Now for those of you who take that to mean I've somehow jetted off to Australia since yesterday's post, let me enlighten you. The Outback is an Australian themed chain restaurant where the decor and the menu choices make use of just about every possible antipodean stereotype from a drink called a Wallaby Darned (excellent by the way) to Aussie fries (not so excellent).
You can try the Alice Springs Chicken Quesadilla, a portion of Kookaburra Wings or take a chance on the Walkabout Soup Of The Day. If you want to be around to bounce some grandchildren on your knee, stay away from the Bloomin' Onion. It'll kill ya faster than you can say 'bypass surgery.' A box of deep fried Mars bars would be a healthy option by comparison.
As for the desserts, no one with a lisp should attempt Sydney's Sinful Sundae and no one from Weight Watchers should even look at a photo of the Chocolate Thunder From Down Under or else that's exactly where they'll end up.
Once inside the restaurant, you notice they use the same light bulb supplier as Motel 6. Thank God my phone comes with a torch app as otherwise I'd not have been able to order anything. I'm all for a cozy, intimate atmosphere when I eat out but I'd also like to make it to my booth without skittling a bunch of seniors standing in line for the rest rooms. Having said that, once your eyes become accustomed to the 'subdued' lighting, you can find your cutlery and napkin with only a few minutes of groping around the table top.
We were eating at Sebringtime which means having our evening meal just after 5pm. Having visited Spain and Italy where often the restaurants didn't even open till 8pm, I have to think a Mediterranean visitor would be a bit bemused by this early supper time. As a reward, we were able to peruse the 'early bird' menu where the prices and portions were cut down versions from the main menu....which was also available.
I ordered the 6oz sirloin steak with a baked potato. In fact as the steak came with 2 sides, I ordered TWO baked potatoes.....one to take home. I'd made up my mind not to take a photo of the plate when it came as I always seem to be posting food photos to Facebook and Twitter and I'd hate to give the impression I'm a lardy ass. Which I am. It's not an impression.
When my meal did arrive, I realised I couldn't have taken a photo anyway as my phone camera doesn't have a macro setting. The steak MAY have been 6ozs before it was cooked, but the little brown wedge of meat on my plate had obviously disliked being grilled so much that it had shrivelled into a nubbin. If I'd had a surgeon's scalpel, I could maybe have cut off such skin thin slices as to make the meal last longer than it actually did.
But with my standard Outback hacking knife, I sliced off one bite sized chunk of meat, wrapped it in some fluffy potato and as I put this combo to my mouth, I glanced back at the steak on my plate and it was half gone already ! This would be the quickest meal I'd ever ate since my boarding school days when food never stayed around long enough to even GET to a plate.
I made thinner slices and used more potato after that and managed to make the meal last just long enough for our server to come and say.......
"And how is...oh.....was......everything with your meal ?"
But really it was fine. For health reasons alone, I don't need to eat as much as I have been known to eat in the past and it was good to leave the table still slightly hungry.
Mind you, I'd eaten my take home potato before we reached the truck !