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Texas Roadhouse

Texas RoadhouseIn a word: Everything's bigger in Texas, even the disappointment.

The specs: #0657  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at The Madison Packard, Yelp, Trip Advisor, TDPF; listing at Eat Drink Madison; official web site, Texas Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

Latest Texas Roadhouse news and reviews

RollsJM ate the ribs with mashed potatoes.
Nichole ate the BBQ chicken with a baked sweet potato.
We ate some rolls and peanuts.
The bill was $24, or $12/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave Texas Roadhouse a C (see our grading rubric).

Texas Roadhouse is from Clarksville, Indiana. The service at Madison East location was attentive and accurate, and the manager even visited our table.

RibsThey have free buckets of peanuts. Quick poll: do you eat the shells, or toss them?

The "pint" glasses are 20 ounces if they're a drop, probably oversized in homage to the Lone Star State. There are also big baskets of hot rolls with cinnamon butter.

Chicken and sweet potatoBeing oldsters at heart, we asked for the earlybird menu (fewer choices, reasonable portions) to save a buck. This kept us from trying the hand-cut steaks, which might be Texas Roadhouse's strong suit. The steaks are displayed in a lit case like jewelry or chocolates, a presentation that by its attempt to increase appreciation accentuates the gap between what things cost and what we pay.

JM got the ribs. They were wet in a sweet sauce. The meat fell off the bone more out of despair than out of a joyful tenderness. Same with the chicken: every bite was a wake that no one came to.

...and that's about it.


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The highest articulation of tragicomedy in the history of Madison culinary writing:

"JM got the ribs. They were wet in a sweet sauce. The meat fell off the bone more out of despair than out of a joyful tenderness. Same with the chicken: every bite was a wake that no one came to."

People eat peanut shells? This is a new one to me.

The people who eat peanut shells (and shrimp tails) are the ones rushing to the hospital with appendicitis.

In what country are peanut shells edible?

You guys really need to go back, there is a reason why this place is backed almost every night. The steaks are always done right when we go, and the country fried sirloin is the best I've ever had. A "C" is way too low, I would give TRH at least a A-.

Folks gotta know that the A to Z dining experience is an organic one; these aren't New York Times reviews, they're personal experiences.

That said, this food writer will back up MIke's comment above: the steaks are pretty exceptional, especially for such a high-volume, franchisey-type place.

And you really should get that sweet potato filled with all the good stuff. The pictured one looks awfully austere.

Lastly: eat peanut shells? ::shudder::

I've eaten there a few times - my sister-in-law loves the place and - well, if the steaks are their strong suit, I'm not impressed. They're not nearly as good as a dedicated "steakhouse" like Tornado or Smoky's and although they're not as expensive either, they're still surprisingly pricy, all things considered. Given the meat isn't as good (never bad per se, but only slightly better than most standard chain-restaurant steaks - my first t-bone was big and well-cooked, but also excessively gristly and not especially well-seared, and my second-trip sirloin was just tough), the sides are rather bland, and you're in a noisy environment, it seems like it's basically just a Chili's with a more clearly-defined theme (and a mechanical bull).

Frankly I'd rather save the money and just throw a couple of steaks from the grocery store under the broiler. Or if it's a "night out for steak" kind of thing, save up and go somewhere with serious capital-S Steaks.

How can you review Texas Roadhouse without ordering a steak? That's like going to A & W and only reviewing the Coke. Or going to Pizza Hut and and only ordering the chicken wings. I get their ribeye and think it's great.

I just ate a peanut shell as an experiment. It was not that bad, but I think these may be lighter/crispier peanut shells than average, which made them more conducive to eating (OK, I may have had two peanut shells).

For the price, this place does a pretty darn good job. I always get the 10oz sirloin, mushrooms, rare. Never been disappointed. Their mashed potatoes are AMAZING...just get butter, skip the gravy and enjoy. I despise "country" stuff in general (music, decor, etc.), but I'll happily eat at TR if it's suggested.

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