No, I didn’t like it… and in fact, I haven’t been back in the four years since I posted this review. I am rehashing it because it was an entertaining review that sparked funny comments. Wish I could import the comments here, but maybe someone will come along and contribute new ones.
Outback Steakhouse… why an Australian themed restaurant makes me passionately miss Europe #1200
Jan 19, 2010 (Updated Feb 2, 2010)
Review by knotheadusc
Recommend this product? No
Vegetarian Friendly: No
Notes, Tips or Menu Recommendations Steak
Best Suited For: Large Group
Here are the comments from that review.
Here are the comments from Epinions. One comes from an Italian native who got a kick out of my rant.
Re: Re: Re: from an OB waitress
“Good on you” for becoming truly sophisticated enough to enjoy the ways of Europe and fine dining in a leisurely manner!
I, too, waited tables as well as tended bar, janitored, hosted, cashiered and even cooked for about 15 years in my early life so I can well appreciate this whole thing about not being rushed from the customer’s side and the table turns from the management side – but there is no question that the European way is so much better.
There, everybody wins! And waiting tables is a noble profession!
Jim Feb 2, 2010
10:35 pm PST
Re: THAT was an excellent lunch!
Yes Bill, European life can begin to redeem even the worst sociopaths…look at me, I am on my way to redemption after only three years in Belgium. And it’s not the Campari with soda on the side. I think it’s the Westmalle beer and the divine chocolate…..Hell, I even stopped harassing the waitresses!
Feb 2, 2010
10:53 am PST
THAT was an excellent lunch!
And, Jung be praised, it was blessed Synchronicity to see those fresh-faced, albeit ignorant, “Sons of Helamin” walking amongst us heathens! That was a fine bottle of wine from the Languedoc…a region well known to all us self-respecting Gnostics!
I did, of course, skip the “liver, fava beans and big Amarone!”. Not much of a sociopath I’m afraid… Feb 2, 2010
10:06 am PST
Re: Re: from an OB waitress (Delete your comment)
We did visit France a few times… and… believe it or not, Bill liked it even more than I did. The sociopathic American soldier is a Francophile! Imagine that! I think it was the wine that did him in, coupled with foods that he loves and I don’t so much.
I think you would have gotten a kick out of watching him at a Parisian restaurant we found for lunch one day. I started with a glass of champagne and a smoked salmon appetizer. He ordered a bottle of lovely red wine from southern France to go with his chicken and mushroom dish. And while we were eating a couple of harried Mormon missionaries walked past our tableside window. Bill had to laugh because he was once a Mormon, though he was never a missionary… and he knew those poor young lads in France would never be able to enjoy a meal like the one we were having that day.
I think when we finished, I had a chocolate dessert, while he had some outstanding coffee and a plate of French cheeses…
Yeah, I’d say we sort of became European snobs! Feb 2, 2010
5:20 am PST
Re: from an OB waitress (Delete your comment)
Yep, that’s what I figured! I used to wait tables too, so I do understand the concept of getting people in and out. And now that I know for sure that’s Outback’s philosophy, I’ll be sure not to go there if I want to enjoy dinner. If I need to eat fast, then I might consider it… the way I’d consider any fast food restaurant. Or I’ll order takeout. Feb 2, 2010
5:13 am PST
Re: from an OB waitress
If I can intrude…honey, you are doing great. Most Americans are quite happy to fill their oversized belly in 45 minutes and get the hell out. They lead busy lives. Jenny has become a decadent European snob: after all those months in Germany (can you imagine if she’d been to France??), she is beginning to sound just like me 🙂
Vic Feb 2, 2010
3:21 am PST
from an OB waitress
Hello! I am a waitress at an Outback Steakhouse and from the looks of it, your server was everything the company trained her to be! Haha. We are told to ALWAYS suggest an alcoholic beverage, recommend upsells (horseradish crumb topping? Like to add stuffed shrimp?), and to ask about dessert halfway through the meal.
Yes, halfway. I too thought that was ridiculous when they emphasized that during training. In fact, I still don’t ask about dessert until I see my tables are finished eating or close to it. I have learned through experience that, though it may slow my rotations, I get better tips if I allow people to eat at their own pace. And it also makes my job that much less frantic. But I digress.
About your waitress hovering, we are told to always check back immediately after each course goes out. The time frame is 2 bites to 2 minutes. So she definitely was on top of that! In fact, you’d be amazed at how precisely the dining experience at Outback is laid out. We have target times from everything from greeting customers to turning tables, and trust me, we are pressured from managers to always speed it up. Right now the average goal is 45 minutes. Feb 1, 2010
10:16 am PST
Re: Re: Re: This was a riot…. (Delete your comment)
;D is a smilie. My name is Jenny. 😉 Jan 25, 2010
7:19 am PST
Re: Re: This was a riot….
if you had waited on me, you would have taken the Campari back to the bar with a smile, and then told the bartender about an as*hole European who’s going to get a Campari in his face if he does not cut it out!
My mission in the US was to teach American bartenders how to serve a Campari, and I must say I have failed after 25 years of efforts.
My mission in Belgium is to teach people how to be nice (and even smile). This isn’t any easier….
Cheers V. Jan 25, 2010
3:34 am PST
Re: I agree! (Delete your comment)
On the flip side, Bill and I have run into some European servers in America who were awesome… and very interesting. Not surprisingly, they worked in fine dining establishments. Jan 21, 2010
2:53 pm PST
You said it right and hit most of the right buttons!
One issue that I really appreciate about dining in Europe is – THE CUSTOMER/DINER IS THE ONE THAT DETERMINES WHEN THE MEAL IF FINISHED – NOT THE WAIT STAFF OR MANAGEMENT.
I hate the feeling of being rushed in order to get their table turns!
I have a slightly different take on the European wait staff. He is right about being able to joke around with American wait staff but I think the difference is the more casual aura in the U.S., where it is more formal in Europe so the kidding and having fun may be frowned upoon as being unprofessional.
I found that if we dined at an off hour and could engage the wait staff in fairly lengthy dialogue, they, too, could be quite interesting and less formal. We learned a lot about the local culture this way as they are quite proud and pleased to share information about their town, their family and local traditions.
Jim Jan 20, 2010
11:34 pm PST
Re: This was a riot…. (Delete your comment)
Vic, somehow I knew I’d hear from you on this issue. Don’t get me wrong. There are some wonderful restaurants in America, complete with excellent food AND free parking. But these damn chain corporate restaurants where everything is done on an assembly line are for the birds.
LOL… If I had waited on you in the USA, I may not have told you to stuff it in words, but you would have surely seen it in the expression on my face. I’m not very good at faking it in ANY situation… one of the many things my husband loves about me.
;D Jan 20, 2010
12:21 pm PST
This was a riot….
you do sound like a snobbish Schicke Deutsche Frau. Indeed, you sound like my German girlfriend when we eat in the US, except she does not possess your colorful vocabulary (not even in German)!
I agree with you, but see, with American waitresses you can have fun: you can correct the spelling on the menu, correct their pronunciation of the (foreign) dishes, which they always butcher, or send back your Campari three times because it’s not correctly prepared. They are good sports, and mostly afraid to argue with you, whereas Europeans tell you to stuff it. I know I am bad, and these people are only doing their job the way their stupid boss tells them to, but that’s me. At least I am having fun…
Indeed the experience where I miss the US the least is…DINING!
Where I miss the US the most is: PARKING!
I wish you plenty of happy parking experiences in Atlanta….:-)