OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE   √√√1/2 - √√√√




OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE √√√ 1/2 -√√√√
VARIOUS LOCATIONS AS SHOWN DIFFER


OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE  ORLANDO FL  √√√√ (I Recommend it)

4645 South Kirkman Rd.
Orlando Fl 32811
PH: (407) 292.5111
Jimmy Perez , Manager

After a long and tiresome day at Universal Studios and staying at the Hampton Inn close to Universal’s Main Entrance (avoiding the insanity of International Drive or is it International Dive)  we had enough of the Orlando kids playground and over-fried pre-cooked foods.  

We wanted a meal and had it with park food.   Lo-and behold we headed north because we had to make a long U-turn and my gal shouted theres an OUTBACK just northbound side of the overpass.   Our car went on auto-pilot and we screeched into the parking lot.   
What a difference, it was quiet, no lines, no kids pushing shoving and screaming and we were instantly greeted,  seated and menu-ed in a  minute.   Our server was Amber who was very pleasant, knew what she was doing, and got the food to us quick.  We both ordered sirloins (12oz.  and a 6oz.)  with lobster on the side, baked potato all the way and caesar salad. Heres how I scored this adventure into sanity eating.

SERVICE :            Excellent   Included greeters,  listening in on other servers.
FOOD :                Excellent, Hot cooked to perfection, as ordered, perfect.
CLEANLINESS:   Excellent
EXPERIENCE LEVEL :  Excellent
GO BACK THERE:    YES
MANAGEMENT PRO-ACTIVE:   YES


OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE √√√ 1/2 

3690 E. Bay Drive
Largo, Florida 33770
(727) 538-9499

HISTORY:
You were my favorite thirty-five dollar meal for two with good value and great food, so once a week usually on Sundays we would run to this OUTBACK for some meat and chicken. Probably thirty-five to forty times a year.  My wife liked it.  

But the last two times in Outback I noticed the bill went up 25%, the wings were half the size and not juicy, the salad half the size and drier, edges going brown, not as cold or crisp as it usually is, and the House Special Steak has somehow shrunk. 

Basically I am the carnivore, and the wife was a chicken lover so we order the same things almost repeatedly and can tell the difference. 

Outback is a great chain and was one of my favorite experiences in the moderate price range. On one occasion though, the quality and value was a turnoff.  I composed a letter to their chain not just about the one time but about direction. I have friends there who till now did a great job in merchandising, value for the dollar and quality staff.  

This is one of the closest stores to the main offices of Outback who built a reputation based on those points.  OSI is a large corporation with several winners like the Bonefish Grill, Flemings, a high end steak house like Ruth Cris and Berns, Carrabbas, Italian food, Hamburger in Paradise and at one time Roy’s.  Much of that will change as the food business is always changing.


ACTIVE PRO-MANAGEMENT
My Outback is one half mile from where I live.  At the time the owner-manager Jennifer has to have three eyes to maintain the level. She does, one eye on the register, one eye on the food and help and one eye for the customer. Thats why some locations in both corporate and franchise locations do well yet the one down the street fails. 

The next two occasions were uneventful, they seemed back on track, I not only eat there with company, I consider their burgers an alternative to the fast food rat race.  I live alone and obviously love to cook, but I too get lazy.  So I get out once in a while and with a nice beer with the meal I head for the Outback.  I could walk there. Beer is not available at Five Guys, still my favorite place for a burger and fries and they are five miles away.

One way that I gauge a place is order something I have ordered before and see if possibly things have changed.  Well, thats changed. I quote them..


THE WOOD FIRE GRILL
"We don’t cut corners and we don’t settle when it comes to authentic ingredients, like our USDA Choice steaks, our imported Danish Blue Cheese, our toasted hand-cut croutons or our homemade chocolate sauce. At Outback, it’s all about quality — and all about the food".  Someone cut corners. It was Sunday evening about 7:30 and we dropped in after a long day shopping and we were hungry.

