Chances are, no matter where you’re from or where you live (at least in the U.S.), you’ve heard of Texas Roadhouse. The popular chain restaurant doesn’t just have devoted fans throughout the Lone Star State, but really, all over the United States. Seriously, there are even Texas Roadhouses in New Jersey, so everyone can get a taste of what the beloved chain steakhouse has to offer.
But, as is the case with just about every chain restaurant, Texas Roadhouse has some menu items that really aren’t worth ordering. Sure, the restaurant isn’t over-priced, but still, if you want to get your money’s worth and eat the best that Texas Roadhouse has to offer, then you should probably steer clear of certain menu items. On the other hand, the casual eatery also has some tried and true dishes that you should definitely give a chance. So, whatever you’re craving when you order or eat at Texas Roadhouse, here are the best and worst menu items. You’re welcome.
14. The ribs aren’t what Texas Roadhouse is famous for
Listen, there are a few hard and fast rules that pertain to eating at a chain restaurant. First, if the restaurant is known for its pizza and pasta, don’t order the burger. Such is the case with the ribs at Texas Roadhouse. Sure, they might sound delicious, but these aren’t the baby back ribs you’re going to get at Chili’s, and you can bet your boots there’s no catchy jingle for the ribs at Texas Roadhouse, either.
As one eater wrote on TripAdvisor, "the ribs were burnt and overcooked and inedible." Yikes. Ribs should pretty much always be fall-off-the-bone tender, and juicy. So overcooked is not what you want from your ribs. But that’s not the only reason you should steer clear of the ribs at Texas Roadhouse. According to Eat This, Not That!, the full rack of ribs at Texas Roadhouse is literally the least healthy menu item. As nutrition expert Kelli McGrane MS, RD told the publication, the ribs "are over 1,400 calories and contain more than 40 grams of saturated fat. They’re also very high in sodium and thanks to the BBQ sauce, the ribs also contain 10 grams of sugar." So yeah, definitely avoid the ribs when you eat at Texas Roadhouse, and you can thank us later.
13. The pulled pork might be the worst thing to order at Texas Roadhouse
When you dine out at Texas Roadhouse, there are a few menu items that probably stick out. For any barbeque lover, the temptation of pulled pork might be enough to cause you to forgo your initial thought of ordering steak or chicken and appease the BBQ fiend you know you are. That would be a mistake. The pulled pork at Texas Roadhouse might just be one of the worst things you could order there.
Whether you get the pulled pork dinner, or the pulled pork sandwich, you’ll likely be disappointed. Sure, they might look good on paper, and they might even smell good, smothered in all that sweet and smoky barbeque sauce. But underneath that shiny, greasy exterior is a bland menu choice that really isn’t great at all. In fact, in one Trip Advisor review of a Texas Roadhouse, the user described the utter disappointment that they were served alongside their pulled pork. "The three of us eating would agree that the pulled pork barbecue was not fit for human consumption. We requested a carryout, and our three dogs were even reluctant to eat it." Ouch. That’s definitely not what you want from a pulled pork dinner: something dogs won’t even eat.
12. The Cactus Blossom at Texas Roadhouse is overrated
Oh, blooming onions. The giant, head-sized appetizer dish that people fawn over at other chain restaurants also has a counterpart at Texas Roadhouse, dubbed the Cactus Blossom. According to the Texas Roadhouse menu, the item is described as a "Texas-sized onion, golden-fried and served with Cajun Horseradish sauce for dipping." As delicious as a giant friend onion sounds, it’s really not that great, and definitely not worth choosing over the other appetizer options.
Not only is the onion a real mess to eat, covered in grease with little fried batter pieces that go everywhere, but it’s seriously unhealthy. According to Eat This, Not That!, the fried onion has more calories than a person might eat in an entire day. And that’s before the sauce, which brings us to another point. One food blogger also noted that the actual onion itself was fine, but that the dipping sauce was "pretty gross." So, save your calories for another menu item, or even a dessert. But whatever you do, avoid the Cactus Blossom, it’s not as good as it looks.
11. The prime rib isn’t your best bet at Texas Roadhouse
Perhaps one of the fanciest items you can order at any steak house, aside from a filet mingion of course, is the prime rib. Normally prime rib is rich, tender, and totally delectable. But at Texas Roadhouse, it’s a mess on a plate. Yes, the menu item might be cheaper at Texas Roadhouse than at fancier steak houses, but there might just be a reason for that.
According to one Trip Advisor user, the prime rib they ordered during their visit to the restaurant was less than satisfactory. "Ordered the 12 oz prime rib, and received 8 oz of fat and 4 oz of meat! Worst prime rib I’ve ever eaten," the user wrote. Now, the secret to a great steak lies in the marbling of fat all along the meat. But for a prime rib to be entirely fat is just gross. So, when you head to Texas Roadhouse, stick to another cut of meat if you’re feeling especially carnivorous that day. Because the prime rib ain’t it, y’all.
