When you want a good steak in a casual atmosphere (or you just want to enjoy an American interpretation of Australian food), Outback Steakhouse is the place to be. It's the kind of restaurant likely to suit everyone in your family. Sure, it's a steakhouse first and foremost, but even the most beef-averse eaters will find plenty of options on the menu, ranging from salad to pasta to fish. That's why it's a good chain to visit if you're trying to please everyone in your group.
But if you haven't been to Outback Steakhouse many times before (or you're planning your very first trip to the chain), you may find yourself at a loss for what to order. There are so many different dishes to choose from that it can be overwhelming if you don't have some direction. We've taste-tested a wide variety of dishes from Outback Steakhouse, and we've consulted online reviews to provide a subjective but illuminating ranking of 20 of Outback Steakhouse's most iconic dishes. Wondering how your favorites stack up? Keep reading.
Who doesn't love an appetizer? You may think you're going to be getting a hearty, meaty bowl of chili when you order the Tasmanian Chili from Outback Steakhouse, but you may be disappointed if you're looking for something that will fill you up. The description for this dish reads "spicy, all steak, no beans." Sure, the chili may be adequately spicy, but the rest of the description, according to one TikToker, is not quite accurate. They ask, "Hey Outback, why is there barely any meat in the chili?"
The video shows the user stirring their Tasmanian Chili, and there's essentially no meat to be found in the bowl. A tomato-heavy chili isn't necessarily bad, but it's probably not what you're looking for if you're craving something on the more meat-heavy end of the spectrum.
Queensland Chicken And Shrimp Pasta
Looking for a deeply boring, unimaginative pasta dish that you could probably have just as easily made at home? Then you should order the Queensland Chicken and Shrimp Pasta from Outback Steakhouse. It's essentially just a fettuccine alfredo with seasoned chicken and shrimp. Yes, the protein is seasoned well, but that's basically the only flavor you're getting in the dish — the pasta is otherwise flavorless.
Sure, this dish might be a good option if you're trying to get plenty of protein and carbs into your diet in one go or if you want to opt for a pasta dish instead of steak. But if you want something with varying flavors that you won't get bored with after just a few bites, you're better off ordering something else.
Aussie Cobb Salad
Maybe you're looking for something on the lighter side. If that's the case, then the Aussie Cobb Salad may catch your eye. Before you order it, though, you should know what you're getting into. First of all, this isn't a dinner salad — it's something you'll want to eat as a side with another entree. Other than a few hard-boiled eggs and some bacon bits, it doesn't have much to offer in the way of protein.
According to some guests, it's a pretty sparse salad. At some locations, at least, you're likely to get a salad heavy on lettuce with an unimpressive smattering of other ingredients like croutons and cheese. You may not even notice the few pieces of chopped eggs in the mix. This salad seems like an afterthought, so it may not be the best choice for all the serious salad lovers out there.
Steakhouse Mac And Cheese
Mac and cheese can be really hit or miss, probably because it's technically so simple. After all, it seems difficult to mess up pasta and cheese sauce. But when it goes wrong, mac and cheese can lack texture and taste bland, which can make eating it feel like a chore. That's the case with Outback Steakhouse's Mac and Cheese. This side dish just seems like an afterthought to the meat on the menu.
The pasta is cooked to oblivion, so you don't get that nice al dente bite you crave in a pasta dish. The cheese sauce is as bland as it gets — you're going to need to douse the dish in an unholy amount of black pepper. There are much better side dishes to choose from on the Outback menu.
French Onion Soup
Is the French Onion Soup at Outback Steakhouse the best we've ever had? Of course not, but we wouldn't expect it to be. It's thinner than other French onion soups we've had before, and it felt like they could've added more onions to bulk the soup up a bit. The melted cheese on top was delicious, of course, because melted cheese is always delicious. The effect of all the ingredients coming together was pleasant but unremarkable.
If you're looking for a savory soup to enjoy before your entree comes out, then this soup may be a great option for you. However, if you're craving a top-notch French onion soup, you may want to skip this brothy appetizer in favor of something that's fried.
Sirloin & Coconut Shrimp
When it comes to a steak, what matters most is who's cooking it, so the quality can vary drastically from one Outback Steakhouse location to another. That being said, we didn't have the best experience when we ordered the Sirloin & Coconut Shrimp from the chain. The center-cut sirloin was a nice size — substantial but not large enough that we had a ton of leftovers — but it was cooked far past the point of medium rare, which we'd specified. The flavor wasn't bad, but the texture was much tougher than expected.
