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Outback Steakhouse provides friendly service

Jan. 22, 1997

By Sharon Mariotti

Lariat Staff Writer

The Outback Steakhouse experience is one unlike any other. Everything from service to food to decor contributes to an absolutely unique 'Aussie' atmosphere.

The service is fast and friendly. At 9 p.m., Monday, there was no wait and being seated immediately was no problem. Earlier in the evening there was a 30 minute wait during peak hours, Sara Whittington, Outback hostess and Houston junior, said.

Lisa Mittler, Outback hostess and San Antonio freshman, said the best times to come are between 4 and 5:30 and after 8 on weekdays and between 3 and 5 and after 9 on weekends.

Chad Byas, a Fort Worth junior and Outback server, said it only takes about 12 minutes from the time you sit down to get your food.

'The whole Outback experience takes between one and one-and-a-half hours,' Byas said.

Cody Reeves, Outback manager, said the food is absolutely worth the wait.

'We spend two hours everyday just making croutons, and all of our food is homemade and fresh everyday,' he said. 'That is why we can't open for lunch.'

'We work hard to make sure that our guests have the most enjoyable experience possible,' Reeves said.

''No Rules. Just Right.' is our motto and that means that our employees just work to get it right, and there are no rules or limitations placed on them in their pursuit of the perfect Outback experience,' he said.

Outback Steakhouse is, of course, known for their steaks called 'Land Rovers.' Their steaks are fresh everyday and never frozen so they are always juicy and tender. Their chicken and fish are also delivered fresh everyday.

'The only thing we freeze is the Blue Bell ice cream that we use in our desserts and occasionally the shrimp,' Paul Willems, Outback managing partner, said.

Outback's signature 'Aussie-Tizer' is the Bloomin' Onion, which was created by Outback and later copied by other restaurants. Still, many other people prefer the Aussie Cheese Fries or Gold Coast Coconut Shrimp, Byas said.

Some 'Land Rover' favorites include Outback Special and Victoria's Filet. The Outback Special is a 12 oz. sirloin and their most popular steak while the Victoria's Filet is a 9 oz. tenderloin and their most tender steak, Byas said.

Some other favorites are the Drover's Platter, grilled baby back ribs and chicken breast; the Jackeroo Chops, two tender 8 oz. pork chops and Veggie Pasta Pemberton, Outback's vegetarian plate, Byas said.

Byas said that the average cost of a meal for two including tax, tip and drinks is about $35.

The decor of the restaurant is very Australian with sheep shears, boomerangs and knives hanging on the wall. There is a picture of Paul Hogan, who, since his 1986 role in 'Crocodile Dundee,' is always associated with the outback. The ceiling itself, being part orange and part purple, is a representation of Ayers Rock in Australia, which glows reddish orange at sunset while the sky glows purple.

'Outback is 'Bonzer!'' Brian Smith, Outback waiter and Coppell senior, said. 'That's Aussie for 'great.''

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