John Curtas is …

13 Reasons to Hate OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE

As Slapsie Maxie Jacobson says: “Life is too short to have to eat here more than once.”

But the place is just fine if you’re a fan of tasteless cream soups, brown bread that tastes like cheap white, and steaks smothered in cheese-colored sauces supposedly made from lobster and mushrooms (and tasting of neither).

Why was ELV at an Outback you ask? Have we sunk so low over our despair over Aria’s retread restaurants that this is where we’ve decided to take our steaks?

The answer is: Mad Max and me wanted to take on a chain for our KNPR program — to counterbalance all the high falutin’ places we review, and Outback seemed like a logical choice.

ELV regrets the error.

To hear our complete take on our meals here, you’ll have to tune in to News 88.9 FM next week. In the meantime, you’ll just have to settle for these not-so-tasty-snaps, and resign yourself to the fact that the public flocks to this place, despite a baker’s dozen reasons why it shouldn’t:

> Tasteless food;

> Not cheap (our lunch steak was $20, dinner cuts run into the high 30′s);

> A Sasquatch-ian carbon footprint;

> Excessively advertised (ELV’s advertising/food corollary: The more something is advertised, the more worthless it is. Prime example: Coca-Cola);

> It’s a corporate food factory;

> Caloric as heck;

> Soups from hades (see above);

> Sauces from hell (see above);

> It’s own employees hate it;

> It has nothing to do with Australia;

> The whole friggin’ enterprise is a stupid marketing concept;

> It was founded in that bastion of gourmandia, Tampa, Florida, and, finally;

> Fat white people love it.

OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE

Multiple locations (none of which is gonna get a plug from us)

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40 Responses to 13 Reasons to Hate OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE

  • #14: My Arsehole boss felt this restaurant a great place to fire me. Thank the Lord I walked out before the water arrived!

    I will now lift my glass to a fantastic looking New Year.

  • I was about to respond, saying I kind of like Outback.

    Then I read your last reason, and thought better of it.

  • ELV, speaking of steak, have you gone to Jean Georges Steakhouse for dinner yet???? i dined there tuesday nite, and would liek to compare our thoughts!! i look forward to your review of JG

  • I don’t live in Tampa or anything, but I’ve had some darn fine meals there…including at one of my favorite steakhouses anywhere, Bern’s.

  • Love Bern’s, hate Outback.

  • Are you sure that’s brown bread? It kind of reminds me of a not so pleasant act that our dog perpetrated on our shag carpet when he ate his Alpo too fast. I think the cook “outback” fed the dog “outback” some leftovers or something. You better check on that photo!

  • I just showed your pics to my dad… And even he was frightened by that steak! I just don’t understand why anyone in my neighborhood would want to subject oneself to this crap.

  • If you went to the one at Casino Royale, you could at least play some craps with 100x odds after your meal.

  • Berns, indeed. What a trip. Cant think of a trip to Tampa without it.

  • I went to Outback once years ago when it was the new big thing back in the hometown. Never again. I knew as a pre-teen that this food did not merit a return visit. Why it is successful is beyond me.

  • outback is awful. Burn’s is worth flying to Tampa if for no other reason than to eat there.

  • bwdining-

    “Why it is successful is beyond me.”

    After some thought, I realized why. It’s “what the people want”. Because of Outback’s slick marketing and far too many Vegas locals being allergic to something other than the generic Chilis-Applebees-Red Lobster-Cheesecake Factory “dining experience”, people think they’ll get an amazing “Australian steakhouse” (HUH??!!) meal at a “reasonable price”. And since these folks are only used to generic crap like Outback and aren’t as exposed to mom-and-pop restaurants with much smaller advertising budgets, it’s easy for them to bypass the good stuff (even the bargain deals!) and keep returning to the same ol’ crap they’ve been conditioned to like.

    Thank goodness we have some media pros like Mr. ELV and Mr. Max trying to educate Vegas locals & tourists about truly good eating, otherwise I fear it’d be much worse out there.

  • its pretty simple, the deralicks that eat there, just dont know any better!!!!!
    they love the fatty, cheap, bountiful portions to add the the cottage cheese already on their asses!
    i have dined at outback just once in my life and that was too many times

  • I have more than 13 reasons to hate pompous food critics.

