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Outback Steakhouse

In a word: Carnivores say: "g'day."

The specs: #0450 
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Quomodocumque, Culinary Adventures in Madison, Outback Steakhouse on Urbanspoon; official web site.

CJ ate the cheeseburger with milk.
JM ate the fish fry with a lemonade.
Jordan ate the sirloin with French onion soup and a Coke Zero.
Nichole ate the rack of lamb with sweet potatoes and a Coke Zero.
We split the bloomin' onion.
The bill was $58, or $14.50/person, plus tip.
JM gave Outback Steakhouse a B; Jordan and Nichole gave Outback Steakhouse a B- (see our grading rubric).

Latest Outback Steakhouse news and reviews

Outback Steakhouse turned out to be a fine choice for a Father's Day nosh. Father-son team Jordan and CJ rejoined us to add perspectives to our visit. Jordan noted that Outback pops up on Chowhound as a not-irredeemable chain choice, and on that metric, it's true they did better than most. For starters, they have Coke Zero on tap, the way to two of our party's caffeine-craving hearts.

Dinner started with dark, warm bread that our candid server asked our patience for because it's "not that good when it's not hot." It was OK; CJ liked it the most of all of us, perhaps for the lightly sweet, honeyed flavor and the soft texture. Jordan sampled the French onion soup. He said the "crouton" atop the crock, which was precisely cut to fit, made him imagine a giant extruder at a soup factory chunking out bowls and crouton lids in one go. The texture of the crouton was a bit spongy, as well.

We ordered the blooming onion out of geekly obligation to Buffy. It was the epitome of fried, guilty pleasure - quite messy unless you just dug in and grabbed a chunk. The horseradish sauce was a good counterpoint to cut through the grease.

Bloomin' onion

Rack of lamb

On to the entrees: the rack of New Zealand lamb was a splurge and doubtless had a huge carbon footprint, but the very tender, fatty meat was delicious. The wine sauce was intensely salty and bold so that just a dab would do. The sides were fine: moderately buttered, lightly steamed vegetables, and a baked sweet potato loaded with butter and brown sugar. Jordan noted wistfully the absence of creamed spinach or other steakhouse standards.

We asked CJ what the best part of his meal was, and he asserted without hesitation: "The ketchup!" When pressed, he said he liked the meat and cheese in his burger, too. JM's fish fry was average and a little greasy, but he admitted it's no surprise that fish is not where Outback's heart is. He also realized that he was not hungry enough for this adventure out.

Finally, the steak: Jordan's Outback sirloin was good enough, so that he had no complaints. He'd heard people bemoan the aggressive house spice rub, but he hardly noticed it.

Outback may make some bristle and certainly the veg options are de facto limited, but in chain land, Outback is just fine, even if Australian themed steak seems a little odd.


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The sweet potato is what I look forward to the most on those rare occasions when family or work draws me to Outback (usually the only two circumstances when I'd go there). Although if I recall correctly, the Mum's Chopped Steak is pretty good comfort food.

Their wedge salad is a nice change from typical chain salad offerings too...not that many go to a steakhouse for the salad! Did you notice the gluten free menu?

Actually, for those concerned with carbon footprint, New Zealand lamb actually has a lower footprint than locally-grown...at least in the U.K. - I assume the figures would be similar here. Source

This place is totally gross. The food tastes freeze dried and microwaved and costs a fortune

Timmy having worked at the Outback, I was very impressed with the fact that everything there is made fresh everyday. Of all the restaurants I have worked at, and there has been a number, I can count on one hand the number of times anything has been sent back. Being a former employee I still have nothing but great things to say about the taste and quality put out by Outback. Try the shrimp enfuego it will blow you away!

An acquaintance of mine and his dining companions were asked to leave the west side Outback a couple years ago after he choked on his steak. Maybe they thought he was faking it, but I've been assured he wasn't. Someone had to give him the Heimlich. I like their food just fine, but that's pretty weird.

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