Sometimes, all you want is a good steak. And unless you want to make it at home (which you should totally learn to do), you’ll need to head out to a steakhouse. There are steakhouses of all magnitudes, from the super intimate and exclusive spots that require a reservation months in advance to the everyday steakhouses you’ll see scattered across the suburban landscape. One of the latter is a restaurant you’ve probably been to at least once in your life: LongHorn Steakhouse.
Whatever your opinion of the place, you have to admit that LongHorn Steakhouse does have at least some good food options — if you know what to order, that is. But, as is the truth with many restaurant chains, there are some items on the menu that you’ll want to avoid completely. This could be for several reasons, ranging from being needlessly heavy to just not being that good. Wondering which menu items you should skip the next time you take a trip to LongHorn Steakhouse? Here are some we certainly wouldn’t recommend.
Loaded potato soup
Just because you’re going to a steakhouse for dinner doesn’t mean that you have to have an unhealthy meal. In fact, if you’re looking for something that’s on the healthier side, there are plenty of lighter menu items that you can order at LongHorn Steakhouse. But while you may think that all the restaurant’s soup options would fit into that category, that’s just not the case when it comes to the loaded potato soup.
Is the loaded potato soup delicious? Sure it is. But perhaps that’s because it contains nearly a third of the total amount of fat you should have in an entire day — and that’s just for a small cup of the soup and not even a whole bowl, according to Eat This, Not That!. Do you really want to eat that much fat in what’s basically just an appetizer?
Don’t worry though: There are other LongHorn Steakhouse soups you can choose from, if that’s really how you want to start your meal. Our advice? Go for the shrimp and lobster chowder. It’s probably not the healthiest soup you could eat, but it is lower in calories per bowl than the loaded baked potato option, and the seafood gives this starter a much lighter feel.
Big Sky burger
Who doesn’t love a good burger every now and then? It’s one of the most delicious foods on the planet, and you can usually expect a restaurant burger to be quite the indulgent treat. Ordering a burger can mean you’re getting something that might be packed with fat and salt, but it tastes so good you won’t even worry about it. What if you took a greasy, fatty burger to its logical conclusion though? What if it took on a grotesque form, almost antithetical to its original deliciousness?
Okay, the LongHorn Steakhouse Big Sky burger isn’t that bad, but it gets close. This burger is just over the top, and it feels way too heavy going down. That’s because in addition to half a pound of ground beef, the Big Sky burger also features a mountain of prime rib and a shocking amount of Swiss cheese. Add to that the crispy onion straws (fried, of course), which brings the burger to a whopping 79 grams of fat, and you might soon be calling an ambulance instead of an Uber.
Granted, LongHorn Steakhouse did elect to add some arugula to the burger, which gives it some much-needed freshness. But you’d probably have to eat light salads for lunch for a few days just to undo the damage from a Big Sky burger.
Blue Ridge wedge salad
While you won’t be able to find the Blue Ridge wedge salad at every LongHorn Steakhouse location, it’s garnered plenty of attention on the internet. Some have even made copycat recipes, so you can enjoy your own version of the wedge salad at home. But is it really worth it to go through all that trouble just to try it– or to even order it from the restaurant? We’d have to say no.
Like the loaded potato soup, it’s definitely not the healthiest option on the LongHorn Steakhouse menu. Yes, you are eating some veggies, and that’s great. But when those veggies are doused in a creamy blue cheese sauce and come out with a mountain of bacon resting upon the lettuce leaves, you know you’re not getting something that’s very good for you. The Blue Ridge wedge salad has a whopping 46 grams of fat (via Eat This, Not That!), which is way too much for a salad, in our opinion.
And it’s not just that this salad could be unhealthy for many people. It’s also difficult to eat, with huge chunks of lettuce that are often lacking in flavor. Plus, if you actually like salad, the dressing will just seem like overkill to you — it completely overtakes the flavor of the veggies. Our advice? Pass on this salad and order something else completely.
Any well-done steak
We’re not going to pontificate on which cut of meat you should order at a steakhouse. Everyone likes something different when it comes to steak. For a nice, tender meat without a ton of fat, you might want to go for a filet mignon, but if you want something that melts in your mouth even more, a ribeye might be the way to go.
