Put the napkin in your lap and pull up to the table with Eau Claire's Hungry Italian as he provides the area's only true Restaurant Review.  Don't have another family night ruined by poor service.  Find the perfect spot to take that special online someone on the third date that has romance commingled with value.  

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EATING ESTABLISHMENT   Texas Roadhouse

DINING DATE   Thursday July 18th

MEAL TIME     Dinner

ATTENDEES IN PARTY   4 (2 adults, 2 kids)

TOTAL BILL  - $50

Ordered   8 oz NY Strip with House Salad and Green Beans

 

ENTREE   

See the ride at the water park that has a cued up line that snakes down three stories of stairs?  It must be an outstanding ride! Value is typically associated with cost but sometimes it comes in the realm of time and if people are willing to wait that long for a few seconds of a thrill it must satisfy.  On the local dining scape, Texas Roadhouse announces it’s appeal and quality by the fact that after more than a decade in town it still often overflows capacity.  Knowing you’ll likely have to wait for a table at Texas Roadhouse is simply a part of the dining experience and rarely scares off.  Even when there isn’t a wait, the place is full.

Following a youth baseball game, the Hungry Italian’s family went out on a Thursday night and despite the fact we stepped in after 7pm, only a couple of tables were empty.  We were quickly seated and tended to by an energetic waiter.  She took drinks and an appetizer order while the kids went to work on a high quality kid’s activity/menu.

Texas Roadhouse maintains a high octane atmosphere without being overbearing.  Yes, the staff still breaks into a line dance every once in a while and the music skews (but not entirely) country favorites but even if that décor isn’t your thing its easy to get by.  The layout is more of a throwback in terms of narrow dining areas and not the open concept that has become the norm over the last 20 years.  Pillars and poles, high booths and thin walkways actually make the place sound uncomfortable and really it should be. In reality, if you are dining with a group more than four, that does become an issue but for any party that is less, everything else compensates.

The wife and I ordered some fried pickles, which are a little salty. Otherwise, the place remains yummy and the peanuts addictive. My steak was juicy and flavorful and the green beans seasoned excellently.  The house salad continues to consist roughly 60% of boiled egg and I don’t mind. I never eat boiled eggs except here. The kid’s meals of chicken tenders and fries were served warm and a quality portion size. Some left overs, but not many (leftovers typically suffocate to a slow death in the back of the fridge).

My wife enjoyed her sirloin steak and a sweat potato.

From the service to the meal the place is more than worth the risk if you’re fearing a wait.  The overall price is affordable as well.  Now I know some people will, mostly because they don’t like the wait but refuse to admit it, say Texas Roadhouse is overrated. They’ll argue they can get just as good a steak at the corner Bar. Well, I’m sure Gus can grill up a good chunk of beef at your favorite watering hole’s weekly “steak fry night” but don’t kid yourself.  Its better at Texas Roadhouse.

Worried about a “chain” restaurant over a local place?  Always remember, that yes a portion of the money does leave the area but all those people in that restaurant are every bit as local as Joe Smith’s Diner.  Eat local more often than not, but don’t ignore the national chains either.

SECOND HELPING Absolutely yes. Excellent value and a place that appeases all family members. Usually on the family’s rotation (either with or without kids) once or twice a year.

PREVIOUS HUNGRY ITALIAN RESTAURANT REVIEWS   

 

Randy's Family Diner

Milwaukee Burger Co

Ramone's vs. Olson's

Olive Garden

44 North

Texas Roadhouse

Court-n-House

Butcher's Block

Za51

Nucleus

West Wisconsin Play by Play, LLC

2010 Hatch Street

Eau Claire, WI  54701

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