfish dinner was, as always, really good.  The creole mustard that accompanies the catfish might be the highlight of the dish.  The breading and seasoning is a little thick, so there’s not much fish flavor to the dish, but it still tastes really good.  The ribeye was decent, but certainly not the best steak I’ve had.  It was cooked like I ordered it and had good flavor, but it didn’t “pop” like a steak you’d get at a premium steakhouse would.  But, I enjoyed it nonetheless, and would not be above ordering it again when we revisit.  As for the drink error, listen up restaurant workers if you’re reading – Blue Moon beer is to be served with a slice of orange.  I didn’t make up the rule, it is just the way it is.  Corona has to have a lemon or lime wedge, and Blue Moon must have an orange slice.  It is sacrilege to serve it otherwise.  As you can guess, my Blue Moon was sans orange…there’s not a citrus shortage I’m unaware of, is there?

High marks:    Good catfish, decent steak

Low marks:   Citrus free Blue Moon

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Value:  Grade B+:  You are not leaving hungry if you stop by Texas Roadhouse, especially if you get the catfish.  What glutton decided on the portion size for that dish anyway?  A lot of good food at a completely reasonable price earns a B+.  Excellent food at a reasonable price earns an A, so Texas Roadhouse has some room for improvement, but we highly recommend you try it if you haven’t done so already.  It is definitely worth the money.

High marks:   Very generous portion sizes

Low marks:   Quality just needs to be a little higher

 

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