In a word: Darden... my heart.
The specs: #00948
418 S Gammon Rd., 53719
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JM ate the prime rib sandwich.
John ate the filet.
Nichole ate the chicken.
Rose ate the shrimp.
The bill was about $60, or $15/person, plus tip.
JM gave LongHorn Steakhouse a B-; Nichole gave LongHorn Steakhouse a C+ (see our grading rubric).
The best steak houses (let's say, Tornado and Johnny Delmonico's) are so much about the steak that is hard to truly rate them on their 'restaurant-ness'. Implicit in steak dining is good meat selection; once the meat selection is complete, only a real foul up can cause a steak to be done poorly.
Of course, LongHorn isn't really a steak restaurant. It lives somewhere twixt Outback and Fleming's in chain steak land. Nice enough for a meal on their own, but not so nice that napkin color is invoked by the servers.
The other thing that most steak places don't focus so much on is value. You're going out for steak, but LongHorn does offer some higher end food at or near the lowest end of the pricing scale. But the Red Lobster-iness of a Darden place is still present, all the way up to and including the overdecorated walls.
Salads were included with three meals. They offer garden and Caesar varieties and our group only got garden ones. The lettuce was robustly green, but salad is mostly pretty water, and these were no exception.
Rose tried the shrimp skewers, which she had had before, and she liked the dish just as much this time. For a small price, you get twelve nicely grilled shrimp served over a bed of rice with choice of potato. It was part of a 2-entree and a dessert meal deal which John fillet out with a filet. The filet was medium rare as ordered and was thick, juicy and delicious.
JM's prime rib sandwiches were greasy things that still tasted pretty darned good. His accompanying fries, however, seemed like a half portion at best. He didn't use much of the dipping sauce either for the fries or sandwich as the horseradish flavor was a little one note for someone used to a mustard mix-in. Nichole's Parmesan crusted chicken more entombed than encrusted. Which, cheese, was not all bad, but was excessive.
The chocolate stampede, though. This is worth it. It's about 2200 calories, though, so you may want to split it with several adjoining tables. Cake, mousse, ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce... the works. It is the only stampede we know of that cannot be helped even with a cattle dog; there's just too much chocolate. See?
LongHorn is square in the middle of the diversity of dining options on the west side. It seems to fill a need for people who steak dinner at a low price. That said, there's about 25 places that are higher on the quality scale nearby, so that leaves this as the only reason to go.