  • R-Dub,

    I did just that. I flew to Tampa (from Dallas) just to eat at Bern’s. Left Dallas late Saturday morning. Chilled at the hotel. Had a great meal at Bern’s (we were in the place for 4 or 5 hours). Back to hotel. Sleep. Wake up. Go to airport to fly back to Dallas. It was great.

    On a serious note, if one was a local in Las Vegas, and wanted a steak, where to go? Are all the good places on The Strip? I had a pretty decent steak dinner at Austin’s in Texas Station a few years back.

  • jsm-

    “On a serious note, if one was a local in Las Vegas, and wanted a steak, where to go?”

    Down here in Henderson, Terzetto at The M isn’t too bad. I haven’t yet been in Hank’s at GVR yet, but friends who have seem to like it. And further off The Strip… You can’t beat Off The Strip (a non-casino joint) in Southern Highlands.

  • come on, cheddar, shrimp on steak, sounds yum wherever you go, call it what you want, but who can really resist, sometimes we just throw our pride out the window

  • ridiculous posting. Once again old news. 2000 and late.
    you know, you talk crap on the ignorant folks that eat there, but you pop by for lunch, just to make sure it sucks. who does that?
    Only someone whos just as ignorant and classless as the folks that dine there regularly.
    definetly nothing educational here, just a pompous food critic, a true culinaire would never waste thier time.
    and your going to discuss your reviews on the radio, whos listening. People that dine at outback dont listen to KNPR.
    And why pick on the fat kid in the picture, no one one picks on the pounds you have grown in the past years, I seen you on channel 8, and its not the camera adding 30 pounds either

  • ding, ding, ding…on my right, weighing in at a neat 150, wearing seersucker… it’s ELV! And on my left, weighing in at 300, wearing black and waving a big stick… it’s food slayer!

  • Hey Reality Check… wondering if you could give 1 reason to eat at Outback?

    Been once nearly 10 years ago… actually I lied twice both about 10 years ago. One time I paid here in Vegas (Sahara and Durango) overpriced and not very tasty. The other was in Norfolk , VA and not much better. Granted somebody else paid in Norfolk so the sting was a little bit smaller. I’m not saying you should eat at Carne Vino every night but clearly there are better steak places in Vegas then this product of mass marketing.

    I’ll never understand how Vegasites continue to vote crap like this and Pizza Hut as the “best in Vegas”.

  • Ten Reasons to Eat at Outback.

    10) 15 meals under $15

    9) The People. They do love working working there. ( I can’t believe 21 disgruntled X employee’s made your list) Ask the 10,000 current employees

    8)$23.95 gets you a Filet, baked potato and a salad. (you can skip the lobster sauce, the steak is fine by it’s self)

    7) Outback donates millions each year to LOCAL charities

    6) Outback has taken food and crews to Iraq to feed the troops

    5) Coldest beer in town

    4) Who eats bread anyway?

    3)All this talk about mass marketing? processed food giant? Really? A cow is a cow. Don’t hate the player, hate the game!

    2) Cheese Fries and Blomin Onions. And better wings then restaurants with the word “wings” in their name.

    1)THE PEOPLE, Did I mention that already. No rules, Just right!!

  • #15: Shills for the company trolling blogs for negative posts and responding with poorly written company line BS.

  • And don’t forget #16, bw…

    #16: It’s adventurous! In fact, it’s so adventurous you’ll think you’re really in Australia… Even if it’s nothing like real Australian cuisine. j/k :-p

  • LOL, I don’t work for Outback. I live in Vegas, work in a restaurant and I only read two food blogs. This one cause it’s local and I know John C. and John Mariani’s cause he writes good stuff.

  • Thanks for taking a gastrointestinal hit for the team and tearing into this restaurant chain.

  • You are all doosh-bags if you ask me.

  • Hey! We love Outback here in Georgia! No art on the plate- just consistently tasty food particularly the salads. It’s hard to feed the masses–consistently well. Betsy

  • I have eaten at Outback exactly twice. The first time about 10 years ago – because I really didn’t know any better. Plus I liked the guy’s accent in the commercial. The second was my second night in Hong Kong. I was with a group of my friends that were all there for work, they had arrived weeks before me, and they wanted to take me to their favorite place in HK. I should have known better as none of them are really foodies – but I tagged along and was horrified to realize they were taking me to Outback. The group also included my boss, and his boss, so I couldn’t really shame them into going somewhere else. I knew the steak sucked from my first visit, so I took a chance and ordered the lamb chops. They were under-seasoned, cooked poorly and were laced with gristle. I’ll agree with the guy who loves Outback in one instance – the beers are indeed cold (and weigh in at about 28 ounces). It tooks three of those just to get the taste out of my mouth.

