On Tuesday night, after yet another day of living the dream (aka meetings, meetings, and more meetings, while trying to work, pack for vacation, take care of things for caregivers for the kids, etc.), cooking dinner just wasn’t in the cards. When I told the kids we were eating out after weeks of not eating out, two very loud “YES”s could be heard throughout the house.
You all know I hate to cook, hate to plan cooking and sometimes execute meals in less than a stellar or edible manner. Having a chance to eat out makes ALL of the Eborall’s happy. Getting a gift card to stop into our local LongHorn Steakhouse to check out the new fall menu item additions made us immeasurably excited! LongHorn came out with some seasonal specials and we went in to check some of them out.
I’m not big on crowds or waiting, so if you’re not either, be sure to make reservations before going in. This way, you’ll be able to be seated quickly so that you can have a nice evening out. I also liked that we went mid-week — it was just a very pleasant relaxed atmosphere in the Rookwood Pavilion location — perfect for my loud kids.
We were served by Tonya, and she was excellent. She took the time to be attentive and to answer our many questions, but didn’t push her attentiveness to the point of it being annoying and not attentive anymore if that makes sense? I have two very different kids with two very different food preferences. Tonya took the time to help me figure out if my son should be ordering off of the kids menu or the adult menu.
My twelve year old daughter is a vegetarian. Going to a place like LongHorn normally means she’s stuck with pasta or salmon. Don’t get me wrong, pasta and salmon are good choices, but we were both super excited to see that LongHorn offered a Tilapia with Mango Salsa as a new menu item. And friends, this was as delicious as it sounds. The salsa was perfectly fresh and the tilapia was perfectly cooked. It was served on a bed of rice with pimento seasoning. Oddly enough, this is one of my kids favorite foods – she adores pimento cheese. Her dish was gorgeous to look at delicious to eat. This was also a lower calorie menu option, so a good choice if you’re watching what you eat.
My son’s adult steakburger was “one of the best burgers I’ve ever had, Mom!”. It was cooked perfectly and served just the way he wanted it — cheese and lettuce only. The fries were seasoned, but were seasoned so that they appealed to both kids and adults. We hate it when a restaurants tries to make fries for adults only with fancy seasoning. When it comes to fries, I’m still a kid at heart. Keep them simple. Which is just what LongHorn did.
I had the Harvest Mushroom Filet. My filet was perfectly cooked. I loved the variety of mushrooms that topped the steak — shitake, cremini and oyster mushrooms — each has such a distinctive texture. The “gravy” or sauce was a hearty red wine bordelaise. It was very good as well – for me the sauce was just a little too salty, but it didn’t detract from the overall taste of the dish.
You can re-create this dish at home. Here’s a recipe for the Roasted Mushrooms:
- 1⁄4 cup of oyster mushrooms, peeled
- 1⁄4 cup of shiitake mushrooms, stem removed and sliced
- 1⁄2 cup of cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 4 filets, grilled
- 1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup of red wine bordelaise sauce (store-bought or from scratch, recipe below)
- Peel the oyster mushroom cluster and stem, then discard the center remaining cluster. Stems
- can be left on the mushroom.
- Combine trio of mushrooms with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and mix.
- Transfer mixture to a foil lined sheet try into a flat layer.
- Cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or when olive oil starts to bubble slightly. Set aside.
- Add mushrooms to bordelaise sauce and let warm.
- Spoon mushroom mixture over expertly grilled filets.
If you’d like to make the Red Wine Bordelaise Sauce, I can’t insert another cool recipe card, but here’s how you make that:
My filet was served with a potato & leek au gratin – YUM – potatoes, leeks, cheese and bacon? How can you possibly go wrong?
My husband had a Rocky Top Chicken Sandwich with fresh broccoli. He devoured it and wouldn’t share, so I’d say that he enjoyed it. He said the broccoli was absolutely perfect (something I clearly haven’t mastered!).
Throughout the entire meal, the service was just amazing. In addition to Tonya taking such great care of us, we spoke to the manager as well. She was just so super nice. She really wanted to make sure that we enjoyed our time in the restaurant. I loved the thoughtful questions both asked of me and my family.
Overall, we were all pleasantly surprised with our dinner. Since our daughter became a vegetarian, we typically avoid steakhouses, because, well, they’re steakhouses and while I adore steak, finding something special for her to have isn’t always the easiest. We were impressed that LongHorn had clearly taken the time to develop a nicely represented menu.
Well done, LongHorn! We’re sure to be back!
Diclaimer: LongHorn Steakhouse did send us a gift card to use towards our meal along with a sampling of spices to try at home. Thank you!