Saddle up, satiate your Texas-size cravings
When figuring out where to dine out, I love exploring the exotic cuisine or hole-in-the-wall joint that incorporates the best local produce/meat/you-name-it with any dish. However, when you're trying to catch a movie with your "hangry" (hungry + angry) friend and you have barely over an hour to spare, you choose convenience. Texas Roadhouse at 3830 SW Archer Rd. was just close enough to the 35th St. movie theatre in Butler Plaza to fit the bill.
I thought, "A family establishment like this one is always busy, and we are on a time crunch." But as my friend Thomas, image right, parked the car, I followed the wafting aroma of warm, sweet bread rolls to a table without delay. And oh, that sweet cinnamon butter that accompanies those rolls: Let's just say if I could eat anything without worry, I would have devoured nothing but those rolls all night.
Anyway, despite an immediate decision to order a Razzlesnake margarita the size of my face, the meal choice for this food adventurer was not as easy. Described on the Texas Roadhouse website as a "legendary steak restaurant" (seems like a bit of a high claim, but I let it go), the instinctive choice should be steak. Thomas followed suit of that claim-to-fame, but I was stumped. I do love a good steak, but unless I got a smaller, less-choice cut of meat, I was looking to shell out at least $15. I've also had the steak there before, and while tender and typically cooked to my liking, I prefer a home-cooked steak. Nothing personal, Texas Roadhouse.
I ended up ordering the Portobello Mushroom Chicken with a side Caesar salad and sweet potato, image at top of this feature. After a prompt food delivery to the table, intersected with water refills and multiple "Is everything to your liking?" inquiries by the server, we somewhat quickly dined on our meals.
Thomas happily finished his mushroom-covered steak with a side of corn and Caesar salad, but my portobello and gravy-covered chicken wasn't exactly my favorite. I like a more simplistic and styled approach to meals, so having chicken smothered in sauce was not my idea of that. Also, for an enjoyable dining experience, I don't equate bigger with better, and there was a lot of chicken and sauce on the plate. Nevertheless, the chicken was moist with a slight smoky aftertaste from grilling, which gave me a comforting sense of being at a family barbeque. Although I do love that cinnamon butter, the sweet potato was drowning in it, unfortunately, and the potato skin was a bit charred.
Menu items, such as Tater Skins, Country Fried Chicken and Rattlesnake Bites, led me to believe that this restaurant was all country at heart, but it is not particularly original. The service, however, is always friendly and prompt, and the food has always been prepared relatively well, even if it is not the most unique. Also, you can throw peanut shells on the floor, and we were only 5 minutes late to the movie, so I really can't complain.
The Pluses and Minuses of Texas Roadhouse:
Texas Roadhouse PLUS (+) indicators: Tasty food, friendly and speedy service, addictive bread rolls.
Texas RoadhouseMINUS (-) indicators: A standard steakhouse experience (this may be a "pro" for some)
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- Phone Number: 377-2820
- Address: 3830 SW Archer Rd., Gainesville, FL
- Urban GLOB Location: Archer Road
- Web Site: Texas Roadhouse
- Latitude: 29.620935
- Longitude: -82.380019