I have received a number of Darden gift cards in my day, and up until this week the only SLC choices have been Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Well SLC now has a third Darden offering opening next week and that is Longhorn Steakhouse. Turns out these Texas boys know a thing or two about preparing delicious steak, fish, and chicken. Tonight my wife and I had a chance to preview Longhorn Steakhouse as guests for a meal featuring country music star David Nail. We had an absolute fantastic time.
I am somewhat of a carnivore when it comes to food, so this was my type of place. They say everything in Texas is bigger, and you can see the owners of the restaurant had that in mind when they built this dining hall. The inside of Longhorn Steakhouse was beautiful. The decoration reminded me almost like Famous Dave’s BBQ, but only fancier. They managed to capture that Texas feel and fine dining at the same time.
Since the tables were already full by the time we arrived, we found two empty chairs at the bar. From the time we sat down, until the time we had a plate of food in front of us was roughly 5 minutes. Of course these were different circumstances, but I could tell the staff was top-notch. The bartender that helped us was from Austin, Texas and he had just moved here to help his grandmother. His Texas accent just added to the ambiance. I felt like I could have walked out the doors to ride off on my trusty horse after we were done, and not have missed a beat.
I remember thinking to myself in the short time we were sitting down. I wonder what they are going to bring us to eat? Well I don’t think I could have chosen any better myself. I almost wish I would have taken a picture of the plate after I was finished, because it was sparkling white. Everything on this dish was magical. Let me start from left to right. First we have a salmon filet cooked with their bourbon rub, laying on top of a bed of this amazingly spiced rice. Again, I never order seafood at restaurants, but this salmon is seriously going to challenge that habit for when I go back. It was unbelievable! And the rice was yummy too. It was spicy without being spicy. I don’t know if that makes much sense, but it had some sort of magical unicorn kick to it. I let out several audible hmmmm’s after each bite.
In the center of the plate was what my wife has now coined “meat butter”. It was Longhorn’s 7 ounce filet mignon. There are a few things you should know about my Colombian wife. She was raised to absolutely not touch anything pink with her steak. (She will only eat it well done) When we order steak, if there is a pink, then she sends it back. This particular steak tonight was prepared medium well, with a nice pinkness on the inside to it. (just the way I like it) As I was enjoying my meal, I was watching her out of the corner of my eye to see how she what she was going to do. It really was the perfect moment to convert her over to the true order of steak eating. She cut into that puppy, and saw the pinkness, but probably out of not wanting to offend anyone, she took a huge bite. Guess what? She loved it! That is all she could talk about on the way home “Steaks taste sooo good cooked that way” “I could of cut into that meat with a butter knife” “That was like meat butter” . Okay you get the picture. The filet was awesome, tender, and cooked just right.
Finally on the right we tried the chicken parmesan and mashed potatoes. I could probably compare this plate to watching a Dallas Cowboys football game when they show the Cowboys cheerleaders. My dad would always joke “I’ll take the ugly one” which is funny, because all the Cowgirls are beautiful. It’s the same with this plate. I was so in love with the salmon, and beef, that I noticed I had not yet shown any love to the chicken on the right. When I tried it, I realized how awesome the chicken was as too. I get the feeling, that you guys are going to love pretty much anything on the menu here.
You know that feeling you get after an awesome meal, where you know you are going to bed early that night? Well I was perfectly content with what we had for dinner, but then the waiter dropped this baby in front of us. It was at this time, my brain deployed all emergency backup power to my stomach in an effort to clear out some more space for this desert. I thought I had eaten my last bite, but after seeing this plate, I changed my mind. Let’s see on the left we had all sorts of chocolate liquidy gooey stuff. In the middle yummy ice cream with some apple pastry, and on the right Cheesecake drenched in a strawberry sauce. Attention Santa, you can skip my house this year. I’ve been a good boy and Christmas has come early.
So attention peoples of the city of Salt Lake. There is a steakhouse in town. I loved it. The most difficult decision might be just what to order when I go back.