Florida Guide > Dining
The Outback Steakhouse
The Outback Steakhouse, from here on in referred to simply as ' The Outback' is an Australian themed restaurant offering casual family style dining.
This restaurant chain originated in Tampa Florida in 1988 and whilst it now has locations worldwide, no one does it like the Americans. Having visited The Outback in London and having a less than exciting experience, I can say that hand on heart!
We have visited three locations in the Orlando area, Formosa Gardens, International Drive (just behind Premium Outlets Vineland Ave) and The Outback at Orlando Airport. All have offered very similar experiences, however, this account is based on our recent visit to The Outback at Formosa Gardens Plaza, our preferred location.
The majority of the dining at this restaurant is indoors, however, there are tables and chairs outside and you will often find people occupying these whilst waiting for tables to become available. On occasion people will dine outdoors but the setting is a busy car park and does not make for great ambience.
On entering The Outback we approached the hostess at the podium and told to expect a fifteen minute wait. We took the obligatory ' buzzer' and made our way to the bar area for an aperitif.
The bar has a sports bar feel with large TV screens streaming a variety of sports channels, you can also eat in the bar area on a ' first come first served' basis which is great if you don' t mind a busier atmosphere and don' t want to wait for a table in the restaurant to become available. We had just perched on our bar stools when our buzzer alerted us that our table was ready - fifteen minutes was, in fact, about two minutes!
Whilst we were being shown to our table we commented that the restaurant had had an upgrade since our lazy visit, with new decor. there were colourful murals depicting Australian scenes and decoration included boomerangs and warnings of kangaroos, crocodiles and koalas. the menu has many Antipodean references, for example, Alice Springs Chicken, Kookaburra Wings, Victoria Filet and various grills from ' the barbie' .
On this occasion none of us were hungry enough to do justice to an appetiser, but from previous visits we can vouch that the ' Aussie-tizers' are huge ans suitable for sharing. Why not try the signature dishes of the Bloomin' Onion or Aussie Cheese Fries?
Our server brought our drinks accompanied by The Outback' s traditional bread loaf, a honey wheat bushman bread which you slice yourself at the table, delicious buttered - be careful not to fill up on this before your meal arrives! If you do happen to eat the whole loaf they will gladly bring you more. A party of three, we chose three different dishes. Alice Springs chicken - a chicken breast covered with honey mustard, cheese and bacon and accompanied by fries. Grilled ribs on the barbie accompanied by fries and a very non Australian sounding filet with a Marsala and mushroom sauce accompanied by fresh veggies. All of us cleared our plates so their couldn' t have been a lot wrong with it. None of us had room for dessert but could have chosen from Australian themed desserts such as Sydney' s Sinful Sundae or Chocolate Thunder from Down Under. Two of us had coffee and the total bill which included beer, wine and cocktails was approximately $100 including the tip.
If you want to experience The Outback but can' t be bothered to leave home you can order online and send one of your party to the kerbside carry out.
It' s not gourmet dining but it is good food and good value for money so why not give it a try?
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Page added on: 2 July 2012
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