LONGHORN STEAK HOUSE   √√√√


“STEAKIVOROUS REX”

LongHorn Steakhouse  •  5375 East Bay DriveLargoFL 33764 • (727) 539-1536

September 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016

The mid priced Steak Market is competitive.  I get lazy at times since I cook a lot, so we eat out, and that means reasonable, which means affordable.  I can’t go to Ruth Cris, Shuler’s, Peter Lugers in Williamsburg Brooklyn all the time.  Thats another league of dinning, fine dinning, with finer credit card bills except for Peter Lugers, just bring cash or their own credit card.   I just want to eat,  a small moderate steak, a potato and a salad and I’m happy, happy.

At one time I was a huge fan of STEAK and ALE and they went away. Then LONESTAR bit the bullet, they priced themselves out of the market. The OUTBACKS Blooming Onion had me for a while but recent changes in management and charges including about a forty percent cost rise placed me on the prowl again. 

A coupon addicted friend of mine had a few dollars off at the Longhorn and we decided to give them a try. Voila! We have been back over a dozen times, closer to fourteen.

Three things make a place successful in this category of restaurant, (really a price range)  a very competitive category when you consider the options.  

Mid priced includes Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Italian and German establishments. Basically they all offer some variant of  beef, pork, chicken or seafood, they just prepare it differently.

•  Consistency, you go back to a place if it is consistent. On a road trip you look for a familiar franchise you trust for their consistency.  We have eaten at this location more than a dozen times and it is consistent.

•  Quality, you don’t want the grizzle sandwich when you ordered sirloin. And an anemic potato or rust colored salad.

•  Service, a smile, yes and no sir or mama , none of the hi-guys, yuzz-guys, awesome’s and cool!

•  Now bear in mind this pertains to this location.


MY CHOICES
The Renegade, the 11 Oz. for me and she (a very petite lady) had the Renegade 6 Oz, both with loaded baked potatoes, Caesar salad and plenty of warm bread and butter. With the coupon and totally cleaned plates, maybe a smidgen of Heinz 57 and full bellies, the total less tip and using the $4.00 coupon was $28.
Without the coupon the prices are still very reasonable.

Legendary Steaks - The Renegade - 6 Oz.  11.99   11 Oz. 17.79

Served with choice of side, salad & unlimited freshly-baked Honey Wheat bread.

Calories  Renegade Sirloin 6oz -380   /   8oz 470   /11oz  600

The food was great, the service was excellent, the place is clean and a working front manager (the floater) was seeing that everything went as to plan. Including busing tables when they got busy.

It was a nice meal and well done. A dozen trips back since then to this same location and every part and every area of consideration got an "A". Good management is the key. Very nice staff and consistent.


NEGATIVES and RULES

Negatives, some folks really do expect too much.  I found no problems after fourteen trips or so to this establishment. The only thing I ever sent back was a salad that had a brown lettuce clip and it was replaced in a minute since my partner has had stem cell replacement and we have to watch everything and I mean everything. 

But I read what others had to say on other sites and I look for negatives. Two were two years old. I throw those out.  Some were at the height of the tourist season on a weekend which is chaos anyway.  The opinion of those whose main complaint was they were busy and slow service.  

Really?  What do you expect on the busiest day of the year.  The best was the boozer, and I guess if the drinks didn’t arrive fast enough I would be upset too...but the bar was full with drinkers and eaters and swamped the mixologist.  

I never do research on a place prior to eating there. I read them after I post. I form My Opinion based on how I was treated and what I observed. I do not wish to be swayed.  Their comments were in one case...stupid.

I have a food blog, previous restaurant experience and in some cases and places, they would prefer I not show up.  They do not wish to be scrutinized that deeply.  Sorry, I call it as I see it.  I will blast bad waiters or waitresses, a pushy bartender, or a negligent hostess, any of which can ruin a meal as well as the guys in the backend.

In the past six years a dozen places I zonked because they were bad are no longer are in business.  It wasn’t just what I wrote, I just got there first, and others like the folks at Dirty Dinning on Channel 10 saw what I saw.  One chain was so filthy and dirty, I called the health department from my car.  An open sewer pipe in an eating establishment is an automatic shutdown. Took three years but their last store, four in total all were closed by the health people and TV.

I don't make it apparent that I write about their food, till after three meals, and in a place like this where they do a good job, I will let them know it.  My companion goes nuts because of what I observe that to most folks would go un-noticed. Thats just my experience and training.
 

They are part of DARDEN RESTAURANTS, INC.
Darden Restaurants, Inc. is a multi-brand restaurant operator headquartered in Orlando. The firm owns several casual dining restaurant brands: Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, The Capital Grille and Yard House. 

Darden has more than 2,100 restaurant locations and more than 200,000 employees, making it the world's largest full-service restaurant company. As of 2012, Darden is the only Fortune 500 company with its corporate headquarters in Greater Orlando. Most of the Darden chain consists of moderately priced people places that we have eaten in and consider safe, good value and acceptable places to bring your family too. 

COMPLIMENTS TO THE MANAGER and THE CREW
Bottom line...for a chain, the food was hot, good, fresh, well served and I went out satisfied fourteen times in a row. By the way I generally order the same thing each time to detect any policy or selection changes. they were very consistent even though parts of the menu had changed.

Simply put, I recommend this place based on the three things I observed, Consistency, Quality, and Professional Service. I had a nice discussion with the owner table side and as the working partner he takes his restaurant very seriously.

Visited August 2012 thru December 2013 - 2014- 2015 - 2016  Still good as ever and very, very busy during the tourist season. get there early or late or have patience.

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