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Outback Steakhouse – Kalamazoo

October 13, 2010

  • 4320 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • (269) 342-4329
  • Website
  • Menu

So, it’s been quite a while since J and I have actually eaten out together.  We’ve been so busy with work.  Both of us are doing 12 hour days and in my case, today is the only day off I have in about a week and a half.

Last week, I noticed I had enough points for a rewards card on my credit card.  I started looking to see what restaurants we could get a gift card for.  It had been quite a while since I’ve eaten at an Outback Steakhouse, so that’s what I went with.

The Outback Steakhouse in Kalamazoo is on South Westnedge just north of the intersection with Kilgore.  It’s actually a weird location for a chain restaurant.  There are some local places around it, but places like Outback are usually near a big box store or at least an Interstate.  This one is near neither.

Our plan was to go to lunch when J got home, but when we pulled in to the parking lot around 1:45, it was empty.  They don’t open until 4:00, so we’d have to go back for dinner. 

We ended up having a lot of errands to run today, so by the time we got back to the south side of Kalamazoo, it was exactly 4:00.  We made a quick stop at home to pick up some things then headed to dinner.

Even though the restaurant had just opened five minutes prior to our arrival, we actually weren’t the first customers of the day.  There were at least four other tables already seated by the time a host took us to a booth along the wall that faces Westnedge.

The decor of Outback Steakhouse plays on the theme of a Australian Roadhouse.  The only thing that really makes it Australian is the multiple boomerangs they use as decorations.  Otherwise, it has a very similar to feel to most casual dining chains.

Since we had a $50 gift card, we decided to start with an appetizer.  When we put in our drink orders, we also asked for an order of the Aussie Fries.  I didn’t know it then, but the Aussie Cheese Fries were actually called the “Worst Food in America” by Men’s Health Magazine.  The order is a full plate of heavily seasoned fries with cheese and bacon plus a side of ranch for dipping.  At a whopping 3000 calories per order, we didn’t do ourselves any favors, but they were delicious.  The fries are skin on fries that are seasoned pretty liberally with a salt/pepper mix.  The top of the platter was covered in cheddar cheese and chopped bacon.  Neither of us had really eaten all day, so we polished them off in a hurry.

While we were working on the fries, the waitress also brought out a platter of freshly baked rye bread.  J loved it.  She said it was still warm and the butter just melted as she spread it on.  I eventually had a piece, but I was already getting stuffed, so I wanted to save room for my sandwich.

J was leaning towards the Grilled Chicken on the Barbie, but wanted more than just a chicken breast on a plate.  Instead, she found the Grilled Chicken & Swiss Sandwich.  The sandwich is a seasoned grilled chicken breast with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a honey mustard sauce served on a toasted poppy seed bun.  She was smart enough to cut her sandwich in half before she started because she knew she wasn’t going to eat the whole thing.  She was very pleased with her choice and said the sandwich was delicious.  Instead of fries, she ordered the House Salad as her side which came with really crunch garlic croutons, cheese, onions, and tomatoes.  She ate most of it and was most impressed by the chilled plate that it was served on.  It kept the lettuce really cold.

I was leaning towards a steak but didn’t see two sides that interested me.  I guess I could have gotten a salad…but really?  Me eat salad?  Instead, I opted for the Bacon Cheese Burger.  The burgers at Outback are made with beef tenderloin and the meat actually had the texture of a hand formed patty.  Not sure if it is or not, but it was actually a very loosely packed meat that was cooked to a perfect temperature.  The sandwich also consists of bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo.  I left the last four items off and was very pleased with my sandwich.  Since I really didn’t see anything else on the side items that appealed to me, I stuck with the Aussie Fries.  I only ate a couple of them though because I was so stuffed by then.  The fries were very salty and even more salty than the ones we got with the loaded fries.

After getting a box to pack up the rest of J’s sandwich and my fries, we opened the bill which came out about $28.  We had a $50 gift card so I put that with the bill and am actually pretty excited to have a little over $20 left.  The card is also good at Carrabba’s and while $20 isn’t a lot there, it’s a good start.

Outback Steakhouse was a pretty good experience for us as far as chain restaurants go.  There’s nothing really exciting or unique on the menu other than the Bloomin’ Onion but we both left feeling like we got more than our money’s worth.  We’ve lived almost within walking distance of Outback for a year now and never made it there.  We always joked about going, but not being chain people, never actually went through with it.  The way things have been lately, it was nice just to sit down together for a satisfying meal.  No hassles.   No surprises.

Aussie Cheese Fries

House Salad

Bacon Cheese Burger w/Aussie Fries

Grilled Chicken and Swiss Sandwich

Outback Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Alan Park permalink
    February 1, 2011 10:34 am

    First, I will say that I work at this Outback. I am an assistant manager for the front of house and I also cook in the back of house. Its good to read positive posts about any place. Most people only voice their opinions online if they’ve had a negative experience. As a person who actually takes pride in what I do I really appreciate the good words. The only thing I have to add to your post is that its Honey Wheat bread and not Rye. Also, from the picture it looks like a half order of cheese fries, so your only gettin like 2/3 of the 3000 calories. Not healthy either way, but they are good. Try em with chives next time and tabasco, that’s how I do mine.

    • SW Michigan Dining permalink*
      February 1, 2011 11:28 pm

      I agree…those fries are freakin delicious. Isn’t always the things that are bad for you that taste so good? I would order them again.

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