When Outback Steakhouse first came to our neck of the woods several years ago, I thought they were the greatest. They had big, juicy, well-marinated steaks at very reasonable prices, along with great bread, salad, and sides. Totally blew all other low/medium end steakhouses out of the water. This time around though, they were still good, but not blow-me-away good. The prices were a little higher, the portions a little smaller, but still worth a trip if you get the right stuff.
My hands-down favorite is their 12oz Outback Special - a thick and well seasoned sirloin steak (ordered Rare, of course), with house salad and fries. You're safe with any salad here - much better than average, made with fresh ingredients - but the house salad is better than the caesar. Their fries are also better than average, and have a real fresh potato taste and texture to them. Of course their baked potato are also good, if you'd rather go that route.
We tried a couple other steaks, the Porterhouse and the Tenderloin. They were good, but not as good as the Special, which is strange since the cuts of meat are supposed to be better. I think the Special was simply thicker and seasoned more, where the others were trying not to overpower the meat with the spices. I don't think that's a problem if the cuts are thick enough, and with those thin cuts the steak gets overdone too easily.
Prime Rib was OK, and their ribs were well cooked, but they really need a better BBQ sauce
for them. Fresh bread and service were good, but they really should have brought us out five
loaves of the stuff up front, instead of doing it one at a time... what a drag. Oh, one last
note - they just got Mac & Jacks on tap this week, which automatically puts them a notch
up in my book.