Longhorn, an Uninspired Lunch Experience

After going to a movie, my roommate wanted to go to lunch.  He decided Longhorn sounded good.  We saw it being built and now it was open.  As a point of interest, it was formerly the site of a Lonestar steakhouse.  They were really good, had amazing rye bread and the best black bean soup ever.  They discontinued the black bean soup and I stopped going there.  I have never gotten the hang of black bean soup so I went there for that rather than the awesome bread or great steaks. Longhorn demolished the old steakhouse and built up a new building.

The tables were lovely, the decor was good (ironically, it was filled with the Texas lonestar emblem).  The bread was a honey wheat.  It was a small round loaf that was served sliced almost all the way through.  The only problem was that is was not soft.  It was more like toast.  I don’t like toast to begin with and I’m not overly fond of wheat in general.  So I skipped it.  The roommate tried it and did NOT have another slice.

Considering the pricing, I didn’t expect such an uninspired salad.  I don’t like tomatoes, so I asked for none.  I guess that mean no croutons either.  Because I didn’t get any and my roommate did.  Or was it because I asked for my dressing on the side and they thought that because I didn’t eat the bread and I didn’t want the dressing on it that I must not want croutons as well?  I like a hint of dressing flavor.  I happen to like salad greens and don’t want my salad drowning in dressing.  I dip my tines into the dressing and then into the salad.

If I had known the cucumber would be minced up all over the salad I would have said no cucumbers as well.  Especially since they were not peeled.  Now I know the peel is totally edible.  I just don’t like it.  Also, cukes have a stronger flavor and it doesn’t actually go very well with my dressing of choice.  The salad itself was boring iceberg with shredded carrot and purple cabbage.  More and more places are mixing iceberg with darker salad greens as the average patron is more nutrition aware than in the past.  At these prices, they could have splurged for some better lettuce.  The only thing positive about the salad was the freshness and crispness of the iceberg lettuce.  Once I ate the salad the bowl was almost half full of the diced cucumbers I didn’t eat.

The main course came now.  It looked good, if a bit lonely, on the over-sized plate. A 6 oz steak with a side of potatoes didn’t fill more than half the plate.  They should use smaller plates for good presentation on smaller steaks.  The steak was cooked perfectly.  Medium Rare is my choice for steak.  I’ve been known to order rare as well, if I anticipate leftovers.  That way the reheated portion is not overcooked.  The steak was tender and juicy.  What it lacked was any flavor at all.  I did the one thing I never usually have to do at a steak restaurant.  I had to put salt and pepper on the steak.

My roommate, who was eating his sides first, finally started in on his steak and said that yes, something was wrong with the steak.  Because it was perfect to him.  He grew up with a mother who didn’t really season anything.  Egg salad is egg and miracle whip, no seasoning.  He was used to very very bland food as normal.  Most steakhouses have their own seasoning.  If they didn’t, every steakhouse that could cook a GOOD steak would taste exactly alike and they need something to make their steaks stand out from the others.  We think that the kitchen forgot to season the steaks.

The side of mashed potatoes was very very good.  Of course, when I added salt and pepper to the steak, I got the potatoes too.  I hadn’t tried them before I seasoned everything.  At that point, I didn’t think it would hurt them.

When we left, my roommate also indicated he didn’t think he would go there again either.  I sure hope he was joking when he said the water’s cost three dollars.  I know he wasn’t joking about not liking the fact that there was rarely anyone at the host stand at the front entrance.  He only noticed it on the way out, I had a good view of it the entire time we were there and no one was ever watching it.  As a result, people were coming in and having to wait around until wait staff saw them.  Even though it wasn’t busy so there should have been no reason for them having to wait at all.

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