The coconut shrimp were just okay. The breading is delicious, with a lovely hint of sweetness from the coconut. The shrimp themselves, though, were lackluster. They were small and didn't seem to pack a lot of flavor. Rather, the dish relied on the breading to pull it all together. Even though this wasn't a terrible meal, it's probably not something we'd ever want to order again.
Bloomin' Chicken Sandwich
Did you get dragged to a steakhouse when all you wanted to eat was a good chicken sandwich? Well, no worries, because Outback Steakhouse has you covered with the Bloomin' Chicken Sandwich. Let's be honest: This chicken sandwich isn't anything particularly impressive. It doesn't feature any creative ingredients, nor does the breading on the chicken boast a particularly delicious flavor profile. But is it bad? Definitely not.
The Bloomin' Chicken Sandwich isn't anything we'd go out of our way for, but it works when you're craving something slightly lighter than a steak. The pickles, onion, lettuce, and tomato give the dish just enough freshness to keep things crisp, and the signature spicy bloom sauce adds a nice touch of flavor to the finished product.
Grilled Chicken On The Barbie
Sometimes, you go out to eat because you're interested in the fare at a specific restaurant. Other times, you go out to eat for convenience or because you're meeting with friends, even if you may not be super excited about the restaurant's food. If you order the Grilled Chicken on the Barbie from Outback Steakhouse, we're going to assume you're in the latter situation. Why else would you order a chicken breast at a steakhouse?
According to some diners, the grilled chicken at Outback is cooked and seasoned well. But ultimately, it's hard to make a grilled chicken breast that exciting. This dish may be a good choice if you're trying to reach certain fitness goals or if you're just not super hungry, but there are more interesting options on the menu to choose from.
There's perhaps no Outback dish as iconic as the Bloomin' Onion, and it's certainly worth an order if you've never tried it before. You have to know what all the hype is about, right? But ultimately, this appetizer just tastes, well, fried. Sure, there's a nice sweet-savory component going on beneath the layers of breading, but all you really taste is the batter that coats the onion pieces. It's crispy, it's crunchy, it's salty, and it doesn't taste like much at all.
The Bloomin' Onion isn't our favorite dish on the menu by a long shot, but it's more about the look than the taste. Ordering a Bloomin' Onion for the table feels fun and celebratory and may be exactly what you're looking for in a starter.
Caramel Mustard Glazed Pork Chops
Pork chops may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you're ordering a meal at a steakhouse, but the Caramel Mustard Glazed Pork Chops at Outback aren't bad. When we had these pork chops, they were moist and tender, which isn't always the case with pork — perhaps it's because they decided to use bone-in chops here. The only downside here is the glaze that they top the pork chops with. It's made with caramel and creole mustard, and although we like the savory note of the sauce, the caramel makes it a bit too sweet. However, if you like a lot of sweetness with your pork, then there's a good chance you'll love this dish.
These pork chops come with your choice of two sides. We suggest pairing them with mashed potatoes, which can sop up all that extra sauce and temper the dish a bit.
The Outbacker Burger
Just because you're craving meat doesn't mean you automatically have to opt for a big steak. Why not go for a burger instead? The Outbacker Burger is a great choice for all those who want a hefty dose of beef without having to commit to an entire steak. This burger is about as simple as it gets. It comes with a beef patty, of course, which is dressed with a slice of cheese and lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles, and mustard.
It may not be wild or out of the ordinary (or Australian in any way, for that matter), but this is a solid burger that's not likely to disappoint even the most diehard burger lovers out there. We've had better burgers in the past, but we certainly wouldn't turn this one down.
Aussie Cheese Fries
Want a light, fresh side? Then you definitely shouldn't order the Aussie Cheese Fries from Outback Steakhouse. This isn't the leanest appetizer you could order, but that's why it's delicious. These fries are topped with two types of cheese (Monterey Jack and cheddar) and bacon. If that wasn't already enough, they added some ranch on top to finish it all off. The result is a cheesy, dairy-heavy appetizer that has undeniable appeal.
Would this be better if they added something fresh, like chopped scallions, into the mix? Absolutely, since it is lacking on the freshness front. But it's pretty darn good as is, especially if you're looking for something hearty. Just consider sharing this appetizer — after eating several of these fries, you may not have enough appetite left for your entree.
