How bad are Texas Roadhouse restaurants?

Old Sep 28th, 2006, 11:04 AM
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How bad are Texas Roadhouse restaurants?

I'm stuck someplace where I might have to eat at one, and I generally hate chains. Bad? Good? OK? Thanks for opinions.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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When I lived in Florida I went to a Texas Roadhouse several times. It really wasn't bad at all.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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The one we have been to (northern Mass) has been fine. It is our 20 year old son's favorite place - so we have been more than I would like. My biggest complaint is that it is really noisy with a combination of customer noise, annoying country tunes and birthday celebration waitress dance thing.

Typical dinner is a grilled steak - pick cut and size - or ribs. My steak has always been at least average quality meat and always cooked as ordered. Comes with 2 sides - stick to salad, mixed veggies (which are actually fresh, not frozen), potato. Other choices are questionable looking beans, spiced apples - I would skip those.

Beer on tap; have never ordered dessert. Their trademark is enormous vats of peanuts in shells so you can eat peanuts and throw shells on the floor while you wait. Service has been surprisingly good - never had food order that was not correct, they are always running around refilling glasses, don't have to wait a century for the check.

I have eaten at far worse chains. Unless you are a vegetarian, you will survive.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 11:13 AM
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My parents have one where they live and I thought the steaks were pretty good and very reasonable. If you don't like chains, well I don't know if you will like it or not.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 11:49 AM
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I like it. We have one near us and eat at it fairly often. The salads are crisp and fresh with great croutons, and I like the green beans. (They are southern style, so if you like those crisp Yankee beans, beware.) The baked sweet potatoes are good, too. When I'm fed up with "healthy," I sometimes get the appetizer ribs and steak fries as an entree.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 11:53 AM
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the peanuts are good
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 11:59 AM
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I have been to two or three while traveling and one locally. Food and service always fine but noisy. DH usually gets the pork chops and baked sweet potato. Steak and ribs good, too.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Not sure if it is the same "Roadhouse" chain, but the ones here in FL and GA have really cool HUGE paintings in them. The food is fine, but I do recall the artwork specifically...thought it was unusually unique and interesting for a chain..
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 12:05 PM
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We have a couple of them here in Austin. The one we like best is owned by Willie Nelson himself. We'll usually wait to eat at one of "Willie's tables", decorated with all sorts of neat stuff.

We've had better steaks and ribs, but it's kind of a fun, different sort of place to go.

DH loves their loaded sweet potatoes - a bit OTT for me, with marshmallows and caramel sauce. I prefer just a plain sweet potato. We've had their steaks, ribs, chicken. Good assortment of side dishes available as well.

Only problem I've had is that their frozen margaritas are really frozen. A straw would stand up straight for minutes without budging, lol! Tasty, tho.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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I've eaten in several, and for chain beef joints they are fine. There staff tends to be very friendly. My only beef if you pardon the pun is that the resturants tend to be quite crowded and noisy.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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Food is fine, but I hope you like grilled steak or chicken. Not my first choice, but I do occasionally go there when someone else wants to.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 12:56 PM
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Was pleasantly surprised. It would be a good place to go with my two grandsons along because the place was packed with families and it was far from formal. My steak was delicious and all was better than I thought it would be.

Ours is so packed that there is always a wait. We only went once because of this, as we don't go out to eat much and we have many choices. We have about 8 new restaurants we haven't even tried yet.

It is so loud, that there is only one restaurant by us that I can remember being louder- and that one is a pub/pizza with entertainment and a rather concert type vibe. So do bring your ear plugs and expect to sign.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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wliwl, I was just wondering why you say you hate chains. Like anything else, there are good chains, a few great chains, and then a whole lot of sucky chains. Chains, IMO, have come a long way since the 70's and 80's.

Some chains are my alltime favorites bc of either very good food, like Roys, and PF Changs, and then some for their atmosphere, like our local Johnny Carinos which is very pleasant. Some have OK food, but you can count on them, like Chile's or Panda Express, or Rubios (Yum). Personally don't like Applebees, or Cheesecake Factory, or Fridays, but many do.

So, anyway, just pointing out that there is, luckily for us travelers, a wide range of chains nowadays, and some of them prove to be good bets for a good meal, decent price. Looks like TX Roadhouse is a good one, from the posts here.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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Many times there is indeed a wait for dinner (especially Friday and Saturday nights). But at the one we frequent, if you call them ahead (like when you're leaving home), they put you on the waiting list at that time.

It works out good for us a we are 30 minutes away. By the time we get there, a table is ready for us!
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 02:30 PM
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I'm in an area that is experiencing exponential growth and since about 2000 has become a city unto itself in its downtown area, in order to keep its own identity from "all the new" growing at its edges. This Texas Roadhouse is part of 3 new hotels and many, many other businesses going into an area in sight of the I-80 expressway. Downtown Chicago restaurants have tons of branches moving here too.

They won't take reservations at ours- I asked. They are packed from 4pm until 9pm- honestly.

Our topic of conversation in Tinley Park, IL 75% of the time is focused on what is here next. We have had about 10 new restaurants a month since 2003, and they are all making it, with very few failures. And are packed.

No one seems to eat at home anymore.

On a par with the new brewery/club and top end Japanese Steak House etc.- this Texas Roadhouse steak doesn't fall far behind for 1/2 the price (in comparison) by us.

I'm SO EXCITED that we are getting the sister to Flat Top Grill by Oprah's studio. I love Mongolian BBQ.

And I agree, that not all chains are bad. The Francesca's in Chicagoland are all terrific.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 04:09 PM
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Seems it has more to do with local management and if the namesake does any checking up on standards. The ones I have been to were ok about the same as Lonestar.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 04:30 PM
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The Texas Roadhouse in New Orleans is quite good. I was a bit surprised the first time I dined there at how good the food actually was. The service was as you would expect--well-meaning but somewhat clueless high schoolers. Food is good, comes in large portions and is reasonably priced.

MUCH better than Lonestar. Yuck.
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Old Sep 28th, 2006, 07:36 PM
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I was at one in San Marco's, TX about 5 years ago. Decent food, nothing special as I remember. My kids really liked it though.
 
Old Sep 28th, 2006, 11:06 PM
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I've eaten at only one, in Texarkana. i didn't know what to expect, but the food was delicious. The salad (can't recall which kind) was fresh and huge. I missed this whole-onion layered hor d'oervre thing that friends later told me was a "must-try.' Lively atmosphere and great service.

We tried to eat there again, on a weekend night, but waiting people were onto the parking lot and beyond. Guess they're doing something right.

There's one in the South Bay nr where I live in California that's supposed to be good, tho i've never eaten there, and have heard that while good, and fun atmosphere, it's just not the same Tx Roadhouse in California.
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Old Sep 29th, 2006, 02:29 PM
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There is a Roadhouse, which is a runoff of Brown Derby, and a Texas Roadhouse in our area. Both are pretty good, if you are hungry for grilled food. Portions are enough for 2 meals.
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