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porkpa

Outback Steakhouse

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The only item on any menu (including the fast food places) that really scares me is the Bloomin Onion. The nutritional info will simply blow your mind.

much different than the same amount of onion rings made in a similar way?

Actually, yes. Far more surface area for the batter and grease to stick to. And lots of little spots for it to settle into. Not to mention the sauce.

Onion rings 400-600 calories per onion (depending on the recipe) Each onion will make 3-4 "servings"

Bloomin onion - 1690 calories per onion (2130 with the sauce) Each onion serves 2 people. And it's the appetizer at a steakhouse. Throw a ribeye in on top of that, and I couldn't even do it.

I'll stick with the bread, thank you. And I'll have the butter too. I'll still come out ahead.


Edited by FistFullaRoux (log)

Screw it. It's a Butterball.

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The only item on any menu (including the fast food places) that really scares me is the Bloomin Onion. The nutritional info will simply blow your mind. I'd rather just eat the 2 pounds of cookie dough, which is the approximate caloric and fat equal to this thing.

But what about the Aussie Cheese Fries? A veritable mountain of fries, gobs of ooey-gooey Jack and Cheddar, lots o'bacon, served with Ranch dressing for dipping.

Enough fat and cholesterol for the whole table for a week, all in one appetizer!

The fries thing is 28 oz, and can honestly be thought of as at least 4 portions, the whole thing is (gulp) 2900 calories and 182 grams of fat.

That breaks down to 720 calories per serving, while the bloomin onion is 845 per serving.

AND THESE ARE THE APPETIZERS!!!

/rant


Screw it. It's a Butterball.

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The only item on any menu (including the fast food places) that really scares me is the Bloomin Onion. The nutritional info will simply blow your mind. I'd rather just eat the 2 pounds of cookie dough, which is the approximate caloric and fat equal to this thing.

But what about the Aussie Cheese Fries? A veritable mountain of fries, gobs of ooey-gooey Jack and Cheddar, lots o'bacon, served with Ranch dressing for dipping.

Enough fat and cholesterol for the whole table for a week, all in one appetizer!

The fries thing is 28 oz, and can honestly be thought of as at least 4 portions, the whole thing is (gulp) 2900 calories and 182 grams of fat.

That breaks down to 720 calories per serving, while the bloomin onion is 845 per serving.

AND THESE ARE THE APPETIZERS!!!

/rant

Then my ex-husband and I used to consume...1,440 calories and 90 grams of fat.

Each.

At one time.

Plus huge mugs of Foster's.

Oh. My. God.


I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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Midnight Oil

Their lead singer owns a barbershop in Nashville.

My friend Ben and I used to go to Outback (or an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet) after long nights of partying with serious, serious hangovers. A steak and fries covered with cheese and bacon to set us right.

And Olive Garden's salad-and-breadstick are a craving I cave in to pretty much annually.


Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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i'm still not sure i'm buying too much of the "bang for the buck" theory at 29 dollars per unaged steak.  unless the choice cuts are really good as well (they're about 10 dollars less IIRC).

True - but the choice cuts are quite good, for what they are. Sure, I've had better - but not at the price, not since our nearby musta-fallen-off-the-back-of-a-truck steak joint closed. And there's something to be said for knowing that if you order rare, by hell rare is what you'll get. A frequent frustration for me is going out jonesing for rare meat - a serious dripping hamburger or a mooing steak - carefully asking the server whether the place is allowed to make it the way I want it (because otherwise I'll order something else), being blithely assured oh yes, of course, and then being served cardboard. Send it back, you say? I've done that. They come back with a replacement which is cooked identically. I once went through that cycle three times at a sitting before blowing it off in disgust. And then they think they can mitigate it by explaining the regulations - dammit, isn't that why I asked the question in the first place? Oof, sorry - /rant. Needless to say, those are places where I don't go any more if meat is what I want - learned that lesson the hard way. So yeah, if I want to go out for steak and I don't want a two-hour round trip and I'm worried about breaking the bank... I'm very glad to sit down at Outback and tear into a good choice cut that is cooked exactly the way I like it.

(It suddenly comes back to me that the place here in the village that serves first-class breathtaking prime cuts should be worth another visit, now that they've been non-smoking-ed. Not to ignite that debate - oy, please not! - I'd be more than happy to live and let live in that department but for the perpetual irony, more extreme in that place than in most, that the non-smoker must always run the gauntlet of the bar/smoking section in order to get to the non-smoking section, not to mention the bathroom, and therefore might as well have taken a dip in Eau de Stale Cigarette before even walking in....)

