The Outback in my mind…

When I first ate at Outback Steakhouse years ago, I fell in love. The thick, juicy steaks, the rich potato soup topped with a dollop of sour cream, the unforgettable bushman bread with churned butter, the yummy jacket potatoes sinfully drowned in sour cream and bacon bits. It was sheer love.

Still, because it’s not exactly the most wallet-friendly place to eat, we’d only eat there occasionally. That, plus the need to try out new food places allowed few visits to Outback. Last Mother’s day however, as my mom has deemed it a long time since we last ate there, we decided to eat dinner there, as a second Mother’s Day celebration. (We celebrated in advance a few days before.)

Like each visit to Outback, we were greeted by an attentive hostess who seated us promptly. We were seated at a booth—always my favorite type of restaurant seating—an our server was quick to present us with menus. To start with, she handed us a cutting board with Bushman bread, butter, and *puts on faux Crocodile Dundee accent* a knife.

Outback Steakhouse Bushman Bread

What is it that makes Bushman bread so delicious? Is it cocoa? The molasses? Or the light grainy specks dusted on the bread? I swear this bread’s warm, homey appeal drives me nuts each time. It can make even the staunchest advocate of South Beach a carb-addict. It was as delicious as I remember, especially when topped with their signature churned butter. Now that was the evening’s first disappointment. While I remember the little sauce cups they use for butter being almost full in the past, now it was hardly a pat. Plus, the edges of the butter was dry, like it’s been sitting in the cup in a refrigerator for quite sometime. It still tasted good, but having to scrimp on butter, I couldn’t enjoy the Bushman bread as much as I’d like.

Outback Steakhouse Creamy Potato Soup

Then came the soup. The potato soup was yummy as ever. But still, despite knowing that they’ve been serving it plain for years, my heart still harkens back to the days when they’d serve it topped with a dollop of sour cream and chives. Now that was heaven. Still, it served its purpose. It reminded me of how much I love their Potato Soup and my unfinished quest to find and master a similar potato soup recipe.

Outback Steakhouse Prime Minister’s Prime Rib

Since we weren’t particularly hungry, my mom and I opted to split a large steak instead of ordering separate ones. The smallest steak they had was a 9 oz. and we both felt that we couldn’t finish one each. So, we just went for the 12 oz. Prime Minister’s Prime Rib that the server recommended and split it between us.

The prime rib was described as “…a tempting 12-ounce Angus Prime Rib, slow roasted and grilled over open flame.” We ordered ours medium since we enjoy the juicy, pinkish flesh. While it was done just right, with the meat tender and easy to chew, a part of me wasn’t exactly satisfied. I felt that it wasn’t as juicy as it could be—maybe because it was pre-cooked prior to grilling? I was honestly surprised to see it served with a little cup of gravy. I guess it’s really been a long time since I last ate at Outback (or ordered steak at least) but I remember they never served their steaks with gravy. Instead, they had bottles of A1 Steak Sauce on each table. Personally, it was the one time when I’d eat steak without any sauce or gravy at all, preferring to taste the natural flavor of the beef. This time though, I went for the gravy.

Don’t get me wrong. It was a good meal. The food was better than what other restaurants serve. Still, it doesn’t compare to the Outback of my memories (ah, Robinson’s Place Ermita branch, how I miss you). I can imagine going back for a good thick steak. But I have to admit. The romance is over.

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13 Responses to The Outback in my mind…

  1. perfctdream says:

    hmm.. I definitely would have asked for a new cup of butter and a bottle of A1 as those two items are supposed to be part of the service provided by the restaurant =)

    Now, if I really wanted sour cream and chives on my potato soup, I would probably ask them to add those and pay the extra fee because the soup is pretty plain without!

    • kaoko says:

      Honestly, it didn’t occur to me. ^_^;; I guess it’s not in my personality to ask for extras. Although, demn, I really should’ve asked for more butter.

      About asking for sour cream and chives though, it really has been a long time since I last had it on my potato soup there. I doubt that they’d have any idea that it used to be served that way, seeing how young the servers looked. The only solution I can think of is to make my own, hwehwehwe. Must get cracking with the experimenting!

