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< Entertainment >

DETROIT RESTAURANT REVIEWS

Ranked #1 on Google & Yahoo!

Outback Steakhouse Caters to it's Customers

by Sheila Franklin
calicutta@hotmail.com

I had never been to an Outback, until a friend told me that they gave great steak. Who could say no? Besides, I am probably the only person in the state of Michigan who has never had a “Bloomin’ Onion”. Off we trekked to the Outback located at 28850 Gratiot Ave. in Roseville. There is usually a waiting period so we actually made reservations, but since it was mid-week, there was really no problem getting a table.

Unless you are a smoker. The rules are different there. You can wait at the bar and the tables are first come, first serve. Good thing my two dining companions are on the gregarious side. Even our bartender kept an eye out for us, so we managed to snatch one fairly quickly. Our server was also very amiable and allowed us to linger and chat even after our meal.

That “Bloomin Onion” was indeed tasty, but also deep-fried, which I tend to shy away from. We also received a small loaf of fresh, warm bread with whipped butter so that we would have something else to chew on while we awaited our salads and main courses.

We each ordered a steak, which are typically priced from $14.99 up to $19.49, depending on cut and size. These entrees come with soup or salad, one side dish, and portions that are not as outrageous as some restaurants offer these days. Even so, my baked potato was “loaded” because I requested it that way, so I got the usual butter and sour cream in addition to bacon and chives and cheese. I ordered a smaller cut rib-eye, and still had leftovers by the end of our meal.

At one point, one of us commented about the pins on a bus person’s shirt. He explained that they got them by simply being nice to customers and the rule is that you have to compliment the employee directly through the manager. So my friend calls over Dave (the manager) and tells him how good the busser is, our server is, even our bartender. It was a veritable pinfest. We even met the owner who was just downright happy to be there.

I returned with my boyfriend the final night of the playoffs between the Tigers (go Tigers!) and Oakland. We again went to the bar to wait for a smoking table and see the end of the game. We were greeted at the door by two, count ‘em two, hostesses, who literally opened the doors for us. This appears to be the key to the Outback franchise, super-nice employees who for the most part are very happy campers and work there for years.

We got a table after the game, because you just can’t unseat a Tiger’s fan when it is the bottom of the 9th and a tied score during the (hopefully) last night of the playoffs. Needless to say, there was an incredible party when our beloved Tigers earned the right to play in The Word Series.

Our server, Geoff, was most gracious. He not only served us and all his other Tiger’s fans, he kept checking on us to ensure that we had everything we needed. This time I requested a smaller steak off the children’s menu, which they allow for us smaller eaters. The steak was tasty, albeit more of the medium category then the medium rare that I had requested. My boyfriend even ordered desert which was excessively decadent but yummy nonetheless.

During our meal, Geoff slowed down long enough to further explain the Outback philosophy. At the ancient age of 22, he has already been employed there for 6 years. Although he does not plan on making a career of waitering, he stays because they accommodate his college schedule and says they are one big happy family. Geoff has his fair share of pins to prove his point. He also says they get compensated monetarily for being “Employee of the Month”. In a world where most people only earn minimum wage, this is truly a good thing.

To sum it all up, Outback truly does cater to people and is a welcome respite from restaurants that literally turn down the heat so that you will eat and leave quickly. So if an ambience of good people and good food is what you seek, we’ll meet you there during the World Series. Ask for Geoff and perhaps we can earn him another pin.

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AMERICAJR NETWORK :: COACH'S CORNER PRO SHOP :: SAND CREEK RECORDS :: LIFE MADE EASY