Friday, October 12, 2012

Outback Steakhouse Small Plates

Last night (thanks to Yelp) I had the opportunity to check out the new Out Front Bar experience at Outback Steakhouse. One of only two Outback Steakhouses in the country to offer this concept, the location on Sheldon Road instantly proved that they are a different restaurant than the Outback I grew up with. I have a soft spot for Outback Steakhouse and change is something I have a problem with. This change, I will take.

We were warmly greeted by the Outback staff, who told us this was their first event of this kind. 50+ Elite Yelpers showed up excited to try out the new small plate concept. This concept was a home run. The menu consists of small plates ranging from $6-$9 and dessert lollipops (cake pops) for $2. Outback offers pitchers for two of their specialty cocktails, Wild Tea and a Down Under Tiki Punch. The small plate concept is designed for sharing multiple appetizers at a fraction of full portion pricing. With multiple long communal tables, it is perfectly designed for an after hours happy hour or a fun night out with friends. Another awesome concept at this restaurant was the cooking station above the bar. It had three mirrors, which gave a cooking show demonstration feel. You can watch your food being made while throwing back some cocktails.

Our Yelp menu of the evening:

We started off with two drinks - Gabe ordered the Sangria which was made with Moscato. It was a little sweet for my liking. For those who prefer sweet cocktails, this will be right up your ally.
Sangria
I ordered the cucumber margarita, with muddled cucumbers, agave, fresh basil, citrus juices and Patron. You know I love cucumber cocktails and I was happy that Outback is following this trend. If I could change one thing about this drink, I would have had a spicy or flavored salt rim, like the cucumber margarita at Epcot. It would take this delicious cocktail to the next level.
Cucumber Margarita
The first small plate we tried was the Beef Wellington. I love beef wellington but it is normally such a heavy dish so I wont order it out. This small portion consisted of woodgrilled filet mignon in a puff pastry with mushrooms and sauteed spinach. This was perfect amount to satisfy my Beef Wellington craving without making me feel guilty.
Beef Wellington
Followed by the Diablo. Hello Diablo. You were my favorite of the night. Wood grilled sirloin skewers over a croistini and a pepper steak sauce that was to die for. Whatever they put in that sauce, I would like to know so I can copy cat this recipe. It had some heat, but not too spicy.
Diablo
Out next was hand breaded chicken bites. I will be honest, when I saw this on the menu, I wasn't excited. Then the plate came out and surprisingly  this was my second favorite dish of the night. It was perfectly breaded and seasoned. It reminded me of the batter from a Bloomin Onion and a chicken nugget had a baby. It was served with a creamy creole sauce.
Our drinks found themselves empty around this time, so we ordered two different cocktails that were offered. Gabe got the Wild Tea, which is available by the pitcher. Absolut Wild Tea, lemon and unsweetened iced tea are the ingredients to this concoction. I finally know what to do w/ that full bottle of Wild Tea sitting under my bar!
Wild Tea
I ordered the Forbidden Fruit Tini. This was a sweet martini that was stronger than you would imagine. Absolut Orient Apple Vodka, St-Germain Elderflower, Agave, white grape juice, lemon, cinnamon sugar and frozen grape garnish. Interesting, sweet, but good.
Forbidden Fruit Tini
Now that we re-hydrated with adult cocktails, out came the Garlic Pepper Shrimp. Good thing, these were spicy. Spicier for my liking. I would give them a second chance as I feel around this time, I had so many things going on inside of my belly that I was losing interest in food.
Garlic Pepper Shrimp
After our mouths cooled down, we tried a Filet Flat Bread which had arugula and caramelized onions.
Filet Flat Bread
And some Steakhouse Short Rib Nachos. This was an awesome dish. Crispy Kettle chips topped with BBQ seasoning, cheddar sauce and beef short ribs. Need I say more?
Finally to top things off, a Slider. It was a baby version of Outbacks famous Cheeseburger. While I love sliders, I prefer mine seared so they are medium rare. This had an excellent sear but were well done. If I could get these cooked Medium rare, I would order them again. How cute are they!
Sliders
Outback, I hope you quickly introduce this menu and concept to your other restaurants.

Outback Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

  1. That is so cool! I LOVE Outback, and would love something like this too. Everything looks so yummy!

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  2. Great recap! Glad my friends could witness someone else taking a picture of every single thing they ate. It's a blogger thing. Although, I managed to delete most of the photos I took that night, d'oh!

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  3. Looks like this was quite the event, and I love the small plate concept. I love being able to try multiple things rather than one big item a lot of the times! I'm kind of glad I didn't end up being able to attend - all those red meat items look amazing and it would have been torture to not be able to have them! Haha!

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