While we’ll leave the cut up to you, we do have one suggestion for steak from any steakhouse, not just LongHorn: Don’t order it well done. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, if you’re going to a steakhouse, you’ll most likely pay a high price for your meat, which means you probably want to truly enjoy the flavor of the cut you chose. And nothing robs a steak of its flavor, texture and moisture like cooking it for too long.
Taste is not the only reason you should avoid a well-done steak. There’s also the possibility that the cook might not care that much about your food if you do, as they may think you don’t know much about steak anyway. We suggest ordering medium-rare steak, but even if you don’t like pink in your cooked meat, just don’t order a steak well-done.
Hand-breaded chicken tenders
Another LongHorn Steakhouse item menu that we’d have to pass on is the breaded chicken tenders. It’s not that there’s anything particularly wrong with these chicken tenders — they’re your standard breaded and somewhat flavorful pieces of chicken with sauce on the side. While Longhorn Steakhouse’s tenders may not be the most glorious chicken we’ve ever tasted, that might just be because chicken tenders are generally kind of plain to begin with. That’s okay if you’re at a fast food spot that offers hot dogs, hamburgers, and the like, but at a steakhouse? We’d urge you to try something that’s worth the price of a sit-down restaurant dinner instead.
Plus, LongHorn’s specialty is not chicken, so you shouldn’t expect a chicken dish that’s usually a casual go-to to be incredible. And then, there’s the fact that you’re passing up other unique menu items for simple chicken tenders. Plus, wouldn’t you rather just have steak at a steakhouse?
If you’re being dragged to LongHorn Steakhouse against your will, we’d suggest you opt for a seafood option, or if you insist on chicken, the classic parmesan-crusted chicken might be a more fun choice. While the chicken tenders aren’t bad per se, you could get a dish that’s downright memorable instead. And isn’t that why you’re going out to eat anyway?
If you’re looking for a healthier main dish option at LongHorn Steakhouse, then the LongHorn salmon may be the best choice for you. It’s not exactly a steakhouse speciality, but it still packs an impressive amount of protein. And at seven ounces, this salmon only comes out to 300 calories, which is much lower than most of the steaks you’ll find on the menu. The salmon is also customizable, as it comes in two sizes and your choice of a side and salad.
All that being said, we still wouldn’t recommend this option for your next LongHorn Steakhouse dinner. While the salmon might be one of the healthier items on the menu, it’s still missing one thing: taste. That’s right — it doesn’t have much taste. Though LongHorn Steakhouse claims to use a bourbon glaze marinade, you can barely taste it within this dish. Rather, you get bland-tasting fare that certainly can’t compete with a steak.
Seasoned rice pilaf
Are you wondering what you should get on the side of your steak? While different LongHorn Steakhouses have different side options available, you’ll likely find the same side menu items at most locations. You’ll be offered a variety of cooked potatoes (mashed, baked, sweet, fried) and broccoli. None of these are a bad option, and they all could most likely complement your meal.
However, there is one LongHorn Steakhouse side that we simply can’t recommend, and that’s the rice pilaf. This rice has hardly any flavor, and it almost forces you to pour on the salt. While you probably won’t push the rice pilaf away from you in disgust, there are other side options at LongHorn Steakhouse that taste better. Pretty much any of the potato side dishes are top notch, and who doesn’t need a little green in their diet from steamed broccoli? Pass on the pilaf — it’s almost sure to be a disappointment.
Steakhouse Mac & Cheese
There’s another side dish that has, surprisingly, made our list of menu items you shouldn’t order from LongHorn Steakhouse. Plenty of people really like the Steakhouse Mac & Cheese — or mac and cheese in general, for that matter. And we have to admit, the Steakhouse Mac & Cheese is tasty: It’s super cheesy, and you’ll find a wealth of bacon bits sprinkled throughout. Sounds heavenly, right? So, you may be wondering why you shouldn’t order it the next time you visit LongHorn Steakhouse.