10. The Texas Roadhouse steak fries can be a bit much
One of the most common side dishes at any restaurant, fast-food or not, are french fries. And a lot of times, if you don’t specify what sides you want with your meal, especially if that meal is a burger or chicken tenders, you’ll just get french fries automatically. And that’s the case at Texas Roadhouse. The chain restaurant might have a ton of delectable side dishes to choose from, but if you don’t specify what you want, you’ll probably get fries. Of course, you might actually want fries, because who doesn’t love a good french fry? But at Texas Roadhouse, the fries are so not what you should order.
The fries at Texas Roadhouse are called steak fries, which are typically thicker and bigger than the normal fast food fries you’re probably accustomed to. Some people love steak fries, so you might be excited to give them a whirl, but at Texas Roadhouse, you shouldn’t get too excited. In fact, a secret dinning experience reported by Lancaster Online discovered that while the "steak done perfectly and the shrimp were delectable," the other part of the meal wasn’t all that great. "The steak fries, however, tasted like they were rolled in salt," the Lancaster Online reported. If you eat out at Texas Roadhouse, just avoid the steak fries, there are plenty of other side options to choose from.
9. The Texas Roadhouse steaks might be overcooked or too salty
Obviously, if you go to Texas Roadhouse, there’s a good chance you might want a good steak while you’re there. It’s one of the main things that Texas Roadhouse is known for, but as any steak connoisseur knows, nailing a steak can be a tricky balance. You don’t want to overcook it, but at a restaurant, you also can’t undercook it. You want enough fat, but not too much fat. You want it seasoned well and full of flavor, but not overly seasoned. In short, steaks are hard to do well, but still, at Texas Roadhouse, they’re pretty bad.
One look at the Yelp reviews for a Texas Roadhouse location, and it becomes clear that the famous chain restaurant has yet to nail the perfect steak, at least not consistently. As one reviewer for the site noted, "I ordered a rare steak and it came back medium well." Oof. Another reviewer described the steaks as "salty," and another claimed that "the steaks are so tough they’re hard to cut." Yeah, that’s just about the opposite of what you expect when you head to a restaurant known for its delicious steak.
8. The burgers aren’t the best Texas Roadhouse option
There really is nothing quite like a delicious, big, juicy burger. Seriously, who doesn’t love a good burger every now and then? But if you’re craving a hamburger, Texas Roadhouse probably isn’t the place to go. The fan-favorite steakhouse has plenty to offer, and while their burgers might look tempting, try a sandwich instead.
If you’re doubtful that the Texas Roadhouse burgers aren’t up to par, then perhaps this Trip Advisor review will convince you. "To start off, we couldn’t order the hamburgers cooked medium or medium rare," the user wrote. "The coldest temperature was medium well. What we were served were two very well done hockey pucks seasoned with way too much salt." Um, gross. And to top it off, the burgers are one of the most unhealthy menu items you can order from Texas Roadhouse. Specifically, nutrition expert Kelli McGrane MS, RD, told Eat This, Not That!, that the burger has "1,200 calories and 33 grams of saturated fat." Additionally, "It also exceeds your daily recommended sodium limit," McGrane added. So, if you order the burger from Texas Roadhouse, you’ll be severely disappointed and bloated
7. The baked potatoes at Texas Roadhouse will fill you up
As with most steakhouses, Texas Roadhouse offers a large variety of side dishes to accompany your main course. There’s rice, corn, salads, and a ton of different vegetables. But there’s also a few different kinds of potatoes to go along with your meal, including fries, a baked sweet potato, mashed potatoes, and a loaded baked potato. And that loaded baked potato might just be one of the best things on the menu, believe it or not.
According to Business Insider, the baked potato really has no place on the side dish menu, as it was so filling on its own. "It really was fully loaded," the publication reported of their own meal featuring a baked potato. "Warm, soft, and incredibly cheesy, this baked potato was a satisfying dish all on its own. I would probably choose mashed potatoes for my side next time, but I’d eat the baked potato by itself." Okay, yum. A baked potato might not sound like a full meal, but everything is bigger at Texas Roadhouse.
6. The Texas Roadhouse salads are surprisingly delicious
You might not think of a salad when you think of a place like Texas Roadhouse, but as it turns out, the salad is truly one of the best things you can order at the chain restaurant. Specifically, the Chicken Critter Salad is not only delicious, but also pretty healthy. Well, as healthy as you would expect from a restaurant salad.