But what about the Aussie Cheese Fries? A veritable mountain of fries, gobs of ooey-gooey Jack and Cheddar, lots o'bacon, served with Ranch dressing for dipping.

Mmmmmm... cheese fries. Cheese fries with GRAVY at R&O's in New Orleans! Though they don't put bacon with theirs. now you mention it. Bet they would on request, though.

As for the fat and calories - well, what the hell. If you go to Outback to watch your calories it might be wisest not to go there at all; or more rationally, not to order the cheese fries. Me, I'm damned if I'll try to have it both ways. Either I have the cheese fries and enjoy the hell out of them without thought for consequence or calorie, or I don't have 'em at all. What's the point of having them if you're going to ruin the pleasure by keeping the calculator going in your head? Sometimes I need a real blowout, a major bacon cheeseburger or a mess of cheese fries or whatever I know is bad for me - and at those times I switch off that still small voice, just smother it in gravy, because I know that counting the cost will simply defeat the purpose. :raz:

EDIT to add: OK, that does it. Guess where we're going for dinner tonight? Guess what we're having...? :wink:


Edited by balmagowry (log)

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and at those times I switch off that still small voice, just smother it in gravy, because I know that counting the cost will simply defeat the purpose. :raz:

You mean you can turn yours off? :unsure:

And about the whole calorie counting thing, I don't normally do it. I'll try to avoid certain things, and the blooming onion falls into that category. Most chain places appetizers do, honestly. Except for stuffed mushrooms. Anytime I go somewhere with stuffed mushrooms, the little voice in my head starts jumping up and down yelling and screaming and whistling and bouncing and making so much racket that it can't be denied until I just have to....

ahem.

But I'll pass on the onion thing.


Screw it. It's a Butterball.

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Yes, if I go out to eat, I indulge in whatever. Works for me, and I think most folks goin' to them are not worried about the calorie count. If I went everyweek I'd be concerned, but as a 'sometimes' treat, they got a vote from me...but not OG...sorry.

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and at those times I switch off that still small voice, just smother it in gravy, because I know that counting the cost will simply defeat the purpose. :raz:

You mean you can turn yours off? :unsure:

Nah, I was kidding myself there - but the smothering thing seems to work pretty well. I drown it in gravy or whipped cream, or I choke it with potato chips or pistachios. By the time it recovers enough to be audible, I've already gotten my fix - and at that point it's so exhausted that it figures it might as well take a nap anyway, since by then the damage is done. It also knows that if it tries to make me feel guilty after the fact I will just start all over again. Yeah, it knows when to shut up, that little voice of mine. Learned it the hard way, like me with the rare hamburgers. :biggrin:

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We've two places along with OG, Outback, Applebee's. To me the Southwest Southen Emporium, and CrackerBarrel are entirely good and acceptable. We've also got Country Buffet, which is bizarre. It may be Scand., Russian, Chinese, American pioneer,whatever, when you go in!

If you mean "Olive Garden" by "OG", then yikes... sorry, I can't put that anywhere near my list of places I'll tolerate. Perhaps it comes from knowing that Uncle Frank is some moron who's never been any closer to Italy than I've been, and that the chefs they consult from Italy are probably being held at gunpoint. :biggrin:

Applebee's is better than Bennigan's TGIFriday's etc., but... only a little.

Cracker Barrel is very very good.

Okay, back to Outback. You want to see "spin" on the health angle? Look here. The Bloomin' Onion, of course, isn't addressed at all, except under the "menu items prepared with butter and/or milk" section.

Heh. Now here's something funny. Apparently they sponsor a blimp called "The Bloomin' Onion". Also, Look at the goofy hats they make these race car drivers wear...


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Okay.... so I love the salad and warm garlic breadstick thingies that you get at OG... but I end up there only when my female companion indicates that it's her choice of restaurant (which happens with frightening regularity, regardless of who the woman is).

As for Outback - I won'tn wait an hour for a table anywhere but I'm in complete agreement with the argument that if you're traveling, have had a really long day and just want something predictable... it's not bad. Sometimes, if it's been a really long and arduous day, I don't really want to sit in a restaurant for dinner. Outback has a pickup service - call in your order and about 15 minutes later just drive up to the pickup window. they bring it to your car all nicely bagged up with utensils etc.

Second rationale is that I often travel with collegues and there's a sort of unspoken assumption that we'll share meals. Not wanting to appear anti-social, I get with the program but regrettably... all but one or two of my colleagues are interested in predictable and familiar food - chain restaurants if we're on a budget or high end steak houses if there's money to throw around.

