Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Longhorn Steak House

I was given a $50 gift certificate to Longhorn Steakhouse for my birthday.  I took my wife and two daughters to the Longhorn in West Chester, OH on a Monday evening.  The restaurant was pretty crowded for a Monday night.  But, the wait was very short- around 10 minutes.  I had a glass of house wine and my wife had a draft beer in the bar while we waited.  Total for both drinks was around $12 including tip.

Longhorn is running a special called Steakhouse Dinner for Two.  The deal is two salads, two entrees (with one side item each) and a choice of a dessert or an appetizer to split.  Total price is $29.99.  This is a pretty good deal considering the entrees you can choose from are $13-15 each.  So, it's like getting the dessert or appetizer free.  My daughters split that.  I joined Longhorn's email club and got a coupon for a free Wild West Shrimp as an appetizer.  The shrimp was small salad sized shrimp battered and fried with cherry peppers and a ranch dipping sauce.  My younger daughter, who does not like shrimp, loved the appetizer.  The preparation reminded me of calamari I had at McCormick and Schmick's.  The shrimp itself being such small shrimp didn't have a lot of flavor- probably why my youngest liked it.  But, the batter was light and tasty.  With the peppers and the dipping sauce was very good.  The portion was huge. It was enough for at least two people.  As an appetizer, it was plenty for the four of us.  

The girls ordered the Parmesan Crusted Chicken and the Grilled Chicken with Stuffed Portabella Mushroom.  One ordered asparagus as her side dish and the other the mixed vegetables.  Our family doesn't use a lot of salt or butter on our food.  So, we quite often find restaurant food salty. My older daughter complained that her Grilled Chicken with Stuffed Portabella Mushroom was overly salty.  I tasted it and it was slightly on the salty side.  Not too bad.  My younger daughter complained that her Parmesan Crusted Chicken was salty. That was out of character for her because she loves salt and cheese.  I tasted that and it was off-the-charts salty.  They must use a pretty salty parmesan cheese or they season the chicken with salt before adding the cheese.  She also didn't care for the butter on the mixed vegetables although they were done nicely.

I wanted to get a filet, which was not an option on the Steakhouse Dinner for Two.  So, I got the filet with Cedar Plank Grilled Shrimp.  My wife got the grilled salmon over rice pilaf.  We each got the asparagus, which was a $1.49 upcharge over the included side items.  The salmon was $15.79 for the 7 ounce portion and my filet and shrimp combo was $22.99. Again, not bad prices considering they came with the choice of Caesar or Mixed Green Salad and a side dish.  I didn't bring my scale with me but my 7 ounce Flo's Filet looked a couple of ounces shy of 7 ounces to me.  I ordered it medium rare.  The first one they brought me looked overdone when they sat it down.  When I cut into it I knew it was way past medium rare- at least what I call medium rare- which is just warm all the way through.  I sent it back.  The waitress explained to me that when they cut through the center of it in the kitchen it was medium rare in the middle. But, they brought another one to me in just a few minutes and the second one was cooked perfectly.  They also brought me an additional order of asparagus with the second steak.  I had never had cedar plank shrimp before.  It took me a couple of shrimp to decide whether I liked it or not.  The shrimp had a garlic and butter crust over the top.  The shrimp really picked up a lot of flavor from the cedar plank, much more than salmon, which I've had prepared that way, does.  I did enjoy it a lot and will be making that at home.  My wife's salmon was very nice.  It was the right temperature.  She also enjoyed her rice pilaf.

The girls chose the Chocolate Stampede for their dessert. The Chocolate Stampede is two slabs of chocolate cake with various types of chocolate (ice cream) layered over it.  It's served with two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream.  I don't know what they were thinking when they created this dessert. But, it's massive.  It's more than enough for one or two people.  We split it between the four of us and ended up leaving some on the table after we were thoroughly satisfied.  It was quite possibly the second largest dessert I've ever had.  The largest being a dessert in a Chicago steak house.

The service was excellent.  Our waitress was very attentive and our food came out quickly.  Even with my filet having to be redone, we were out of there in very good time.  The total bill came to just around $85 with the free dessert deducted.  That's not including the $12 (including tip) we spent at the bar.  
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