Of course I have been to this chain restaurant before. I may have even posted about it years ago when I went to it for the first time. However, my experience at the new location that just opened in Ames definitely warranted its own separate post. I seriously didn't think it would be something that was worthy of its own entry when I made the decision to go there, but little did I know what I was in for.
The Texas Roadhouse here made its grand opening yesterday. No way was I going to it opening night. Everyone in this town hits a new restaurant like it's the best thing since sliced bread. The wait would be as if folks were going to see the latest blockbuster at the midnite showing. I wasn't trying to go thru that for a chain restaurant. So I went the following day instead. As if that was going to be any better. But G and I got there at 5:30 just slightly before the dinner rush so our wait was only 10 minutes. Maybe less. I will give them props for that.
What I didn't understand was why it was so doggone hot in there. I was feeling the heat all the way to our table. I thought it was just the short walk. Then we sat down and I noticed there wasn't much reprieve. Now granted, it wasn't anywhere NEAR the 100 degrees that it was outside. It wasn't very comfortable though. They really should have had the air conditioning up higher considering the place was packed to capacity and the temp outside was hell degrees. It would have been nice to have some ice cold water to quickly counteract the effects. Instead, we had some fresh hot rolls to snack on. Although very tasty, they don't do much for combating heat.
I couldn't tell you how vast and/or limited their menu is if you've never been there. I wasn't looking for variety. I had a taste for some New York strip after having flashbacks of the grilled steak parties me and my boy Erik used to have back in the day (thank you WWE Raw 1,000th episode for jogging my memory). My steak was on point. Not everyone can get medium rare right. Some tend to undercook it. Texas Roadhouse nailed it on the head so that every bite was succulent.
My son's ribs are another story altogether.
G took a bite and complained about them being too soft. I thought he was just being too picky at first. That maybe he had just bit into some gristle? Then he peeled off more of it and you could see that it clearly was not cooked through all the way. It looked like it hadn't been cooked at all. Except for the outside. So these folks were trying to give my son mad cow disease!
It was about that time that the owner came walking by. Which was rather fortuitous because our waitress did not seem rather efficient. Maybe it's just me, but when it's that hot outside AND inside, keeping the water glass filled should be top priority. Anyway, I told the owner and he promptly apologized. He promised that they would bring out a full slab of ribs to replace the kids order that was not cooked. What he should have done is taken the ribs off our bill altogether in addition to the replacement order.
So after all that we go to leave thinking that the worst was over. We thought wrong. As I drove toward the exit in their narrow driveway, I was struck by a minivan pulling out of its parking space. Some college kid in mom's car. Not looking behind him before he backed up. Just like that, Magnum O'Leary has damage to the passenger side rear corner. Technically, you can't put that one on Texas Roadhouse. The kid should have watched where he was backing. However, if they would have designed their parking lot a little more spaciously, it may not have happened. It was just the cherry on top to garnish an extremely sub-par dining experience.