Texas Roadhouse: A Restaurant Chain Steak House with Giddyap
I was beyond impressed by a recent overall dining experience at the Texas Roadhouse in Walpole, Mass. We usually don’t cover chain restaurants here — preferring to focus on deserving, hard-working, quality locally-owned New England businesses — but the Texas Roadhouse forced us to change our way of thinking.
The Texas Roadhouse is a national restaurant chain that doesn’t act like a chain. The mouthwatering hand-cut steaks are as good as any high end steakhouses and independently-owned BBQ joints we’ve experienced. We have also been told by friends and family that the same goes for the ribs. The sides are also amazing. Upon seating, our friendly waitress served fresh-baked bread with and a plate of green beans, corn and chili — all absolutely delicious. A free bucket of peanuts also added to almost-too- filling assortment before the main meal. The hand-battered onion, golden-fried served with cajun horseradish sauce, was equally amazing — hard just to stop at just 10 onion rings!
Additionally, the Texas Roadhouse is a good value. I had a delicious pulled pork dinner — tender, substantial and with a great side of seasoned rice and Caesar salad for under $10. While the steaks (you get to choose the cut you want) are not cheap, they are much less expensive than those high profile steakhouses and with no real drop off in quality.
There’s also no drop off in service. We have found that at many chains, the chipper, enthusiastic service starts out well, but then doesn’t sustain throughout the whole dining experience. The Texas Roadhouse staff seems to excel in efficiency, friendliness and knowledge of the product from start to finish. The atmosphere is agreeable, too — a nice roadhouse feel without feeling too generic. Like any roadhouse, the Texas Roadhouse has a bar with some good looking drinks (ice cold beer, margaritas), but the overall feeling here is that it’s more of a family-friendly restaurant.
If you took away the Texas Roadhouse signs and secretly brought its cuisine to a locally-owned restaurant of the same genre, the restaurant snobs and other garden variety elitists would be raving about the “fabulous, brilliant” food that they discovered. I think in the case of the Texas Roadhouse, we have to throw away the concept of it being a chain, and focus on the reality that this is just one, darn good restaurant. The Texas Roadhouse will certainly be on our “A” list when on travel, or when looking for an affordable meal close to home.!
New England has 19 Texas Roadhouse restaurants, at this writing:
West Haven, Conn.
North Dartmouth, Mass.
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