Friday, December 25, 2009

When All Else Fails There is Free Outback

Behold the joys of discounted food.  While Outback Steakhouse belongs in the category of corporate giant restaurants that aren't allowed any culinary creativity and mostly employ only cooks (not chefs) at each location, they still are able to produce edible grub that satisfies even a foodie's hunger.  Due to Eusebio's relationship with Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, which falls under the same corporate umbrella as Outback and other chain establishments, he gets to occasionally use a comp card that gives him a $100 discount off of Outback food.  Not being in the mood to go there and eat, we recently placed an online order of as close to $100 worth of food without going over as possible, and thus, we dined for free other than the $20 that we customarily tip the "curbside" to-go staff.  I believe it is always good to tip generously, even when ordering to-go.

$100 Worth of Outback Steakhouse Food

Our Outback spread consisted of an assortment of items to please our taste buds.  We had three side salads on the order.  One was a classic Caesar and the other two were the  blue cheese pecan chopped salad, which is one of my favorite side salads on the market anywhere, let alone at a chain.  All the way on the left sits the first entree, The Melbourne porterhouse steak cooked medium-rare.  I can find several better porterhouses in town, but for the price and the kind of restaurant, this one certainly isn't bad.  It came with a baked sweet potato that got stuffed with butter and cinnamon sugar.  To the right of the steak is a bacon cheeseburger.  I wouldn't recommend this dish if you are really craving a good burger, but it will cure your hunger if you are at Outback on a budget.  Below the burger is the seared Ahi tuna, then grilled shrimp to the left of that.

To the right of the burger sits my entree for the evening, the Alice Springs Chicken (add bacon and cheese to a grilled chicken breast) with a grilled lobster tail and sweet potato.  The chicken is not my typical order at Outback as I'm usually lured by the ribs or rack of lamb, but on occasion the Alice Springs hits the spot... I mean, how can you go wrong with adding bacon and cheese to anything?  Adding a lobster tail to any meal seems like a good idea to me, so I did it, because I could.  The box to the right of my meal contains the Alice Springs quesadillas which are flour tortillas that come filled with diced chicken, bacon, and cheese and served with honey mustard for dipping.  I have to say that they are pretty delicious.

A Platter of Food from Outback Steakhouse

Desserts from Outback Steakhouse

All good meals should end with a little something sweet... or a lot.  Since it fit in our budget, we ordered a sampling of their dessert menu for a little taste testing.  In the top left corner there is a piece of cheesecake that is nothing but ordinary.  I like cheesecake, so I enjoyed it, but it is far from special.  Moving clockwise around the plate we get to the peanut butter pie with chocolate topping.  This dessert needs to be accompanied by a glass of milk and is for peanut butter lovers only.  The pie is rich and overly peanut-buttery for my tastes, but again is edible.  Moving on is a portion of the "Chocolate Thunder from Down Under."  This warm chocolate brownie is covered with vanilla ice cream for a classic combination that is hard to beat.  Next we get to a morsel of key lime pie that was tart but delightful.  Finally, we have one of my favorites, Outback's carrot cake.  The cake is always moist with creamy frosting and an excellent flavor.

Disclaimer: We did not actually finish all of this food in one sitting... but we did come really close!

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