I have to vent about this experience because, well, I need someone to tell me everything is going to be okay [..hint, hint..].
So, since my first visit to Outback, I was sold. From their deep fried onion thingy [that might not be what it's called on the menu], to their cheese fries, to their Wallaby Darned [a peach drink, that's to KILL for, with or without the alcohol!], to their steak, Outback had everything I needed in a restaurant. I even had pretty dang amazing service every time I went, which is fantastic.
A little bit ago, we decided we were going to do dinner with our friends Crazy and Crazier [yes, these are well deserved nicknames] and when the decision was left to me, I went to my tried and true fallback - Outback. We get there and are seated right away. The cute girl tells us our waiter will be right there to take our drink orders. So we wait. And we wait. And then we wait some more. Maybe 15 minutes later our waiter comes by and takes our drink orders and then WALKS AWAY. Doesn't ask if we are ready to order. Okaaaaaay... When he comes back 5 minutes later [no drinks] he takes our orders. Another 10 minutes and we finally have drinks [all we ordered were sodas; it's not like they had to mix us anything]. We wait another 10 minutes; no food. Not a problem except that by this time, we had already been there almost 45 minutes and we were HUNGRY. Plus, it was Tuesday night so it wasn't busy at all. Almost an hour after we were seated, our food is finally out. I start with the potatoes [an addiction of mine] and then move to the steak. I cut it open and it is still BLEEDING. Like, A LOT. I think all they did was roll it around on the grill to make the outside brown and then brought it to me. I asked for medium, which is what I always ask for, and it's usually just barely pink in the middle. So I wait for the waiter to come around. For 10 minutes. All of our drinks are empty and I'm PISSED by this point. Crazier finally stabs my steak with his fork and walks back to the kitchen to find someone to fix the situation [yes, he walked all the way through Outback with a steak on a fork and it was AWESOME]. So, he comes walking back to the table with the waiter and the waiter says, "So, what's the problem?" And I tell him that my steak is still making cow noises, it's so rare. He says, and I QUOTE, "Well, you did order it medium, which means it will still be pink in the middle." And I say, "Yah, I did. But this? [and I hold up the steak] THIS [and I point to the steak] is as rare as they come." You wanna know his response? "Well, it is a pretty thick steak, so it's hard to get it cooked all the way through."
OH, I'm sorry! I thought for a second I was at a STEAKHOUSE that knew how to cook STEAK. My bad.
He takes it back to the kitchen and by this time, everyone else is pretty much done eating. We wait for another 10 minutes, and he brings out the same steak and asks me to cut it to see if it's done enough. So, I cut. And it bleeds. Like, A LOT. Again, it looks like they rolled it around on the grill, this time for maybe a whole minute, and brought it to me. And I tell him I don't want the steak anymore and I don't want to pay for it and we are ready to go. He tells me he can't make the decision to take it off our check and will have to get the manager. To me, it feels like he is saying this so I'll just say NEVER MIND and pay for the damn steak to get out of there, but I was holding my ground. A few minutes later, out comes the manager. And I get the question again. "So, what's the problem?" I tell her the entire story, and do you wanna know what she said? It's a good thing I wasn't holding a steak knife in my hand at this point. She said, "Well, it is a pretty thick steak, and they are kind of hard to get cooked all the way through." OH. MY. HELL. Um, Outback STEAKhouse? Really? It finally gets taken off my check and we pay and leave. It was the first time I've ever not left a tip AT ALL and I felt almost guilty about it but re-hashing the story right now has reminded me why I shouldn't.
I don't think I'll ever go back. Wallaby Darned, I've always loved you and I'm sorry it had to end this way. You will be missed.