While I can’t remember the exact date, I remember the first time I ever went to a Texas Roadhouse. I was going to college in Cincinnati and staying over the summer to work on campus. I already started the tradition of celebrating my birthday for a week, so on that year I decided one of the things I would do was try Texas Roadhouse. I had seen billboard signs for the restaurant on Interstate 75 and had been intrigued. I was going through my country stage. This was when I would listen to country radio stations or watch GAC — Great American Country or CMT — Country Music Television when I wasn’t studying.
I knew I would like Texas Roadhouse as soon as I walked in. It had this fun atmosphere where the servers wore jeans and t-shirts, peanuts were available in the barrel upfront and country music played out of the speakers.
Then they brought me out a basket of fresh, hot rolls with cinnamon butter. These are the kind of rolls that just melt in your mouth. Once the salad came out, I was in love! The salad was a mixture of greens, tomatoes, eggs, cheese and croutons. This was probably one of the best salads I had ever had. I chose the honey mustard dressing which was the perfect combination. By the time my 8 ounce steak and steak fries came out I was pretty sure that I would be coming back to Texas Roadhouse again. The steak was perfectly prepared, which hardly ever happened at other restaurants and the steak fries were delicious. (Not fresh cut fries, but the large steak fries that if I’m going to have fries that aren’t fresh cut crinkled or steak fries are my next favorites.)
So fast forward 23 or 24 years. Texas Roadhouse is still my favorite restaurant. Right after I found the restaurant in Cincinnati, I began introducing it to my friends. Lisa Schenkleberg went with me often to the place. Then when Bobby (my husband) and I got together, I had to make sure he went. We are never disappointed with anything we get there.
Over the years, we have had the occasion to visit many Texas Roadhouses in our travels. I was excited when one time we had booked a room in New Philadelphia, where we were going to stay and visit Amish country and at the end of the block was a Texas Roadhouse! We, of course, went there for dinner after we checked into the hotel.
When they built a Texas Roadhouse at Polaris Parkway in Columbus, it became a great meeting place for me and friends from other parts of Ohio. It is also a place that I try to get to whenever I head to Columbus for a day trip. Which is why I’m writing this post. Last week, February 2, Bobby had driven me to Columbus so I could meet with some employees at The Village Network Columbus office. After I got done with my day, we headed back home, making a stop for a late lunch/early dinner at Texas Roadhouse.
As always, the server was friendly and helpful. The music fun. And the food great. Bobby and I split our meals. He got the Chicken Critters, which is chicken strips fried to a perfect crisp in this delicious batter. I got the 8 ounce sirloin, which was perfectly cooked as always and oh, so tender. The salad was great and the sides (steak fries and loaded baked potato) rounded off the meal terrifically.
While I enjoy trying new places, it is good to have a place to return to that is familiar. Texas Roadhouse is that for me — and Bobby — as it has become one of his favorites as well. We have tried many things from their menu and we are never disappointed. Other favorites we have include the chili cheese fries, rattlesnake bites (their version of jalapeno poppers), country fried steak with their mashed potatoes and gravy (either brown or white) and BBQ ribs. The only negative thing I have to say is that every now and again, they might bring out our entree before we are finished with our salads. But if the worse thing I can say is that the service is too quick, that isn’t a bad thing at all.
Since there are Texas Roadhouse restaurants all around the country, I can only speak to the ones I have been to — which might be most in Ohio. They’ve all been good. Take my word for it, you should give them a try.