Saturday, October 18, 2014

Longhorn Steakhouse at Rookwood Pavilion

Think of it as a warm club, 
professionally run, with quality, affordable food

The Featured Steaks
     We don’t go to steakhouses very much and we usually avoid chain restaurants, but the Longhorn Steakhouse at Rookwood Pavilion changed our minds.  It was one of the first
in the region and many of the staff members have worked there for more than a dozen years.  We visited there recently with some other bloggers and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The Interior at Longhorn Steakhouse Rookwood Pavilion
     The interior was spotless with different dining areas, which lends a sense of intimacy.  Wood paneling, Western prints, lower ceilings, and carpeting gave it a sense of a quiet club.  The service was friendly, informed, and willing to go the extra mile especially in terms of refilling drinks and boxing leftovers.  Yes, they knew we were going to visit and they smartly provided the best servers, but diners around the restaurant acted in a very satisfied manner.

Wild West Shrimp

     We liked the Brew Pub Pretzel Sticks and the Sweet Corn Fritters, though they were a little dense.  The Wild West Shrimp were generously portioned and lightly breaded.  There was a slight spice level along with yellow peppers and jalapeños.  
Spicy Chicken Bites

The Spicy Chicken Bites were extraordinary.  Supposedly, they were battered, but I didn’t taste it.  Instead, they were the freshest, most tender chicken pieces I’ve eaten in a long time with a glistening buffalo sauce.  Any restaurant from pub bar to grand establishment would be proud to list that dish on its menu.

Bleu Ridge Wedge Salad
     The Bleu Ridge Wedge Salad reminded me of Brio’s because it involved lettuce, blue cheese chunks, and diced tomato.  However, I preferred Longhorn’s because they make the dressing almost to order and the big difference was using romaine instead of iceberg.  It was a crisper salad with greater texture.

8 oz. Harvest Mushroom Filet
     We were offered a choice of steaks.  Neil ordered the 8 oz. Harvest Mushroom Filet, which was very tender, while I had the 8 oz. Renegade Sirloin, which tasted really good and is a very good value.  Both were cooked exactly to the specifications our server stated and were obviously quality pieces of meat.  Neither needed the homemade steak sauce with the touch of orange, but we enjoyed it with the second meal we had the next day with the leftovers.  The Mac & Cheese was excellent; I think they use gruyère because there was that rounded taste with an almost citrus-smoky touch.  I liked the Potato & Leek Au Gratin because the vegetables were sliced thin to retain their shape without being mushy.  (We’ve had salmon there in the past and it was also excellent).

Chocolate Stampede and
Pumpkin Spice Lava Cake
     Desserts were enormous and meant to be shared.  The Chocolate Stampede could have fed five people with its layers of cake and mousse.  It was rich and carefully presented.  I preferred the Pumpkin Spice Lava Cake, which is actually a smaller, warm Bundt cake with a gooey cream cheese frosting in the center hole.  Again, it was one to split up and enjoy as a group.  

Longhorn Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

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