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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lunch Report: Texas Land & Cattle...

One cannot live on Texas Road House alone, therefore we have to switch things up a bit from time to time just make sure we aren't missing out on something as good or possibly better. This is the same reason why, even though we already know where to find the best burger in San Antonio, we don't mind trying other places to give them a shot at the coveted Tasty Treat seal of approval.So with an idea for eating something different than TRH, we decided to hit the Texas Land & Cattle on I-10 between Wurzbach and Huebner. I knew ahead of time that I wasn't going for the steak. Instead, I had my mind fixated on a huge hunk of chicken and a baked potato. I figured my wife would get some steak and I could try some of hers just for tasting purposes.

We went around 3PM and for a Saturday, that is usually early enough to still get in to places without any sort of wait. Sure enough, the hostess met us at the outer door and seated us without delay. The place was fairly empty which really surprised me considering times that I have driven by there, the place was pretty full.
Once seated, our waitress was quick with menus, drink orders, and some bread to munch on. Aside from one minor slip-up, the service was excellent. There seemed to be more than enough staff for the people dining because I seriously think there was a different waiter for each table. I'm sure they will be busier later tonight. Inside, the place looks like a restaurant that would be named Texas Land & Cattle. Standard longhorn steer mounted on the wall, wagon wheel lighting, saddles, chaps, boots and rodeo pictures to let you know you are in fact, in Texas. Unless of course you are at one of their locations in another state.I ordered the Wood-Roasted Chicken which really sounds good. It is marinated, then smoked, then finished on the grill. Now there is no way to marinate, smoke then grill chicken to order, so as you might expect, I get the feeling that my chicken may have been prepared sometime yesterday. I'm sure the people who order Wood-Roasted Chicken later this evening will get the more recently cooked version that won't be nearly as dry or overdone. The taste of the chicken was flavorful and I suspect that a few hours earlier, it would have been really juicy.As a side, I got the baked potato, loaded. I could be wrong, but I think it might have been from way earlier in the day too. I'm a huge fan of how TRH presents their baked potatoes, so it is easy for me to be disappointed. If you notice in the picture the two lines of stuff dripping off to the side, they look like maybe hot butter or even sour cream, right? Well, they were actually hard as if they had dried in place. Look, you can go into Wendy's and get a well cooked, well presented baked potato, so why not at a place like TXLC?

Oh, and don't even suggest that I even think of sending something back to the kitchen. I don't care if you are dining at some high class place like Luby's; if you send something back to the kitchen, it is coming back with spit, boogers and potentially fecal matter on it, so that just isn't an option.

And of course when my wife decided to give up chocolate for Lent, she also gave up potatoes. This was very specifically why when she ordered the Country Fried Chicken, she asked for the House Salad as a side.
And this is her Country Fried Chicken and mashed potatoes. The waitress was immediately sorry for the error and even offered to let us keep the mashed potatoes and she wouldn't charge us for them. How generous is that? At least it made me laugh.But she did bring my wife a salad right away and the salad was very good. I had some of the croutons and they were as good or possibly better than TRH.

The Country Fried Chicken was easily the highlight of our experience at TXLC. Unlike my Wood Roasted chicken which arrived approximately Luke warm, my wife's CFC was piping hot and it was juicy and really tasty.


Oh, this seemed a little strange to me. Since I only ate a small part of the chicken and about a third of the potato (I figured I could bring it home, slather on some Stubbs on the chicken and a bucket of sour cream, a pound of cheese and a few dollops of butter on the potato and reheat it), I asked for a to-go box. Instead of giving me the box, the waitress came out with a full tray and then asked me which items on my plate I was going to take. WTF? She then took my plate from me and placed the declared items into the box then gave it to me. I find this utterly disturbing, though it probably is the sign of some place ritzy.

TXLC and specifically this location has a good track record with most of the people I know. I can only guess that either we hit it at a crappy time or maybe I have become so spoiled by consistently good vittles at TRH that any variation from that at a competitor is a let down. We had great service, but for the price, I would have been happy with a visit to the HEB where they sell those rotisserie roasted chickens for $4.99. Maybe we should have ordered steak considering they are primarily a steak house, but honestly, don't put chicken on your menu if you can't pull it off each and every time.

Have you had a better experience at Texas Land & Cattle? Tell me about it or leave a comment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Eva Says :)
Ate at the one downtown and it was good not happy dance good but good. For the record I can live on Texas Roadhouse alone. Lots of great selections.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
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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