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 itâ€™s not exactly the most wallet-friendly place to eat, weâ€™d only eat there occasionally. That, plus the need to try out new food places allowed few visits to Outback. Last Motherâ€™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 Motherâ€™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 boothâ€”always my favorite type of restaurant seatingâ€”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.
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.
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.
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 beâ€”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.