Saturday, March 14, 2009

Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse
1289 Kildare Farm Road
Cary, NC 27511

The Girl doesn't eat steak, so the trip to a steakhouse was a special treat for me. We've eaten at Outback a few times in the past, but this was our first trip to the Cary location. I feel comfortable with chain restaurants because I have an idea of what to expect from dinner; I would get a steak and The Girl would order whatever thay had that was not a slab of beef.

Our hostess met us with a smile, our waiter was friendly and upbeat, and the food tasted as I'd expected it would at Outback. However, what made an impression on me was the lack of flair I hope for when dining out. We were given no silverware when we were seated, and upon asking the waiter after our bread arrived, received two sets of silverware containing flatware still wet from the dishwasher. When our drinks arrived, the waiter brought us two wet coasters. I realize that silverware needs to go into the dishwasher and that coasters are reused, but all of the wet items that kept appearing at our table made me scrutinize the cleanliness of everything that arrived. My knife had big blotches on it, as did my beer glass. The restaurant was not dirty, but left me with an odd feeling about what the kitchen must look like.

The Girl and I shared a Bloomin' Onion (always delicious). Then our meals arrived. I got a steak and The Girl ordered Alice Springs Chicken (a chicken breast with bacon and cheese). The food was what I've come to expect of Outback. My steak was delicious and The Girl enjoyed her meal. However, the presentation was lackluster and short of flair. My plate had a steak and a baked potato--no garnish at all. I know this may seem picky, but I like my food dressed up a bit. The steak seemed naked without that little sprig of parsley or pile of lettuce or arugula. My meal looked like it was ready for me to put it on the coffee table and watch TV while I eat. The Girl's chicken was presented in a similar, lackluster fashion.

Outback Steakhouse on UrbanspoonUltimately, the food at the Outback tasted as I had expected. However, eating out should be an event...a good way to spend my time and money. My meal at the Kildare Farm Road Outback did not feel right, even when compared to other Outback locations where I've dined. Compared to chain restaurants, Outback is a little pricey. I feel like for the same price I could have eaten at a fancier restaurant, or I could have saved a few dollars and eaten at Chili's, Pizzeria Uno, or their ilk.

As I was leaving the Outback, I noticed that one of their waiters was wearing about 50 pins on the front of his uniform. I jokingly referred to him as "the Flairmeister General." It looks like the flair was at the Outback, it was just in the wrong place.

Outback Steakhouse on Restaurantica

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