  2. surrealistic says:

    Crocodile Dundee? haahaha ^^;;

    rest assured..we aren’t like that |D
    but despite that the food sounds good. And I would have to agree with you about steak being medium rare. Its easier to eat/chew ^^

    • kaoko says:

      rest assured..we aren’t like that |D

      I sure hope not! 😀 I’d have to strike Australia from the list of countries I want to visit if everyone there was Crocodile Dundee! Although it’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who still remembers the film. I was at a very impressionable age when I saw it. I guess it sunk deep into my consciousness. ^_^;; Now is that good or bad? 😛

  3. lalalady7 says:

    the outback here does searve their steaks with a sauce but it is not gravy i think it’s worshertishire…(i dont know how to spell that word) comes out very liquidy and clearish. We dont have potato soup here either at the outback but the clam chowder for some reason seems to be their special soup of the day 5x a wk! lol I love the 12oz I eat the whole thing by myself everytime! yummy bad for u but so goooooooooooooooooooood

    • kaoko says:

      BOOO! How come you get clam chowder? I love clam chowder! And how can a 12oz steak be bad? If it makes you happy, I say it’s good! 😀 Besides, it’s worse if you can’t finish it. Wasting food? Ebil. Gobbling everything on your plate? Always good 😀

  4. Aleyna says:

    The gravy with the prime rib is actually an au jus that is always served with their prime rib. It is standard fare just about anywhere when you order prime rib.

    I love Outback and never get to go enough!

    • kaoko says:

      I see! I had no idea since this was our first time to order Prime Rib, not only at Outback but Prime Rib in general. I’m more of a rib-eye girl. It was also the first time in a long while since I last ate there so I guess I jumped to the wrong conclusion 😀 Thanks for clearing that up 😀

  5. u8mypinkcookies says:

    yey outback! yumm!! :) love the bushman bread!

  6. natalie says:

    The gravy that you are referring to is called au jus, and it is served to compliment the prime rib. Also, it sounds like you got your steak cooked outback style, meaning that it is slow roasted then seasoned and seared over the grill, personally this is my favorite way to have it done. Honestly, it sounds like you don’t know much about steaks or how they are prepared. One of my favorite things about Outback is their commitment to customer satisfaction, if there is a problem with your meal that they can’t fix, they will happily take the food off your ticket. There is no point in posting complaints online, instead of taking action and telling your server if there is anything they can do to make your dining experience better. If you wanted more butter, you could always just ask for more, people do it all the time. And as for the potato soup, it is usually supposed to be topped with cheese and chives, but a lot of people complain about it and send the soup back, so i am guessing the restaurant proprietor decided it was better for the server to run back to the kitchen and get sour cream and chives for those who wanted it, instead of having customers wait for a new cup of soup, wasting the other bowl, and driving food prices up.

    • kaoko says:

      They may run the restaurant differently where you’re from, but our local Outbacks are run this way. If it isn’t your first time in this particular restaurant, it was easy to see that they were cost-cutting. Even the standard table condiments were pretty sparse.

      As to the issues with the butter and the potato soup, I expect a restaurant to, at the very least, be adequate. I shouldn’t need to ask for extras because they should take in consideration what a normal person needs. The fact is, a scant tablespoon of butter is not enough to butter a whole loaf.

      With the cheese and chives on the potato soup, nowhere was it written on the menu that it was served that way, unlike with their other menu entries where every little thing was itemized. Neither did the server offer us the option, so I believe it was safe to assume that they changed “recipes.”

      And about asking extras, I chose not to because I have done that in the past with a restaurant from the same chain and they charged me the price of a side dish for a dollop of sour cream. I don’t really believe it was worth paying that much so I skipped it.

      I apologize once again for my ignorance regarding the steak, as I have apologized to someone else in a previous comment. As you pointed out, I probably don’t know much about steaks and how they are prepared.

      If you read carefully, I was comparing the meal with a very memorable one I had in the past. A benchmark. The fact is, I wasn’t satisfied. The meal underperformed compared to my benchmark. It wasn’t a horrible meal—I would’ve complained if it was. But I still found the meal disappointing. I do believe I am entitled to my own opinion. But there wasn’t anything out of line for me to complain formally. The fact is, their quality has gone down. Nothing can change that, even if I complain.

      Besides, I have tried to be very accepting and constructive in my post. If I were simply out to bad mouth a restaurant, I would think I did a very bad job at it.

      I am happy to hear that they’re very committed to customer satisfaction where you’re from. It would be nice if they’d exercise the same level of commitment the last time I dined with them.

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