Now that we have that out of the way... some of the best meals I've ever had were when I was traveling and sought out under-the-radar local places. So many memories that I can't begin to recount them all.... but I can still taste the food.

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I was in Las Vegas a few weeks ago and after a long day on the golf course, I had a hankering for a steak. I may have a steak 4 times a year, at most. My friends were going to the buffet at the RIO and another buffet was not in my cards. I spotted an Outback across the street and decided to give it a try. I had a 12 oz NY strip, rare and was impressed with it. It was cooked to perfection and had great flavor, not Lobel's cooked at home, but close. I had to rein them in a bit on the baked potato (they wanted to put butter, sour cream, cheese and bacon on it). The salad was good, but not great (there are too few great salads out there). I ate at the bar and they had this wooden device that allowed me to rest my plate on the bar rail and avoid that annoying reach forward. All in all, it was a good meal and they won me over. Two for one Fosters on tap didn't hurt either.

As for Olive Garden, I look at it as a dependable soup and salad outpost for my travels and nothing more.

HC

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I used to travel to Roanoke, VA from NYC on business rather frequently. On my first trip, my visiting coworkers asked our hosts "where should we eat dinner tonight, the best place in town?" They tried to send us to the Olive Garden, I kid you not. From that point forward, we arrived armed with as much pre-trip restaurant research in-hand as possible.

Just the past weekend on my way back from Vegas, my friend and I found ourselves in the Philly airport on a layover faced with some seriously bleak food options. Figuring "who can screw up fried stuff?" we went to the TGIFriday's near our gate. Good lord, it was awful...from the service (we contemplated whether or not the restaurant was enrolled in the program where mentally challenged adults are given food service jobs), to the level of cleanliness (appalling) to the food (my favorite teenage word "gross" seems appropriate here), we were really depressed.

But there was no food on the plane and few other options in the airport so that's where we ate.

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The only item on any menu (including the fast food places) that really scares me is the Bloomin Onion. The nutritional info will simply blow your mind. I'd rather just eat the 2 pounds of cookie dough, which is the approximate caloric and fat equal to this thing.

But what about the Aussie Cheese Fries? A veritable mountain of fries, gobs of ooey-gooey Jack and Cheddar, lots o'bacon, served with Ranch dressing for dipping.

Enough fat and cholesterol for the whole table for a week, all in one appetizer!

What's "Jack and Cheddar" and "Ranch Dressing"? I don't think we have these in Australia.

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The only item on any menu (including the fast food places) that really scares me is the Bloomin Onion. The nutritional info will simply blow your mind. I'd rather just eat the 2 pounds of cookie dough, which is the approximate caloric and fat equal to this thing.

But what about the Aussie Cheese Fries? A veritable mountain of fries, gobs of ooey-gooey Jack and Cheddar, lots o'bacon, served with Ranch dressing for dipping.

Enough fat and cholesterol for the whole table for a week, all in one appetizer!

What's "Jack and Cheddar" and "Ranch Dressing"? I don't think we have these in Australia.

Who dreamed up the faux-Aussie theme anyway? Is there an Australian chain that Outback is modeled after, or did an American exec see Crocodile Dundee too many times?


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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The only item on any menu (including the fast food places) that really scares me is the Bloomin Onion. The nutritional info will simply blow your mind. I'd rather just eat the 2 pounds of cookie dough, which is the approximate caloric and fat equal to this thing.

But what about the Aussie Cheese Fries? A veritable mountain of fries, gobs of ooey-gooey Jack and Cheddar, lots o'bacon, served with Ranch dressing for dipping.

Enough fat and cholesterol for the whole table for a week, all in one appetizer!

What's "Jack and Cheddar" and "Ranch Dressing"? I don't think we have these in Australia.

Who dreamed up the faux-Aussie theme anyway? Is there an Australian chain that Outback is modeled after, or did an American exec see Crocodile Dundee too many times?

The latter.


I let Jsmeeker tell me where to eat in Vegas.

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as a former traveling man, I can tell you that at 8:30 at night, there is much comfort to be had when you find an Outback nearby.

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as a former traveling man, I can tell you that at 8:30 at night, there is much comfort to be had when you find an Outback nearby.

I'll second that, but change it to any of the "casual" chains.

When you're in Midland MI (home of the Dow Chemical Corporation) in late November with a windchill below zero the cheesy chains look very good (especially when compared to eating at the Holiday Inn restaurant).

WHen there is no other option, mediocrity can be a great reassurance.


If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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as a former traveling man, I can tell you that at 8:30 at night, there is much comfort to be had when you find an Outback nearby.

