21 Aug 2007 @ 9:58 PM 

Lone Star Steak House (144th between L. and Center)

I love steak.

I think that the cow was placed on earth by some divine being for the pleasure of eating it. It serves absolutely no other purpose. When was it you saw a wild cow? I’ve never even heard of one. The things have been domesticated for centuries and through selective breeding, have become quite the little treasure. That being said, I like to have myself a good cut of meat every now and again.

I like my meat (believe it or not) between rare and medium rare. I believe that the middle should be red, but warm to hot. The center shouldn’t be cooked, but at least make sure the darn thing is very warm. I can’t tell you how many times I order it and it comes out ice cold in the middle. That turns my stomach. Some snot-nosed kid is back there screwing up perfectly good beef. More often than not, I order Medium Rare anymore because most “cooks” *insert derogatory word* it up.

So, this past week, we were driving around (because the family never knows what it wants to eat and therefore can’t ever make up their mind) and I ended up at Lone Star Steak House. We went in and were immediately seated by the hostess. It wasn’t busy and… it never is as a matter of fact. *ponders* Anyway, we sit down, and the waiter comes over. He immediately starts to complain about the last table he had and how they were terrible. He hoped that we were not like his last table where he could hardly wait to get away from. (Right there, I knew that this would be a bad experience!) So after that, he meanders off to go and get our drinks. *tic tic tic tic* (Buddy, you’re killing me, minute by minute… my life is sucked away slowly…..) He returns with our drinks. He takes our order then disappears. Time goes by… More time goes by… and someone else brings us our appetizers. Not too keen on that, but that’s how it works… at least I have food. It’s their version of an onion flower. It’s good, and has some kick in the sauce… which makes you want to drink something… which is now out for everyone at the table. So we sit there, and sit there… and sit there… Nothing. Now enter two wait staff. They plop down at the table next to us. (We’re in the middle of the dining room, next to the door to the kitchen.) The waitresses begin to wrap silverware. This is a Saturday night at about 7:30. It should be busy (but it isn’t). They start chatting loudly about how hard it is working there. They look over at our table (I watch this sort of thing.), then proceed to tell our waiter that he has to “go do glasses” just before he gets to our table.

So off he goes…. *Tic tic tic tic…..* There goes more of my life… My children are growing up in front of me… I watch, as in back, my waiter is moving all sorts of heavy stuff. That’s nice. They guy makes half minimum wage and then tips on top of it. One would think that he might want to bust his butt to help us; So not the case. So we’re sitting for another 5 minutes (this after the 20 since we got our appetizers) and some short lady comes out with plates that are supposed to resemble salad. They’ve got wilted lettuce, a wad of shredded cheese, and a pile of diced tomatoes. On top of all that?
That’s right! A lake of ranch dressing! *ding ding ding!*

So a few minutes after that, he comes out of the kitchen, and happens to notice that all of our drinks and water are empty. He looks at my wife and I and says: “Oh, I guess you’re thirsty.” I think I could feel the veins popping out the side of my head. Off he goes…. Where is anyone’s guess. I have now been there over an hour and have YET to have my meal. I’m getting a little angry at this point and wonder how much worse he must have been to anger his previous table to the point where they were “hellish”. I can really see why they were angry. Me? Mister Polite? Yeah… I was reaching the end of my rope.

So after a few more minutes of screwing around doing whatever it was he was doing, he finally shows up with more drinks. He looks at my wife and I and informs us that our food should be ready now and that he’s going to go get it. *twitch* Ya think?

So he goes back into the kitchen and comes out with our dinner…

I order the Texas Ribeye with “extra spices” at a Med-Rare….

He stands there after handing us all plates “Please cut into your meat so we can make sure it is all cooked correctly.” I almost blew up… but being Mr. Polite… I do it. It’s cooked more or less right. My wife and I give him the nod and off he goes.

I dig in.

The steak was cooked close to what I ordered, and it had great flavor. My wife ordered a smaller sirloin and wasn’t too terribly impressed with hers. She did however steal some of mine. She liked it better than hers. Hers wasn’t bad, but it was just “a steak”. I got a bakes sweet potato, with just regular butter (They tend to put sugar and stuff on it) and steamed veggies. It was good. The food was real good.

That has typically been the case when I go to Lone Star. The food is good but the service stinks and takes forever. It seemed like there was a bunch of people standing around doing nothing, while people, such as our waiter) were doing all the heavy labor in the kitchen. Perhaps if the staff at Lone Star would spend less time gabbing with each other, and more time actually taking care of their customers, they would have more customers.

Nothing makes me madder than bad service.

Overall impression: Food took forever; the waiter kept getting side tracked and should have spent more time taking care of his tables. The staff seemed to stand around, and it took forever to get our food. Our food however was great (except the salad) and it was hot and flavorful. The only saving grace was the food.

Plusses: Great food, nice atmosphere

Minuses: Slow and inattentive wait staff, slow food, slow slow slow slow…

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 22 Aug 2007 @ 03:34 AM

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 21 Aug 2007 @ 2:39 PM 

Last stop: Wing Stop! (120th and Blondo)

Ok, I have to admit, I am a real big fan of hot wings.  They just do something for me.  I like them spicy and crispy.  Now believe it or not, I have a day job.  It’s here in Omaha for an absolutely FANTASTIC holdings company.  I am a contractor with them and I couldn’t be happier.  (No, really!)

So now and again, I go out for lunch.  I need something relatively close and something where I feel like I get the most “bang” for the buck.  That place is Wing Stop.  It’s family owned, and most of time, operated.

Each and every time I have gone there, the staff has been great.  They are prompt and can tell you your food will be ready in “14 minutes”.  I think that should be their trade-mark.  Typically though, it does not take the prescribed “14 minutes”.  Trust me, I have sat in drive-through after drive-through for 20+ minutes for bad food, I can handle a little “Wing Wait”.

The last time I went, I called ahead and got my “boneless” wings, which are in fact breaded chicken strips (Much to my younger daughter’s dismay).   “Original Hot” is typically what I order.  That and the Lemon Pepper Wings.  Since I was going to carry them out this time, I thought it best that I go boneless as to not seem rude as I chew on bones at my desk.  That is better in private or in a dining room full of other people chewing on chicken wings.  I had asked for extra sauce, and low and behold: The Boneless Wing covered in sauce.  It was nice and hot, fresh, and had just the right kick to it to make my lunch time enjoyable.  Combo that with veggie stick and a drink, and you can be quite the happy camper.

Overall impression:  Wing Stop at 120th and Blondo has always been very consistent with their food and service.  Dine in and carry out, it has been awesome.

Plusses: Great food, nice-friendly-helpful staff, clean dining area, and very clean bathrooms.

Minuses: Small dining area with not much seating, you have to get your napkins off a giant roll at the counter, and getting in and out of the parking lot can be tricky.

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 22 Aug 2007 @ 03:36 AM

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