Dinner at Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse
13 January 2012

Recently, my brother was in town for a visit. On the Friday evening before he left, I decided to take he and my mother out for dinner. Both of us had never been to Texas Roadhouse but had heard good things about it. So we planned to meet after I was done at work.

I called after they opened for lunch to inquire about a reservation. No, they didn’t take reservations but did offer call ahead seating. Which basically puts your name on the guest list as though you’d walked in and asked for a table for 3. OK, I can work with that. I called as soon as I got out of work, we arrived, waited approximately 10 minutes, and were seated. During that 10 minutes, we munch and crunched on peanuts. Not quite sure what the allure of being allowed to toss one’s empty peanut shells on the floor is, but whatever.

We were seated, menus and more peanuts were waiting for us. The hostess that walked us to our table brought a basket with some of Texas Roadhouse’s hot fresh rolls. With cinnamon butter. All I can say is they were really good, there is nothing better than a freshly baked yeast roll. And TR knows how to pull these off.

Our server took our drink order. The 3 of us all ordered iced tea. Our server saw to it that we never drank to the bottom of a glass before another full glass was in place.

We perused the menu. I was definitely getting a steak, the only question was which one. By the time our drinks arrived, we were ready to place our order. We started with a Baby Blossom. This is a batter-dipped fried onion with it’s layers cut and spread like petals of a flower. It was served with a tasty Cajun horseradish sauce for dipping. I ordered the 20 oz. rib eye cooked medium rare, as did my brother. I chose a baked potato and steamed broccoli for my sides. My brother chose the steak fries and steamed broccoli for his. My mom got the Roadkill, a 10 oz. chopped steak with sautéed onions, sautéed mushrooms, and jack cheese. For her sides, she chose applesauce and steamed broccoli.

The Baby Blossom arrived quickly, and hot. We pulled pieces of it off and dipped it into the horseradish sauce. it’s amazing just how good a fried onion tastes. Never underestimate the flavor of a good fried onion.

As we peeled the petals of the blossom off and whisked them into our mouths, our entrees soon arrived.

My eyes were met with what I believe is the largest steak I have ever been served. And it looked great! We each took a knife and fork and cut into our respective steaks. The rib eye nearly melted in my mouth. Yes, I have a bevy of adjectives to describe it: tender, juicy, hot, flavorful, beefy, you understand? I savored each bite, wanting to enjoy it fully. The steak was cooked as I requested, medium rare. Beautifully seared on the outside and still pink on the inside. TR uses some sort of peppercorn sauce on the rib eye. Not sure what was in that but the steak’s flavor and seasoning were great.

Mom’s Roadkill was server with onions and mushrooms with melted cheese over the top. It looked and smelled very delicious.

The potato I was served looked great, a generous amount of butter in a salt-coated tuber. Just the way I like it. But I came to TR to eat steak. And I didn’t even take a bit of the potato. And I only tasted the broccoli to see how hot it was. Happy to say it was still very warm even 10 minutes into my meal. And from the one floret I ate, seemed to be steamed perfected.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. However, Texas Roadhouse was a real treat. We didn’t feel rushed, our food was cooked as we ordered it, yes!

Dinner at PF Chang’s

A Review

Having heard Chet Coppock talk about PF Chang’s on Chicago’s WMAQ for years apparently left an impression of me. I heard him waxing the many merits of his latest meal at this place called PF Chang’s. But somehow, I never got the opportunity to actually go and try it. Even when I was in Wisconsin, no PF Chang’s could be found.

After moving to Louisville last year, I have made it a point of trying new restaurants. I’ve done pretty well and haven’t duplicated too many of my choices. Recently, Todd Wilbur featured his attempt at replicating Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Having nearly drooled through the episode, I hit the web to check if there was a location nearby. There is! So I’ve been wanting to get over there and eat since then.

This week, I decided it was time. I made a reservation online, got a confirmation email in seconds.

Dear Dave,

Your reservation is confirmed at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.

Thank you for making a reservation. We look forward to seeing you as our guest.

Reservation Details:
Confirmation #: 238850
Name: Dave Emmons

Date: Friday, December 23, 2011
Time: 8:00 PM
9120 Shelbyville Rd.
Hurstbourne, KY 40222
Phone: (502) 327-7707

Party Size: 2

Special Occasion:
Special Request(s):

Thank you again for choosing us!


Dave Richards
Operating Partner

For a map and directions to our restaurant, please click http://www.pfchangs.com/locations/locationdetail.aspx?sid=9975

To modify or cancel your reservation, please click https://www.pfchangs.com/res/makereservation.aspx?rid=42842298781526&gid=1426982&sid=9975

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Thank you for your cooperation.

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Pei Wei Asian Diner

This was great! I could use this info on my iPhone when I was on my way. Having it all in one place, very nice! Only thing I’d suggest here s a link to the menu.

We arrived a little early, and were immediately seated. As we had discussed our dinner choices on the ride over, there was little time needed and we quickly placed our order. We had decided to get PF Chang’s For Two

To start we each had a bowl of soup. The choices were Hot and Sour or Egg Drop. I had the hot and sour soup, it was both. Delicious. The egg drop soup was hot and flavorful, you know it’s good soup when your nose start to clear up. I also love the soup spoons the Chinese use, the kind that let’s you get the soup cooled off to eating temperature quickly.

To drink we ordered mango and sweet iced tea with lemons and limes. I did not have to wait for a refill the entire meal.

Our server brought 3 sauces to the table, to be used throughout the meal The first was a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, and oyster sauce. The second was a very hot chili paste with oil. The last sauce was a traditional Chinese hot mustard sauce. Really opened up my sinuses.

Some readers might find this odd, but I always look at the flatware a restaurant gives me to use. I see it as a gauge for how they really feel about having me there. Cheap, cheesy flatware means they really don’t care. Nice hefty flatware means they’ve given thought to the dining experience, even something as insignificant as the flatware, and executed it perfectly. PF Chang’s has really nice heavy flatware. We each had 2 forks, a knife, and a set of chopsticks.

After finishing our soup, we moved on to Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps. The reason I’d ventured over here. The dish was hot, the lettuce was cool. I carefully took a lettuce leaf and put a couple of spoons of the chicken mixture on it, carefully rolled it up and took a bite. Let me say this: it was wonderful! I got that smoky sweet flavor the guy on Top Secret Recipe talked about so much. It was so good I completely forgot about the sauces. I ate 3 of them, each one as good as the last.

Now for the main course. My salt and pepper prawns arrived on hot serving plate. They were served with a bowl of white rice. I spread the rice out on my place and spooned the prawns onto my plate. A condiment cup of sweet mustard sauce accompanied my meal. I didn’t use that until I had a couple of the prawns without it, really wanting to savor the flavor. I was not disappointed.

Salt and Pepper Prawns

The almond and cashew chicken ordered was also very good. Very generously sized pieces of chicken, delicious green peppers, plenty of nuts and sauce. And it was served hot! So hot that some time was needed to allow for cooling before it could be eaten. I’ll never complain about food served hot. And like any good Chinese food, this was great as a leftover!

Included with out meal for two were choice of desserts. These were mini-sized versions of PF Chang’s delectable dessert selections. We chose red velvet and carrot cakes, respectively. Both we delicious and truth be told, perfectly sized after such a generous meal.