LongHorn is another restaurant in the Darden group, which includes the Olive Garden, Red Lobster and the Capital Grille. Longhorn is on the level of Outback Steakhouse; lower quality steaks, larger portions and more family and wallet friendly.
This location is in good shape, unlike the outdated place in Hollywood. The dining room is big and decorated with all sorts of Texas related stuff. The bar area is busy and not a great place to eat.
I opted for the dining room. As is typical, at 2:30pm in a largely empty restaurant, they tried to seat me at a small table in front of the kitchen. "How about a big booth?", "Whatever you want", he said sarcastically. "Are you expecting a big crowd at 3 or something?". I grabbed a big booth and settled in.
They play what I call cowboy music; not country western. There's no Shania Twain or George Strait. This is Toby Keith and Lonestar. Chain ambiance. There's also no bread at lunch.
My server was sluggish; when he finally got me an Iced Tea, I ordered the Wild West Shrimp and the the 7oz Filet with green bean. They call is "Flo's Filet", but I have no idea who Flo is. He asked if I was in a hurry, because they'd come out together if he didn't put them in separately. I told him I wasn't.
It was 10 minutes before they came out.
If you've never been to Longhorn; these are the best thing on the menu. Crispy shrimp, or popcorn shrimp if you ask me, with hot cherry peppers and a crazy good garlicky sauce. I really shouldn't have ordered the steak; these shrimp and a cup of soup or salad is more than enough for lunch. These babies are addictive. One advantage of chains is that there is some sharing of ideas; These are very similar to the Calamari at Capital Grille; and they cost several dollars less at $8.99. It's a good sized portion for that price.
The steak was paced about right, it came out just as I was about done with the shrimp.
Not a very impressive presentation. I don't know why they can't give you a potato and vegetable, but they don't and they're not too generous with the beans. I sliced into the steak; it was certainly tender. Unfortunately it wasn't quite medium rare; it needed another minute.
It looked like they cooked it for about 2 minutes on each side on a grill that wasn't very hot. How hard is it to get a 1/2" steak right? I didn't send it back. Another disappointment is that they still have the 1980 salt and pepper shakers, so no fresh ground pepper. They put can pepper in the grinder, which is really lame.
The Filet just doesn't have enough taste to stand alone. I asked for some butter for the beans, and used it with the leftover sauce from the shrimp to make a sauce. Much better with the sauce. I should have ordered a burger or even the sirloin. I should have known better than to order a filet here.
$28. for a filet lunch with an appetizer. Not cheap, but not bad either.