Texas Road House has grown to over 350 locations in 46 states (missing OR, WA, AK, HI), and is on a tear to open new ones in 2010. Headquartered in Louisville, a recent add to their location roster is in Duluth, MN, in the ‘restaurant cluster’ in and around the Miller Hill Mall.
The company President, on the website, says of their mission: “We wanted to provide a place that the whole family could enjoy,” says Taylor. “Texas Roadhouse is about a hearty, good meal with service that is friendly, energetic, and enthusiastic. Life should be fun – so the workplace needs to reflect that as well – and that is why we put our employees first.”
Further, their website says “The Texas Roadhouse Story is simple. Legendary Food, Legendary Service®!!!”
The Road House offers a wide variety of “American” cuisine, including steaks, chicken, ribs, and some “Southern” fare (they call it “country”) like smothered chicken, catfish, and pulled pork.
Minnesota Burger Reporter Kawikamedia wasn’t very impressed. He ordered the “All-American Cheddar Burger” ½ lb. burger topped with cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, and onions. Burgers are served on a toasted Texas-sized bun with steak fries and a pickle spear.
His first objection was to the atmosphere, he said it was the “loudest place he had ever been in sober,” and it sounded like they had two different C&W bands at full bore simultaneously.
Waitstaff would regularly show up at tables singing some celebratory song, which increased the noise level. The party stated with potato skins which were “OK.”
Problem one arose when one of the party ordered a steak which was so salty, the diner wondered if it might have MSG on it. The manager explained that the “combination of spices they used might PRODUCE msg.” Oh, yikes. The steak was replaced with a less-seasoned one, but this version was overcooked.
Kawikamedia’s burger had been requested medium, the server said beef was ground on site, so different levels of doneness were permitted. The burger arrived overcooked, and was, in our reporter’s opinion, not nearly the claimed half-pound (precooked) unless they started with a 70/30 grind and some great portion of the burger was grilled into oblivion.
Overall the party was disappointed with the food, service, and atmosphere, and won’t be returning. There are so many choices available in the casual dining segment these days, that new establishments usually only get one chance to establish loyalty with a customer base. And in a small town like Duluth, ill-will travels faster than traffic on London Road.
If you want to check out Texas Road House, find a location online here: Each store has an individualized website and you can look at the respective menus after choosing a location.