24 Aug 2007 @ 3:36 AM 

We went Outback tonight….

Outback Steakhouse (Near 132nd and Center)

Ok, *cracks knuckles* lets take a stab at Outback Steakhouse and give them a review. Today was kind of an off day for me. I had a bad experience with traffic at the middle school (That’s an entirely different rant!), I was then late, so I decided to pick up breakfast for my team, and got stuck in drive-through hell at a local fast food place. This put me to work 15 minutes late so I skipped lunch and tanked up on water to keep me occupied. Couple this with a hectic day at work and you get a cranky man.

So roll into dinner time. The weather has turned as foul as my mood. I have a headache because I skipped dinner, I’m cranky, and I have a boatload of hungry children. We drive around looking for someplace to eat, and I drive past a few “family staples” but want something different from the usual, and I end up at Outback.

It’s about to rain and we get a good parking spot and zip on in. The greeter was nice enough, and then we hit the hostess. Amazingly enough, there wasn’t a line or even a wait. I must admit that we have eaten at Outback several times and it was never outstanding and the food was typically mediocre. Never bad food, just never blow your socks off good.

So we’re seated quickly and our waitress immediately comes over for our drink order. As soon as she has our order, she’s off. She returns with our drinks and a loaf of customary bread. She takes our order and is quickly off again. So, as I am famished and ready to eat one of the kids, we attack the bread. No sooner had I sliced the last two pieces, another loaf with butter is put in front of us. I had to do a double-take on the waitress, as my service at Outback had never been that prompt ever. So we start in on the other bread, and my oldest son makes one of his favorite noises…. *slurps empty glass sound* I was about to tell him to stop, when our waitress shows up again with drinks in tow. (Again with the double take)

So now we’ve had our bread, and 2 rounds of sodas. So we sit looking at each other and then starts the ‘Outback wait for your food shuffle‘. I had ordered prime rib, with the “seasoning and sear”, steamed veggies, and green beans. My prime rib was ordered “as rare as they can”, but showed up between medium-rare and medium; which was fine. It’s not like they can custom cook every order. So, oddly enough I go after the green beans first. They just looked fantastic. The flavor on them was awesome and the steamed veggies were fresh and still had a snap to them. It was a far cry from the nasty Cali-blend that most places serve. It was really good. Then I cut into the prime rib. It was very tasty. It was tender and with the “a jus” and horseradish, it was divine. Our waitress came back once during the meal as well as the manager to make sure that everything was ok and cooked right.

We wrapped our meal with the youngest, finally passing on half of his kiddy burger. That is when the tide turned on our night. So far, it had been pretty good, a mostly solid experience. We looked around for our waitress. (Insert the sound of Jeopardy’s final answer here) She was nowhere to be found. We sat….. and waited…. What seemed like an eternity soon passed (more like 10 minutes) she finally swings by, with check in hand, looking flushed. As she asked us if we needed anything else she clumsily slid the check on the table. We decline and I pick up the check and start looking at it. She begins to clear the table as I’m digging in my wallet. I must have looked mad or something, because she took one look at me and shuffled off. So, I put my money in the little check folder and set it on the table…. and wait…. Did I say we waited? After a period of time I started to look around, and she’s at a table behind us gabbing. I look at my oldest daughter and give her “the look”. I turn around and the waitress is gone. I was getting impatient at this point and do the “looking around” thing trying to make eye contact with her…. Eventually she sneaks up on me: “I’ll be right back with your change.” I just had her keep it and off we went. Tip was about 18-19%, give or take a buck.

Overall impression: I would say it was a wash on service. The food was good and the place was clean. The booth was well maintained and the menus that were bound to the table were clean and free of pens, crayon, food, and drink. If I could have gotten a solid performance out of my waitress, I would be rating it higher.

Minuses: The kitchen was a bit slow as well as the waitress took forever after the meal.

Pluses: The food was very good, the service before and during the meal was great. I say overall, it was a fair-plus experience.

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 24 Aug 2007 @ 04:02 AM

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