I think the people who work at Texas Roadhouse are out to get me. I am not quite sure what I have done to incur their wrath, but there is definitely some sort of plot to destroy my Epicurean happiness. Maybe I tipped less than my usual 20% one day. Maybe my request for extra rolls and cinnamon butter came at a bad time. Maybe my changing the standard side dishes to ones that I actually enjoy made extra work for them. I don’t know what I have done to wrong them, but it seems wrong them I have.
Not that I’m really a fan of Texas Roadhouse. When I was in college there was definitely a draw. We could get a huge meal, including all of the yummy rolls and scrumptious cinnamon butter we could eat for a really reasonable price. It was steak, granted cheap steak, which was quite the luxury in those days. It was fancy dining to us and it didn’t break our budget. As I’ve gotten older and can afford actual food that is tasty, I have come to realize it is adequate at best. Unfortunately, there is one less than 10 minutes from my house. Even worse for me, my husband really likes their ribs. They also have a pretty quick carry-out and with a small baby who is in bed by 7:30, we often have to miss our weekly trip out to eat and settle on a to go order.
I first became suspicious that the Roadhouse was out to get me during an actual dine in experience. I wasn’t having the best of days, so I was actually excited about dinner there because a giant margarita was promised to me if I went. Before I’d even had the chance to order it though, the Roadhouse launched a sneak attack. As I unrolled my silverware to slather up a roll with that ooey-gooey melty butter, two bugs jumped out and skittered across our table. I was very proud of myself for not screaming. Our waitress, however, let out a rather high pitched yelp. She apologized profusely and took off to get a manager.
Now, I realize that anywhere there are large quantities of food, especially uneaten food that gets thrown into wastebaskets or down disposals, there are going to be bugs. I was grossed out, yes, but not really annoyed. I didn’t actually get annoyed until the manager came over, looked at us expectantly and asked us what the problem was. I felt stupid telling him about the bugs. Our waitress witnessed the event, and I wasn’t sure why she didn’t just tell him. Once I told the story, he also apologized and offered to comp our meal. Although I was a little more wary of eating there, my husband was thrilled at the prospect of ordering whatever he wanted on the house. We did not take advantage of it (although he did get a full slab of ribs) and ate a rather uneventful, and thankfully insect free meal.
This incident on its own would not have been enough for me to call conspiracy on them. It wasn’t until last week’s dinner that I started to smell a rat.
We had to call for carry-out because I’d gotten home later than expected. I didn’t actually even want to go out. I had tasty homemade soup all ready to be heated up. My husband did not want soup. He wanted ribs and pouted until I gave in (which didn’t take long). I called in the order while my husband gave our son his bottle. I got my usual, the sirloin tips. They are one of the lightest items on the menu and they come with some tasty grilled veggies. As usual, the host asked if I wanted gravy. I told him no, but added I would like both the mushrooms and onions that can be ordered as sides. Since the gravy usually comes as part of the mushroom/onion package, I reminded him that I didn’t want the gravy. He read back my order to me (steak tips, a cup of chili and steamed veggies) and made a point to say no gravy.
When my husband brought our food home, I knew something was amiss. My steak tips weren’t on their usual platter. Instead, they were in a little styrofoam cup with none of the usual grilled peppers, but covered in gravy. I sighed and opened the other four containers. One was my chili, which looked tasty. The next one was a cup full of mushrooms, also covered in gravy. Then there was a cup of onions, once again covered in gravy. The final container was a mixture of both mushrooms and onions (which still baffles me) and guess what it was covered in? That’s right, more gravy. The only item that did not have gravy on it was the bowl of mashed potatoes that I didn’t even ordered. The receipt clearly said they were to have no gravy on them.
I just about cried. I am not a gravy fan and I’m trying to diet. It was already after 8 pm (I go to bed by 10) and going to get another order would take at least 30 minutes and my husband’s food getting cold. I called the Roadhouse to complain (something I rarely do) and after talking to five different people and waiting on hold for close to 10 minutes, I got a manager who pulled up my ticket, saw I wasn’t lying, apologized and promised to put a coupon in the mail for a free dinner.
A week has gone by and although I’ve already gotten replacements for my Netflix movies I sent out on Saturday, I haven’t gotten my Roadhouse voucher yet. I have a sneaking suspicion this is yet another cruel joke it is playing on me.
Tonight when my husband threw out ideas for our usual Thursday night out, the Roadhouse was one of the first. I shot it down quickly. This time I would have probably gotten gravy covered bugs.