It turned out much worse than expected. Now before you tell me i should not have gone there my gf and I were taking out a couple who had watched our cats and let them pick the place. The original choice was Chillis which my gf nixed simply for the price factor(well and she knew of my snobbery). They picked Outback which i have to say i ate a few times in college with my friends who considered it "great food". Even though I was not yet the chowhound i am today I always found Outback to be passable even though it was expensive for what it was. Besides i was in college and they did have giant beers.
So i went into it with low expectations yet not expecting the horror of what to come. First off every Outback is always packed and you have to wait a long time for a table. Why is Outback always packed i think its because people just dont know any better. So while waiting for the table we sat at the bar and ordered some drinks. I ordered a Sierra Nevada only to find that they only served them in icy cold mugs. I tried asking for a room temp glass but they either had warm ones staright from the dishwaher or the frozen kind. So to set me off on the wrong note i began drinking my beer whose taste had been ruined. 45 minutes later we were seated.
To start our waitresss comes by with her corporate schtick asking us what we as appetizers, Pizza Shooters, Shrimp Poppers or Extreme Fajitas". I was just pleased that none of my dining companions wanted the grease laden cheese fries or blooming onion. Figuring the safest way to go was the coconut shrimp, we ordered those before ordering our meal. The shrimp came out pretty much reaking of iodine, that nasty taste shrimp should just not have. I didnt send this back because frankly i may be a chowhounder but i really dont enjoy being a dick, so i figured we'd take the app as a loss and go on to the main course.
Here is where the biggest problem started. I like my steak a certain way as do most people and im very specific about it. I told the waitress i would like my filet cooked black and blue. She did not know what this is so i called it by another name, Pittsburgh. She noted that she knew what this was and followed that up by saying "so you'd like it medium?". Growing frustrated i tried lightening the mood with the typical jokes of someone who likes a blue steak, "Pass it through a warm room, still moooing" and then explaining that i want it seared on the outside and still cool on the inside. This completely baffled the poor young lady who then had to go get the manager. After explaining to the manager how i wanted my steak cooked and him assuring me he knew what i was talking about i was asked "are you SURE you want it this way?". I wanted to scream in the guys face "YES THIS IS HOW I LIKE MY F"IN STEAK COOKED< I HAVEBEEN EATING IT LIKE THIS SINCE I WAS TEN YEARS OLD". I assured him i did like it that way and waited for my steak to come out.
I was already feeling like a big jerk for having to get the manager to take my order when my steak arrived not black and blue, not rare but medium rare. I really can't eat my steak this way and had to send it back. I was paying $20 or so for this meal and i had to spell out how i wanted it cooked so i damned well should get it black and blue. I told the waitress this who went back for the manager again. He tried explaining to me that their broiler couldnt reach the right temperature for this style and that usually when people order it that way they dont really want it that way and send it back. I calmly explained to him that i really did want it that way and that this could be done with a frying pan. the manager then had to go back and personally cook my steak. When the steak did finally come out again it was still mediocre at best though supposedly prime.
So because a supposed steak restaurant does not have a broiler capable of searing meat, does not get customers who order black and blue steaks(is it just California? cause i do remember ordering these in college outside DC and getting them the right way) I end up looking like a complete and utter ass. All i wanted was a piece of meat coked the way i like it, which you wouldnt think would be such a big problem. I mean the waitress had no idea what i was talking about because no one had ever ordered it this way in the 2 years she had been working there. What kind of place is this and why is it so packed? To hell with outback, now i remember why I never go to chains.