While the Steakhouse Mac & Cheese may be good on its own, it might be too heavy to pair with a steak from the restaurant. With such a hearty amount of cheese and that added bacon, which brings the side dish to a whopping 610 calories per serving, you may not have room in your stomach to truly enjoy the rest of your meal. Instead of going for this ultra-heavy option, we’d suggest a lighter side dish like crispy brussel sprouts or a fresh salad. That way, your side won’t detract from the star of the show: your steak, of course!
Maverick ribeye sandwich
If you want a somewhat bland meal that’s guaranteed to also make you feel unhealthy, you can’t go wrong with the Maverick ribeye sandwich from LongHorn Steakhouse. While a bite of this thing may be tasty, we can’t imagine actually finishing one of these sandwiches whole. At a whopping 1,050 calories, it’s absolutely loaded down with fatty add-ins. Not only is there a heaping chunk of ribeye steak on this sandwich, but a river of Swiss cheese engulfs the meat, and it’s topped with sautéed onions and a sauce — all between two long pieces of bread.
As for taste, all this may not be so bad if there were something to brighten the sandwich up a bit. Besides some lone onions, you’re not going to be getting any other veggies within the sandwich, which it desperately needs to add some freshness and crunch. You’ll have to order an extra side salad to get any greens or other veggies in your meal. If you’re going to eat something that’s bad for you, it had better taste amazing on its own, in our opinion, and this ribeye sandwich simply doesn’t cut it.
Baby back ribs
Have you ever enjoyed a good plate of baby back ribs? When they’re done right, they truly are glorious. But should you get the ribs you can find at LongHorn Steakhouse? In our opinion, you’re better off leaving them behind.
First of all, you have to consider the occasion before ordering ribs at a restaurant. Are you going on a first date or trying to make a good impression? In that case, you definitely shouldn’t order the ribs — they’re simply too messy to enjoy eating without getting a little dirty. And while at most restaurants you can lower the mess factor by ordering a dry rub on your ribs, at LongHorn Steakhouse, you don’t have that option.
But even if you decide that you don’t care about the mess, baby back ribs from LongHorn Steakhouse just aren’t that good. Firstly, they’re brushed with a sweet and smoky barbecue sauce that’s overpowering, so if you actually want to enjoy the taste of meat, you’ll be out of luck. And so, the result of eating these baby back ribs could be a sticky sweet mess that might not be worth the more than 800 calories you just consumed. Our advice? If you want some delicious beef, you should probably stick with a classic steak.
Sometimes, when you go out to eat, all you want is to throw back a nice beer with your meal. But at LongHorn Steakhouse, that’s probably not the best idea. First of all, LongHorn isn’t known for having an impressive beer selection. Your local LongHorn may have more to offer, but at most locations, you’re just going to get the most standard beers imaginable. Forget trying a new sour or an IPA from a local brewery. Instead, you’ll have to settle for a beer that most beer enthusiasts would sneer at.
But hey, why be picky? A beer is a beer is a beer, right? Plus, when you’re at a steakhouse, you’re really better off going with some wine. A glass of red can take your steak dinner to another level. If you don’t know what kind of wine you want to order, just ask your server — they should be able to point you in the right direction. Luckily, LongHorn Steakhouse offers several wines that are quite inexpensive, whether you decide to buy a glass or opt for an entire bottle. And even if wine isn’t your thing, the restaurants also offer a wide selection of cocktails that might just whet your whistle.
French onion soup
Here’s another soup that we wouldn’t suggest if you’re looking for a nice starter at LongHorn Steakhouse. We will admit that the restaurant’s French onion soup is delicious. It comes absolutely smothered in three different types of cheese, including the obligatory Swiss cheese that should be in any classic French onion soup. The onions from the LongHorn version basically melt in your mouth the second you take a bite, making it a fantastically hearty experience. Plus, the flavor is right on point, with a good combination of salty and sweet that will have you coming back for more.
However, if you’re ordering a steak for dinner, the LongHorn Steakhouse French onion soup is likely going to be way too heavy to start with. You do want to be able to finish your steak during your dinner, right?
That being said, if you decide to get something lighter for your main dish, then this French onion soup might not be a bad idea. Just don’t expect to be able to eat a giant meal after you knock back a bowl of the stuff.