  • Amen @Billman3000. I love Outback. I cannot speak for the items ELV ordered, but i can say everytime i have been there the bread has been delicious, their side salad with Tangy Tomato dressing is great, the Cheese Fries with the ranch are one of the best appetizers i have ever had, and the Alice Springs Chicken with the honey mustard dipping sauce is one of my favorite meals ever. I do agree that it can be pricey depending on what you get, but IMHO Outback has some of the best service and meals of any chain restaurant i have ever been to.

  • Oh yeah, and they have Coke Zero :)

  • I’ve had both good and mediocre meals at Outback. I don’t go there very often, but when I do I keep it simple. No toppings or grill sauce on the steak, no bloomin’ onion; just MR meat, a baked potato and a beer. I used to like their chopped salad, but it was pretty awful the last time I went. If you have the bucks to pay $50 and up for a steak, more power to ya. Just don’t write it off as a business expense when it’s not. : P My new current faves are MRKT Land and Sea and Del Frisco’s. I only get to go to Del Friscos when it’s a company function, though. My woman is taking us to San Diego for my birthday next month. We’ve been many times, but we’re always looking for new good places to eat. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.

  • RC-

    It’s OK. I’m not judging you. There have been times I’ve felt good after a meal at Cheesecake Factory, and there have been times when “breakfast” means a quick stop at Starbucks or Coffee Bean. It’s just that I like supporting local eateries as often as possible, and that I find it fun to occasionally hop up The Strip to eat somewhere exciting.

    I’ve just never found anything decent at Outback, but that’s my opinion. The great thing about this blog is that Mr. ELV offers his suggestions, then we debate and discuss.

    And btw, did you see my above comment on local suggestions? Off The Strip is a great location for great meals (including steak!) at great prices. Even on The Strip, you’ll be surprised by the deals you’ll find at places like First at The Palazzo and Society at Encore.

    Oh, and have fun in San Diego! The food scene there has really grown up in the last few years, so try ditching Outback and tasting the true local flavors there. India Palace is a fabulous Indian spot in the city… And if you can drive up PCH for some awesome pizza, try Besta-Wan and/or East Coast Pizza in Encinitas.

  • Thanks, atdleft. We’re always up for trying out new pizza joints! Found one in Temecula called Fillipi’s Pizza Grotto. Great pizza, friendly server.

  • Never ate there, probably never will. As an Australian, my only hope is that no one ever believes that any of the food served there is representative of my country. Baby back ribs? Alice Springs Chicken Quesadilla? Isn’t quesadilla mexican? Bloomin’ onion? The hell IS that?

  • I am definitely bookmarking this page and sharing it with my friends. Well done!!!

  • The biggest reason for Outback’s success is PRICE! Esepcailly with the economy being what it is, most familiies will trade quality for price. To get what they think is a decent steak with all the trimmings for under $25 (and sometimes under $20) is very important to most people. Quality I have learned is not as important and most really don’t know (or care) as long as the steak is not too ‘chewy’ and a generous portion. That is all they care about. Remember ‘Steak and Ale’ and ‘Steak and Brew’? Cheap meat and cheap suds. Ever notice how many people line up for that “steak’ at Ellis Island? Need I say more?

  • About 14 years ago when I was pretty much broke, I had a damn good hamburger at an Outback in Louisiana. Perhaps it was my hunger or that I wasn’t paying for it, but I can say that although my wallet and culinary lexicon have certainly advanced to where I probably wouldn’t go in an Outback now, I certainly savored that moment and Hamburger back then. It serves it’s purpose.

  • I like how alot of the people who ate at Outback say the EXACT amount of times they’ve eaten there….not a fan of the company, but it does serve good food at a decent price. There is lobster AND mushroom in the sauce, and it isn’t 5 star dining. It’s affordable for people, especially in that overpriced hell that is Vegas. Which, by the way, I love.

  • Hey webmaster, I really liked the article do you mind if I use some of the information from this post if I provide a link back to your blog?

  • I find it funny that there’s at LEAST 3 postings from people who work for Outback. The food is not good nor is it good for you. Wait until the nutritional content has to be labeled in the menu. All of these fast-casual dining places will have to spend a fortune retooling their menus.

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