Dave

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dinner Report: Outback at Loop 410 and Evers...

Outback Steakhouse was a favorite for us in the early 1990's I think, but following a series of unacceptable service and quality related experiences at both the Loop 410 at Evers location and the I-10 at DeZavala store, we dropped them completely from our rotation. Oh sure, if I had this blog going 10 years ago, I could have recorded the series of missteps that caused us to ban Outback from our menu, but to be honest, over dinner this evening, my wife and I couldn't really pinpoint the specific events. And, to be honest, had it not been for a gift card received at Christmas, it is probably safe to assume that we would have never returned.

Well, our decade long temper tantrum worked; they must have missed us and fixed whatever it was we didn't like. If only we could have gotten there sooner.
It turns out that I forgot about some construction taking place at 410 and Bandera this weekend, so it took us a solid 40 minutes to go one exit from Culebra to Bandera. That really sucked. And it made me hungry.Given our attitudes about Outback - my wife actually said "Let's just get this over with" - it was going to take a really solid performance for us to even consider saying anything positive about the place. Our waitress, who was probably 8 or 9 years old the last time we were there, sat down next to my wife and got right to work. When it was clear that we weren't sure about appetizers or not, she opted to grab our drinks to give us a little more time.I liked that and in fact, she was back with drinks and a loaf of warm bread in about a third the time it takes to get a beer at Chili's. The place looks about the same as I recalled. I did noticed a huge flat panel TV in the bar area and several smaller ones hanging around the place. We also noticed that there was a lot of staff and at least two management types walking around. We never complain when we eat out, but it is nice to know that if a manager came by and asked how things were, you could unload if need be.In near record time, we were served our starters. I had the house salad and my wife went with some potato soup. It has an Aussie sounding title for it (which I don't recall), but it was potato soup, and it was excellent. My salad was very good and I have no complaints. Loved the croutons.My wife had the Alice Springs Chicken. I love chicken and I recall that every time we would go, I would order this. For some reason, I was continually getting more and more disappointed with it, either for being dry or being just thrown together. The ASC is a breast of chicken with some mushrooms and bacon on it then smothered in cheese. I'm guessing they have reverted back to the original formula because the size of the portion was big, the chicken was extremely juicy, not dry, and the toppings were delicious. Oh, and my wife liked it too.After careful deliberation, I went with the 8 ounce Outback special sirloin (Look at that beauty), and a baked potato, loaded. The steak was cooked medium as ordered and it was a fine specimen for the price. It cut easily and there was no excessive chewing required. I'm still gonna take the presentation of the baked potato at Texas Road House over this, but this one was nothing to sneeze at. Certainly cooked enough and no skimping on the "loaded".

The service we had was great. None of the psycho business where they come and harass you every other bite asking if everything is okay. I hate that. Our waitress was available when needed, but otherwise, kept an eye on us from afar. I like that.
So, my wife ordered up some dessert to try out. She got a sample version of a brownie with ice cream sort of thing. To be polite, I also had a small bite of it, just so she wouldn't feel as though she was eating alone.In the end, I can't imagine this was a fluke. Something must have happened since our last visit; maybe it was that whole Y2K thing, who knows? But for great service, an awesome steak and the Alice Springs Chicken, Outback at 410 and Evers is once again, a Tasty Treat.

9 comments:

Lynne said...

Wow, Robert and I had the same bad experience there back when we were still dating (wait, it's been that long!?). Glad to hear Outback finally got their act together. We'll have to stop in again. Thanks for the heads up!

northerngirl said...

I've been reading your blog for about a month or so now, and I wanted to thank you so much for having it out here. I wish that I had found it when I first moved to San Antonio a couple of years ago!


I also wish that there were nice maps of the area with the subdivisions marked off. I can never tell when I'm in Great Northwest or Northwest Crossing or Emerald Valley... and which security covers which area!

KeithAlanK said...

We have been to the 410/Evers Outback twice in the past year or so, and it was great both times.
Service was just as you describe, even when we had a birthday party of 9 that included a few of the types who make server's lives hell (not us).
The food was never less than perfect and blooming onions are a decadent but Tasty Treat™.
Loved the bread, as long as you're with people who understand bread knife/butter knife rules.

In October it was 80 degrees outside and 65 indoors--two of our guests complained and they actually adjusted the thermostat!

Dave said...

I also wish that there were nice maps of the area with the subdivisions marked off. I can never tell when I'm in Great Northwest or Northwest Crossing or Emerald Valley... and which security covers which area!

You can go to the GNW Web Page linked on my Blog and download a map that shows the boundaries of the area. It makes it easier to see where you are at! Also, they have copies of the maps free in the Lodge located in Silver Creek.

Appreciate your comments!

Dave said...

We'll have to stop in again. Thanks for the heads up!

Okay, so at least we weren't the only ones who thought the place had gone down hill.

Dave said...

We have been to the 410/Evers Outback twice in the past year or so, and it was great both times.

I believe it after last night. We'll check out I-10 and see if they have made a similar improvement.

Anonymous said...

Eva Says:)
It definitely received the happy dance and a bit of a wiggle in my seat:). EEEEYUUUMMMYYY!! I Will be back !

Fallen Angel said...

We used to make it to Outback on Friday evenings for happy hours...$1.00 draft beers in frozen mugs & a skimpy budget was our main reason. The manager at the time really worked the place but as time went on the service got crappy, the price of beer increased, the mugs thawed and the manager moved on-that's why we quit going.

Anonymous said...

Not sure where to put this observations, but have you noticed the restaurant being built next to Rudy's?

Bill Millers!

Now, that's mean. I know, business is business but still... that's mean.
Brenty SC

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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