THE EATBEAT: Expect leftovers when you visit Texas RoadhouseMore than half of the customers at Texas Roadhouse on 32nd Avenue South, leave with white, plastic boxes of leftover food. And the leftovers I took home seemed almost better the second time around.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
More than half of the customers at Texas Roadhouse on 32nd Avenue South, leave with white, plastic boxes of leftover food.
And the leftovers I took home seemed almost better the second time around. At home, I finished off a portion of barbecued ribs for lunch the next day, along with one of the sort of square buns served with an irresistible honey-cinnamon butter.
On weekdays as well as weekends, Texas Roadhouse gets rolling early — mostly because of weekday dining starts at 4:30 p.m. and features a 6-ounce sirloin for $8.99.
The large parking lot was almost full by 5 p.m. on a recent Saturday. With Donna McEnroe (DM), I perused the menu. I followed her lead when she ordered the ribs. DM is an accomplished cook and usually knows what is good.
This was an excellent choice (at $12.95 without beverages). The ribs were indeed “fall-off-the-bone” tender. And they were tasty. DM was impressed with the house salad that is one of the choices for side dishes. There was also an unusual white gravy — sort of old-fashioned — to use with the mashed potatoes. The green beans I chose along with a baked potato were good. They would have tasted better to me if they were served plain without the flavoring.
The food, overall, was good. The service was excellent. The whole staff, including our server Evan Narog, was smiling and friendly. They are quick to say they love their jobs. Leif Henning, an assistant manager, says the staff at the Roadhouse works harder than most.
Texas Roadhouse has an entryway that was uncomfortably congested when we came in and when we went out. However, our wait was short.
We noticed a sign saying, “Texas Roadhouse does not cash checks. However, we accept cash, timber, cattle, horses and camels.”
There’s a large window near the entry that gives customers a view of the big, busy kitchen. There, the meat is cut, and the potatoes are peeled. The lettuce is chopped daily for the salads. The restaurant has a full and part-time staff of 30 in the kitchen and another 70 to 80 in the dining areas.
The place is informal with a rustic roadhouse theme and a bar in the center — enclosed within a rail and a step up. There are pails of peanuts, a trademark of Texas Roadhouse. And customers may have all they want.
Texas Roadhouse is a busy and bustling place with people coming and going to the booths and tables. The music is loud. The rest rooms are marked with “Outhouse” signs. The women’s rest room was orderly and clean — a good sign that there is attention to cleanliness.
There are more than 300 Texas Roadhouses in the country. A few of them, including Grand Forks, serve walleye. And it gets good reviews.
Texas Roadhouse is a relatively new restaurant concept. The first one was opened in 1993 at Clarksville, Ind., by Kent Taylor.
Local managers are also involved in ownership. Jason Hill has been in Grand Forks in an owner-partnership since the restaurant opened here six years ago.
3200 32nd Avenue South
Owner-manager: Jason Hill.
Hours: Opens 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday-Sunday; closes 10 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday, 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday.
Call-ahead seating: 746-7427
Report card: Moderate prices. Lively ambience with free peanuts in buckets. Good food. Amenities add up to make Texas Roadhouse one of busiest spots in town. Servers are exceptionally cheery.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com.