Meal: Dinner – 7 oz filet, vegetable medley, mashed potatoes
Restaurant: Outback Steakhouse, Houston Texas.
Meal 2: Lunch – Fish Taco and Beef Enchilada
Restaurant: Pappasito's Cantina, Houston Texas
Ok, so I am a bit of a food snob and the thought of a chain restaurant usually sends me running in the other direction. In addition, I am big into supporting local businesses and also eating locally sourced foods. However, while in Houston, I ate at two chain restaurants, so I figured to combine both meals into one post.
Outback Steakhouse – When I think steak in the Lonestar State, the last thing I imagine is Outback Steakhouse. Not that it is terrible but when you are in a place known for beef, the last think you want is what you can get pretty much anywhere – and that is truly why people tend to like chains; the predictability of it. Well, I had dinner at Outback because I wasn’t choosing the restaurant and it was my first time in an Outback in at least 5 years. Upon entering the restaurant I noted a sign proclaiming that Outback was voted the #1 Rated Zagat Best Steak 2009. Wow, thought I…then the fine print…within the full-service category National Restaurant Chain survey..ok, I can live with that one but I never like seeing superscript in advertising. It seems a bit disingenuous to me.
In truth, the steak was decent though overcooked. I ordered medium rare (described as a slightly warm red center) but it came out on the far side of medium (warm, pink center). The mashed potatoes and vegetables were not worth eating. Service was generally fine. The waitress failed to enter the order for one in our party and apologized profusely, bringing over the manager and free desert for the aggrieved party.
Pappasito's Cantina – Pappasitos is part of the Pappas chain of restaurants scattered throughout Texas and the Southwest and includes the Paddadeaux seafood restaurants, barbeque and burgers joints along with the Tex-Mex version, Pappasitos. Privately owned by the Pappas family, the chain is based in Houston but is expanding its reach as far as Atlanta and Chicago. Lunch on my last day in Houston brought us bowl after bowl of freshly cooked tortilla chips, and salsa and a very nice combo plate of a grilled fish taco and beef enchilada with rice & refried black beans. This one was a winner though I am sure I don’t want to know the number of calories and fat intake of that meal!