I'll second that, but change it to any of the "casual" chains.

When you're in Midland MI (home of the Dow Chemical Corporation) in late November with a windchill below zero the cheesy chains look very good (especially when compared to eating at the Holiday Inn restaurant).

WHen there is no other option, mediocrity can be a great reassurance.

Actually, it was Midland, home of Midland Dow high school. But is was Oct, not Nov.

But yeah, you know the drill.

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We have an Outback near us, (in fact the Canadian Office for Outback is in Oakville). It's right on the Mississauga border. Thre are a number of restaurants right on this border and depending on the smoking bylaws of the day, one side is usually busier than the other. :biggrin: For example, a while back, Missisauga went non smoking, Oakville was not. So hordes of people came over to Oakville for dinner -(why does the Mississaugan cross the road?) you couldn't get into the Outback then. Then Missisauga changed their bylaw to say that restaurants and bars could have smoking as long as they put up signs that said you had to be 19 years or older to enter the premises. Oakville went totally non smoking. The hordes of people moved back across the border. No more wait at the Outback. Until summer comes of course, because the Outback has now added a patio where smokers can eat and smoke (at the same time if they wish :biggrin: ). In the summertime, hordes of people can be seen walking from side to side.

Our Outback does not take reservations, but it does take a "phone ahead bookings). Basically that means you phone them and say "I'll be there in half an hour". They will immediately put your name on the waiting list, and as soon as you get there, you've already moved up several notches in the waiting chain, and you didn't have to sit around outside. It actually works pretty well. They do note the time you called when they jot your name down, and if you are more than 10minutes past the time you say you'll be there, you lose your "place" in line and have to start over. They also have a "drive by" take out option. You phone in, pay by credit card over the phone, then pull up to the front door, and the door person brings your take out order to you and off you go. :biggrin:

I like the Outback, my husband adores it. It's his go to place whenever he wants steak but doesn't want to go to a high end restaurant. We also have a Keg in Oakville. I go there fairly often with my friend, never a problem. Whenever I go to the Keg with my husband, we seem to get the worst meal ever - everytime. We've had more meals comped there because of some disaster or other. My husband is convinced they are trying to poison him :rolleyes:

I particularly like the blooming onion. I have tried without success to duplicate this at home. I think my current deep fryer does not get hot enough. However, I have my eye on the Waring Pro deep fryer which will be aquired through my hubby's Diner's Club reward points :biggrin:

I also like their steaks athough they don't really appear to be charcol grilled which is my method of choice. I think they are seared on a flat grill. They use USDA Choice meat - to the best of my knowledge you can't get USDA Prime in Canada :sad:

They also tend to salt everything. Between the salt on the steak, the salt on the baked potato and the salt in the salad, I can easily gain 5 or 6 pounds of water retention during an Outback meal. I've since learned to ask them not to "season" my steak when they cook it.

However, I can easily say we've never had a bad steak there. We get the "Hello my name is", the servers are competent and friendly, and they make it right whenever there is something wrong.

I like the Outback :smile:

edited to add: Hey somewhere along the line I hit 2,500 posts today. How did that happen :blink:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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For the sake of argument, let’s assume the following is true: Olive Garden is Italian food and Taco Bell is Mexican food. If this true, then what is Outback food? I ask, because I just heard an Outback steakhouse commercial for the fourth time today.

This got me to wondering, what is Outback food? Is it all shrimp on the Barbie, koala, and kangaroo? Am I supposed to believe that Aborigines enjoy blooming onions?

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From what I can tell, Outback makes no claims to being authentic Australian cuisine, simply a campy Australian themed steakhouse. As chain steakhouses go it isn't bad, not wonderful either (I prefer Lonestar as my massive chain steakhouse of choice) but not bad.

FWIW there is an Australlian themed place around here that serves, amongst other things, Kangaroo and other indigenous species of Australia. I should go sometime...


He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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From what I can tell, Outback makes no claims to being authentic Australian cuisine, simply a campy Australian themed steakhouse. As chain steakhouses go it isn't bad, not wonderful either (I prefer Lonestar as my massive chain steakhouse of choice) but not bad.

FWIW there is an Australlian themed place around here that serves, amongst other things, Kangaroo and other indigenous species of Australia. I should go sometime...

Actually as I understand it, the organization that owns Outback owns several other steakhouse and restaurant chains.

http://www.outback.com/pressroom/NewRestau...ncepts/main.asp


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Am I supposed to believe that Aborigines enjoy blooming onions?

Yes.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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