Outback Steakhouse Revisited

Hui-chen and I decided to go out for some Western style food last night.  We like steak and in nearby Jhubei is the Outback.  We’ve blogged on it before and we’re convinced that this will be the last time, unless they seriously upgrade their menu and service.

First, I ordered their “jacked potato” which is a stuff baked potato.  10 minutes later I was told that they were out of all potato items except “chips” (french fries).  He asked me what I wanted.

“I want you to go out and buy some potatoes!” was my literal response.  I was pissed mostly because it wouldn’t occur to the waitstaff to check with the kitchen first so they can rely that information to the customers as they are ordering.  When he asked me what other stuff I wanted instead I told him I didn’t care (in Chinese).  Also, in Taiwan, restaurants are always going out and getting more stuff from the local grocery store.  I guess it was just too much to ask for them to have what I want, get what I want, or tell me when I’m ordering that they don’t have what I want.

The really weird part is that all of their boned steak items are gone.  You cannot get a T-bone or a Porterhouse steak at Outback.  This is stupid!  A butcher told me that Taiwan cannot import steak from the US with bone.  OK, so give me a choice!  I’ll take an Australian T-bone or Porterhouse steak over a NY strip any day of the week. Out of desperation, Hui-chen and I ordered prime rib. OMG, that was an exercise in diplomacy in itself.  You can’t get the grilled prime rib medium rare because the base roasting is medium.  We spent almost 10 minutes in 2 languages to finally figure out what combination of crap we needed to order so we could get a couple of decent medium rare steaks.  I was ready to go to My Home Steak and get some crappy T-bone fried on an iron plate and buried with pepper sauce, like our Monday night market.

What arrived on my plate was a quivering mass of fatty flesh that looked so awful, I shall spare you any photographic evidence.

Next time we’ll blog on Ruth’s Chris in Kaohsiung!

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11 comments

  1. MJ don’t worry the Outback over in NJ sucks too. I haven’t gone to that place in 7 or 8 years.

    I don’t think there is a single Outback restaurant in Australia. Never saw or heard of one in the 3 plus years we lived there. It’s not authentic Aussie food, like most Asian restaurants are in the US are not authentic.

    Real Aussie food has beet root on it’s burgers!! Something I thought was odd at first, but grew to appreciate and now miss back in the US.

    owshawng’s last blog post..Tornado Warning

  2. I didn’t have a problem with the Outback in Taipei. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad, either. I loved the food at Ruth Chris’ in Taipei, however: Delicious. Good luck at the one in Kaohsiung.

    Poagao’s last blog post..¿A México?

  3. MJ. There is nothing worse than a shit steak. It should be a crime. The only way to eat a true steak is medium rare. It is the only way to get the full flavour of the meat.

    My mother likes her steak cooked until it is a weapon, you then need a top steak knife to try and cut the thing.

    A real Aussie T-Bone steak or top prime rib with a real mushroom adn pepper sauce. I wish I could buy a real steak here in Ubon as well MJ.

    Brunty’s last blog post..Thai Ministry of Culture Announces Girl Band as Ambassadors for Songkran. Thailand.

  4. owshawng, i’ve had good experiences with them in the US, and i’ve eaten at many an OB in quite a number of US states.

    Todd, glad to know it’s not just me!

    Craig, while i was looking at the quivering mass of flesh i was wishing i didn’t either!

    Poagao, the problem that i have is the lack of boned steak cuts, and that the chef in Hsinchu is a wuss who turns the heat of the grill down and that is a huge no-no. HC and i have eaten in the Taipei restaurant a few times and had an enjoyable experience. but if one hasn’t been there in awhile, the menu is completely different. i’ve eaten at the Ruth Chris’ steakhouse in Taipei on my first trip to Taiwan and i was very impressed. i wonder how they have responded to the Taiwan ban on bones from the US? i would serve Australian beef instead.

    Brunty, it’s always a pleasure to talk with a man who knows the proper way to cook a steak! when i’m in Thailand, i shop for T-bones at Tesco. i’d have a few steak parties in the Khonkaen area and the Tesco steaks are better than expected. they are always frozen into a big brick so be sure to get them the day before you want to cook them. i cannot tell you how great it was to have a T-bone and eggs breakfast in the early morning light at the resort!

    andres, yes i do recall. we keep holding out hope that they will go back to where they used to be, but i guess the marketing jocks know better!

  5. I’ve been to a few Outback’s in the Boston area… and they’ve all been quite good. There is a Ruth Chris steakhouse that opened about a year ago (I want to say Brookline but not 100% sure). I haven’t been there… but I’ve heard GREAT things about the place.

    Maybe a Hilltop Steakhouse will open up there 🙂

  6. Mike, the Ruth’s Chris story is well known. the restaurant chain is also well known for being the highest quality of it’s genre. bring a pocketful of cash with you, but you absolutely will not be disappointed.

  7. I avoid chain restaurants. Red Lobster serves lousy fish. I can always do better than Black Angus for steaks. I go on to chowhound.com and yelp.com to find highly rated restaurants from other people.

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