As one Trip Advisor wrote in a review, the Chicken Critter Salad really took them by surprise. "First of all it is huge and has a delicious combo of things in it," the restaurant goer wrote. "I found that the best dressing to bring out the flavors of the chicken tenders and egg and bacon etc. is the honey mustard. I don’t know if they make their own dressings or not but it is tasty and goes well on this salad." Additionally, nutrition expert Kelli McGrane told Eat This, Not That!, that the Chicken Critter Salad is the healthiest salad option at Texas Roadhouse, because "it’s the lowest in calories and saturated fat," McGrane said. The salads at Texas Roadhouse are seriously delicious, and won’t wreck your diet, which is always a plus.
5. Texas Roadhouse’s Rattlesnake Bites are addicting
You truly haven’t lived until you’ve had a jalapeno popper. The beloved appetizer is well-known across all of Texas, and beyond. There are a few varieties of the jalapeno popper, some are just jalapenos and cheese deep fried, and others are wrapped in bacon. But whatever kind you get, a jalapeno popper will always satisfy. And at Texas Roadhouse, the restaurant’s take on jalapeno poppers are called Rattlesnake Bites, and they’re addicting. Per the restaurant’s menu, they are "Diced jalapeños and jack cheese, hand-battered, lightly-fried and served with Cajun Horseradish sauce for dipping."
Obviously, the description alone should be enough to convince you that the Rattlesnake Bites are worth ordering. But if you need more proof, then just check out this review on Trip Advisor: "This is an appetizer similar to jalapeño poppers served with a horseradish dip!!! Killer good food!" The reviewer even went on to say that they thought the Rattlesnake Bites were better than the steak! If that isn’t all the reason you need to try the appetizer, then nothing is. They may just be an appetizer, but the Rattlesnake Bites at Texas Roadhouse are truly out of this world.
4. The Texas Roadhouse fried pickles are amazing
Oh, Texas Roadhouse. The chain restaurant might offer a ton of great entrées and combo meals, but the real stars of the show tend to be the appetizers. Obviously, not every appetizer at the down-home joint is great, but the fried pickles will leave you totally satisfied and happy with your choice. They sound simple, just a "Basket of pickle chips hand-battered, golden-fried and served with Ranch or Cajun Horseradish sauce for dipping," per the Texas Roadhouse menu, but the fried pickles are so delicious and perfect, you’ll want to eat the entire basket by yourself.
As one Trip Advisor user wrote, the appetizer was super tasty. "Very flavorful fried sliced pickles in crispy crust," the user described. Of course, pickles can be a controversial food item on their own, but even if you’ve never been a fan of plain pickles, you should still give fried pickles a try. You never know, they might just become a new favorite.
3. The salmon at Texas Roadhouse might surprise you
There are a lot of ways a restaurant can mess up salmon. From overcooking it, undercooking it, turning it into a rubbery mess, or even not properly removing the skin or bones, salmon can seem like a gamble when eating out. But, it’s not a huge gamble when you eat at Texas Roadhouse. Because despite the fact that Texas Roadhouse is a steakhouse, the salmon is delectable.
The dish is incredibly popular with fans of the steakhouse chain on social media. One Texas Roadhouse fan on Twitter called it their "all time favorite" while another patron said that they could eat the dish every day. While fish might not exactly be what you initially think of when you head to Texas Roadhouse, you shouldn’t discount the salmon if you ever find yourself at the beloved steakhouse. After all, trying new things is part of the fun in eating out, right?
2. The chicken fried steak at Texas Roadhouse is to die for
If you’re from the South, or spent any amount of time in the region, you probably know just how delicious a chicken fried steak can be. A tender, juicy slab of sirloin steak, deep fried to perfection and dripping in grease and gravy. It’s truly an edible masterpiece and Southern comfort food you need to try. And the Country Fried Sirloin at Texas Roadhouse is the perfect example of that. As the menu describes it, the entrée is a "Hand-battered, fresh-cut sirloin served crispy and golden, topped with made-from-scratch cream gravy."
According to a Trip Advisor user, "This steak is called fried sirloin on the menu, but is what I consider to be chicken fried steak. I am a native Texan and have had many chicken fried steaks and this is the best one I have ever had!" The user also went on to describe how delicious the gravy was that topped the sirloin, so you can bet that the entire meal will be totally scrumptious.
1. Texas Roadhouse’s free rolls and butter are famous for a reason
If there is one thing that Texas Roadhouse is known for, it’s the free rolls and butter that come to your table while you’re waiting to order and receive your food and drinks. Seriously, just Google "Texas Roadhouse rolls" and pages and pages of results will show you a ton of copycat recipes to make your own rolls at home, because people just love them that much. But don’t just take our word for it.
A review on Business Insider claimed that while the rolls were fine, it was the combination of the rolls and the special cinnamon butter that made the combination so perfect. "The buns were slightly oily and crispy on the outside," according to Business Insider. "By themselves, they weren’t all that special … However, they were clearly created to be married to the lightly sweet and slightly spiced cinnamon butter." If there’s one thing you simply must try at Texas Roadhouse, it’s the rolls and butter. And go ahead and ask for a second order, you’ll need it.