Over the last couple of months, Manila has been blessed (thank you, food gods) with the arrival of franchises of different renowned restaurants from around the world. One of them is Texas Roadhouse, an eatery hailing from the USA.
I arrived at Texas Roadhouse at around 6:30pm and was surprised to find it nearly filled with people. (Although in retrospect, it was one of the only few restaurants open at Uptown Mall and it recently opened. Thank goodness my family and I arrived early, because when we left, the restaurant was jam-packed and had a waiting line.)
At the door, we were greeted by a chorus of “Welcome to Texas Roadhouse!” from a group of enthusiastic servers standing by the door. It made us feel right at home.
Before seating us at our table, we were shown the chiller, where all the cuts of meat were stored. I suppose it was to inspire us to order them later on! As I examined the meats, I noticed that they were leaner cuts and lacked the marbling that made meat oh-so-tender. Hm. However, I didn’t let that stop me from ordering a steak!
Stuffed heads of animals hung from the walls eerily.
Freaky. No wonder the waiter faced the opposite direction as he walked past.
Complimentary bread was served the moment we sat down, causing me to stare at the waiter incredulously, wondering where he pulled out a basket of four piping hut buns. However, I forgot all about my server’s magical powers when I bit into the piece of bread.
I think my brain went into a food coma. So soft. So fluffy. So warm. So homey.
OhmygodIlovebread. Bread is life, I told my parents and sister dreamily as I helped myself to more bread, slathering it generously with cinnamon butter.
Oh god. Don’t get me started on the fragrant and silky cinnamon butter. I can never eat butter plain again.
This is easily the best complimentary bread I’ve had. I told the waiter so with a mouth full of bread and he seemed very pleased.
After I devoured the bread, I helped myself to a couple of peanuts. They were crunchy, salty and creamy. It is a very unique starter, I have to say.
I was off to a very good start!
The first appetizer that arrived was the buffalo wings. If you’re wondering why the plate looks so empty, it’s because we only ordered five pieces (we wanted to try more food, heh). The wings were…ordinary. Tender, but lacking in crunchiness. We should have ordered the spicy version — the mild one lacks a kick. However, I definitely like it better than the ones served at Applebee’s, whose wings are less meaty. I also appreciated the light and smooth blue cheese dip and the crisp celeries (ate all of these because my family is not a fan for some reason).
The salad that arrived next was average for me. Crisp vegetables, tasty dressing, slightly dry chicken.
It is confirmed. No fat, no marbling, no optimal tenderness and juiciness. The medium-rare sirloin was lean and slightly difficult to chew. I definitely was looking for a more melt-in-your-mouth steak. It also lacked seasoning, but that was luckily remedied by a dab of steak sauce. On the other hand, while the meat on the ribs fell off the bone, I’ve tasted better (S&R ribs, anyone?).
What made up for the dish were the creamy and smooth mashed potatoes and the buttery corn. Yum! I could finish a bowl or two alone. Finger-licking good, I tell you.
Close up of the sirloin steak. No marbling, unfortunately.
At some point during dinner, music blared from the speakers. Suddenly, the servers all fell into formation and began to dance. Wow, they certainly took the enthusiasm up a notch! We gave them a loud round of applause when they finished.
The dance was not enough to distract us from food, however! A few minutes later, we realised that we had not been served our chili and proceeded to make a follow-up with our server. He applied his magical powers again, whisking out a bowl of chili from the kitchen just moments later.
Damn, he is good.
I ate a mouthful of chilli. Three words:
Explosion. Of. Flavours.
It has so many spices that fade in and out as you consume the dish. The hearty dish is then enhanced by bits of meat, beans and the sprinkling of cheese. Wow. I am not a huge fan of spicy food, but this is good. It made me wish I had some of the bread left over so that I could mop up the chili with it.
My dad loved the dish too. He declared it the best chili he has ever tasted. That is a huge honour coming from a man who has eaten a wide variety of chili.
Overall, I would come back for the bread, sides and chili. Simple but spectacular dishes. I would also like to try the country style chicken with homemade gravy I was eyeing on the menu but was too full to sample.
Address: 4th Floor Uptown Mall, BGC