TERRY’S PICKY PALATE / Coconut Shrimp and Alice Springs Chicken at the Outback Steakhouse

BY TERRY SCHMIDA

As a fan of steak, it goes without saying that I’m also a fan of the Outback Steakhouse, at 3230 N. Roosevelt Blvd. The food is great, the prices reasonable – and it’s close to my house. No matter who I’m dining with, there’s something on their menu to please everyone.

I’m also a creature of habit, though, so I rarely step outside of my comfort zone which, in the case of the Outback, nearly always means medium-rare Prime Rib, a Wedge Salad, and French Onion Soup.

During my most recent visit I was therefore grateful to the proprietor Ashlee Girard, who is back running the New Town eatery after a a two-year hiatus, for pushing me to try something new for a change.

In this case, I was presented with an appetizer of Gold Coast Coconut Shrimp; hand-dipped in batter, rolled in coconut, and fried to a golden brown, before being served with a Creole marmalade. I quite enjoyed the shrimp, which were flavorful, and perfectly complemented by the coconut. I will, without a doubt, order them again during my next visit, as a “civilian.”

My entree was an perennial Outback favorite: Alice Springs Chicken, a wood-fire grilled chicken breast topped with sautéed mushrooms, crisp bacon, melted Monterrey Jack and Cheddar and honey mustard sauce, and served with Aussie Fries.

From the first bite I began to wonder why I had never ordered this dish before. It contains several of my favorite food groups (bacon, cheese, and chicken,) and blends them together nicely.

“Neither of these items have ever gone away from our menu,” Girard said. “They’re full of big, bold flavors that are unique to Outback, and are really popular with our customers.”

Both selections were indeed wonderful, and inspired me to open my mind to trying the other offerings on Outback’s frequently-changing menu.

So, boomerang yourself over to the Outback and treat yourself – and a friend – to a tasty lunch or dinner today!

The Outback Steakhouse is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, serving lunch and dinner. All credit cards are accepted, and “call ahead” seating is available.

For more information, call 305-292-0667.

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