I was greatly impressed by the make over. Outback is moving away from some of the interior decor reminiscent of the Outback in Aussie land at the turn of the century and looking more like a contemporary modern restaurant chain.  New dividers and subtle changes have a far more modern look, upscale closer to the more expensive steak houses.  The atmosphere and the usual pleasant hellos and service was as usual. Very warm and very accommodating.

On the wall was a large display of the food changes, showcasing the new fire wood grill.  Wood has been around since the beginning of time and usually is superior to gas and hot metal when it comes to steak.  Thats if the Steak Meister is paying attention, and the steak  is a good one to begin with.  This was not the case when we were there on that Sunday night.  The "B" team must have been working.  It wasn’t that busy, maybe key people went home, I don’t know.


NOTHING UNCONVENTIONAL IN OUR ORDER
I ordered the 12 oz house steak only difference was it was to be prepared on the "New Fire Wood Grill" and the usual wings made with medium heat and a sweet potato.  My guest had the 6 oz filet also on the grill with shrimp and a regular potato with trimmings. We split the salad, Caesar was my choice. You might say I am a creature of habit and usually order similar items at a specific location.

The salad came out on a chilled plate but was very dry and the edges turning brown after a close look. Must have been on the chiller shelf all day, wasn't fresh.  The wings came out much darker than usual, very crisp and lots of drippings. Also left too long possibly on the rack or fryer drain. They were shriveled and just not as good as I have eaten there.

My Fire Wood grilled steak was medium, no taste at all, and needed a machete or a sawing motion with steak knife to cut it.  My suggestion would be to resole flip-flops with that cut of meat.  One of the worst I have ever had.  My guests 6 oz was also tougher than usual and the shrimp were just that, dead shrimp. Her potato was morgue cold.

She agreed with me something changed, not for the better.  I thought I knew Outback and always gave it a four star over the years because any place I eat at frequently I get to know the good days and the bad and generally they are great. She commented it was the first time in hundreds of outings I ever left not finishing a meal. I left 1/3 of the meat on the plate with the emaciated looking sweet potato. 

As one who worked in the trade, I can only surmise what happened.  It was a Sunday, It was about a half hour later than the normal dinner runs.  The head kitchen guy probably left, skeleton crew, and the B team probably wasn’t up to par on the new grill process.  

Another thing that was odd is I understand they get orders out by any server and help each other as they see fit.  Four different people delivered our meal. I almost forgot who our waitress was. I was tired and I should have said something as I know the owner.  My guest and I were tired and since we didn’t know who our waitress was, we just left.  Hopefully they will get their ducks in a row……


BAD-BAD-OOOOOPS  -√

Outback Steakhouse 
North 56th Street 
Temple Terrace Florida  (North Tampa) 

Over the last year, state inspectors have given a clean bill of health to Outback Steakhouse on North 56 Street in Temple Terrace.   According to state records, Outback's inspection results over the last 12 months show the restaurant met inspection standards on each visit and had no follow-up inspections needed.

But that clean streak ended Sept. 4 when inspectors temporarily closed Outback Steakhouse's doors after finding over 25 live roaches crawling in the kitchen near the mixer, dish area, prep table, hot line, under the hand sink and behind the bar.  Among the 16 violations inspectors documented during that visit, they found the hand wash sink being used for purposes other than hand washing. The bar sink had ice stored inside of it instead of the staff using it to wash their hands. 

Chemical spray was also found by the steak knife rack in the service area, which is a violation since toxic substances are not to be stored with clean, in-use utensils. And mold was documented on the mixer and blender in the kitchen.  We reached out to Outback and its corporate office responded, taking full responsibility for the closure and adding the steps they're taking to improve conditions moving forward. Its full response is below.

OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE STATEMENT:   
"The results of the recent inspection are unacceptable and contrary to how we run our restaurant. We have taken the appropriate pest control measures to correct the problem and help ensure this will not be a reoccurring issue. We’ve also done a thorough cleaning of the kitchen and retrained our entire staff to reinforce our stringent food safety and sanitation procedures.
“Elizabeth WattsDirector of Media & Community Relations Bloomin' Brands, Inc.



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