Few restaurants have the ability to immediately make you feel at home … if you’re allowed to toss peanut shells on your dining room floor, that is.
Texas Roadhouse arrived earlier this year in Houma to a hungry crowd and hasn’t slowed since.
There’s a reason the parking lot is packed: the food, the service and the atmosphere are worth the wait.
The flags flowing in the breeze forewarn guests of the décor. It’s very Texas, very country and very comfortable.
The lobby area looks directly on to the cooking area. On the other side of the glass partition, guests can watch the yeast rolls being prepped or pulled from the oven. And just behind that are the grills.
Benches line the lobby area and, in each corner, barrels of cooked peanuts beckon guests as they wait for a table to become available.
The wooden walls are accented with cartoon caricatures of country greats – Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson and the likes – the very folks who make up the play list on the old-fashioned jukebox that greets you at the door. Guests are invited to pick a tune while they wait, too, by the way.
Immediately upon being seated, two buckets – one peanut-filled, the other for the discarded shells – and a basket of hot, freshly-baked rolls arrive. Our waitress takes our drink orders and offers menu suggestions.
For an appetizer, we agree to try the Cactus Blossom ($4.99). Described as a “Texas-sized onion golden-fried and served with our Cajun Horseradish sauce,” the blossom was an immediate hit. There’s no false advertising going on here. The thing really is huge. It could have easily fed a group twice the size.
Blossoms are usually judged on flavor and oiliness. Texas Roadhouse has plenty of the first, none of the latter.
My guests enjoyed steak and shrimp combo ($16.99) with seasoned rice and corn and a chicken and ribs combo (16.79) with green beans and corn. I opted for my usual: the sirloin ($11.99) and a side of steamed broccoli.
The steak and shrimp was a winner. The meat was perfectly cooked, and my guest continued to brag on the lemon and pepper-flavored butter sauce that coated the shrimp.
Likewise, the chicken was flavorful and juicy and the ribs worthy of the “award-winning, slow-cooked” title. Both were covered with exquisite seasonings and barbecue sauce. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender, too.
Texas Roadhouse doesn’t skimp on its serving sizes, nor do they skip the detail in the sides. The green beans are smothered with bacon and sweet onions, making them a meal all alone. The seasoned rice was also perfectly seasoned and didn’t overwhelm the rest of the meal.
Dinner for us always includes a go-box and this night was no different. Besides, we had to leave room for dessert, which was a slice of Strawberry Cheesecake.
Light and creamy and coated with a strawberry glaze and fresh strawberries, dessert was worth the added calories.
I’d be remiss not to mention the fun to be had at Texas Roadhouse. The bar area and lobby are surrounded by flat screen TVs which are tuned into the big sports offering of the day. And country music sets the mood.
On occasion, the volume of the music kicks up, signaling to the staff to take to the aisles for a Texas Roadhouse hoedown. As guests dine, the wait staff show off their dance moves in front of your table.
Birthdays include a call-out from the staff – “stop what you’re doing; finish what you’re chewing and give ‘em a Texas Roadhouse yee-haw!” – and a ride atop the house saddle.
Great food, great fun. I promise!