Before last night, I had never been to Outback Steakhouse. I know; How is that possible? Our server actually laughed and didn't believe me at first, but it's true. So, when I was offered a gift card to try it out and give a review, I jumped at the chance. It's OBSH's 20th Anniversary! Twenty years, and I hadn't been there. It was high time I stopped in to check it out.
We went to the Outback Steakhouse here in Bethlehem, Pa and this is how our dining experience rated.
Scaling is 1 for Poor and 5 for Excellent so the total Perfect Score for any restaurant would be 25.
Parking - 5 - Keep in mind it was a Sunday evening, so we basically had our choice of parking spots.
Ambiance - 4 1/2 - The only thing keeping this from a 5 was the lighting - it was a little dark, but that's a good thing when it's just two of you. Everything was clean and shiny and I wasn't bothered by other conversations going on in the restaurant, so the sound aspect was good.
Service - 4 - This would have been an easy 5 if the service had been consistent. We had the nicest waiter - Jarrett H. - but we didn't have him the whole time. We had three other servers drop off various parts of our dinner and they were all super nice so they get a solid 4 for service.
Food - 3 - I really, really wanted this to be a 5, especially after the appetizers. My companion had Grilled Shrimp on the Barbie and I had Gold Coast Coconut Shrimp. Both were excellent, perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned and at just the right temp. The grilled shrimp came with a remoulade sauce that was very good, but my companion said the shrimp were so good as-is that he didn't even need to salt them, and that's saying a lot since he's a real salt-oholic. The Creole-marmalade that came with my shrimp was to-die-for and my companion kept stealing it to put on the bread that was served with our drinks (which was also awesome). I was so wowed, that I expected it to continue on to the entrees.
I ordered Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad and my companion ordered the Bacon Cheese Burger with Swiss Cheese, medium-well. He was going to order medium, but when the server said "a little pink inside", he changed his mind and went for a bit more done.
When my salad came, it looked odd and I couldn't figure out why at first until I realized that there were no croutons- a must for Caesar and also part of the menu description billed as "hand-cut". I did eventually find them all buried in a little pile under one side of the salad. I don't know if the dressing was bottled or not, but there was so much garlic in it that it was very hot. I love lots of garlic, don't get me wrong, but I won't be breathing near anyone for a week, and that much garlic in a Caesar isn't the norm.
My companion didn't do so well on the burger front, either - his burger was too done and dry and he only ate about half of it. I was thoroughly bummed out because they had started so strong with the appetizers.
Pricing - 4 - We ordered cheaper meals, so our total was $57, but if we'd actually ordered a steak from the steakhouse, our total would have been that just for entrees. So, for this cheap Scot, the pricing for value gets a 4.
Total for Outback Steakhouse? 19 1/2 out of a possible 25.
The bottom line? I'd go again, but I'd order a different entree, and go with my own instincts about burger doneness.
OBSH Gift Card provided by Charlie Kondek of MS&L. This is not a paid product endorsement.