Spicy Jammin' Meatloaf
If you're like us, meatloaf isn't the first thing you think of ordering, especially when you're at a steakhouse. Meatloaf just sounds so, well, boring, particularly if it's something you've always made at home when there's not much in the fridge to work with. That's why you may not think about ordering the Spicy Jammin' Meatloaf when you visit Outback Steakhouse. However, if you're someone who seriously loves spicy food, you may want to consider giving it a try the next time you visit the chain.
A lot of the time, when you order something "spicy" from a mainstream chain restaurant, it's not that spicy at all, which can be a bummer when you're craving some heat. According to some reviews, though, this meatloaf from Outback Steakhouse is seriously spicy. That may not be for everyone, but if you're all about the heat, it's worth a try.
Salted Caramel Cookie Skillet
Your entree may be your first priority when you go out to eat, but you don't want to forget about dessert, particularly when you're still hungry after finishing your main. There are a few different options to choose from at Outback Steakhouse, and we just happen to be fans of the Salted Caramel Cookie Skillet. First of all, anything with salted caramel in it is bound to be good, as long as it's salty enough (which is certainly the case here).
We love that this salted caramel cookie also contains white chocolate, almond toffee, and most importantly pretzels, which add both flavor and texture to an otherwise simple cookie. The fact that this cookie is toasted enhances the flavors even more, and the vanilla ice cream on top brings the whole dish together.
Perfectly Grilled Salmon
Not into steak? No problem. We're impressed by the wide array of seafood options you can find at Outback Steakhouse, and the Perfectly Grilled Salmon is a fan favorite. Grilled salmon can be flavorless and dry when it's not done right, but you're not likely to have that problem when you order this entree. The fish is seasoned and grilled and then topped with a classic rémoulade sauce that adds a lovely creaminess to the dish.
One TripAdvisor reviewer enjoyed this salmon so much, they said it was the best salmon they'd ever had. Apparently, the name is accurate. Just because you're at a steakhouse doesn't mean that all the non-steak options are bland — try the salmon when you're looking for a lighter option.
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are amazing in any form, but they're even better when they're topped with a ton of other flavorful ingredients, as is the case with the Loaded Mashed Potatoes from Outback Steakhouse. The creamy mashed potatoes feature sour cream, bacon, green onions, Monterey Jack, and cheddar cheese. The green onions provide just the right amount of freshness, while the bacon offers a crispy addition to the otherwise ultra-creamy dish.
This combo of ingredients is a pretty classic recipe, but we think Outback Steakhouse does it particularly well. There are many different side dishes to choose from, but this is one of our favorites at the chain. Enjoy these potatoes on the side of your steak, or order them for the table to share.
Look, we know that not everyone likes mushrooms. Their rubbery texture can make them difficult for some people to enjoy. But even if you don't typically like mushrooms, you should still think about ordering the Sydney Shrooms from Outback Steakhouse. These aren't your typical steakhouse mushrooms. They're not sauteed — they're battered and fried, so they turn out super crispy. You can then dip them in the accompanying homemade ranch dressing.
Because these mushrooms are fried, you don't have to contend with the chewy texture mushrooms sometimes have, but you still get that earthy, savory flavor that mushrooms are known for. The ranch dressing has a nice tang to it and cuts through the richness of the breading. If you're looking for an appetizer the whole table will love, this might be a solid option to try.
Sometimes, desserts at mid-priced chain restaurants like Outback Steakhouse can be too sweet, too cloying, and absolutely overwhelming with a bunch of competing flavors. But that's not what you're going to get when you try the Butter Cake. This is our favorite dessert offered at the chain, and once you take a bite, you'll understand why. It's sweet but not too sweet, and the texture is smooth, buttery (of course), and ultra-rich.
They top the cake with strawberries, which add some nice acidity to the dish, along with whipped cream, which — let's be honest — makes everything taste better. The serving size is not small, so consider sharing it with someone else, but it's definitely worth a try if you're interested in a simpler dessert.
Over-The-Top Brussels Sprouts
For too long, Brussels sprouts have suffered from a bad reputation. Some people think they taste too bitter, and when they're served undercooked, they can have an unpleasant texture to them. But when Brussels sprouts are properly charred and enhanced with the right ingredients, they can be incredible, as is the case with Outback Steakhouse's Over-the-Top Brussels Sprouts.
They don't go too light on the flavor with this side dish. These Brussels sprouts are made with bacon, which gives the vegetable some much-needed fat and salt, Fresno chilis, which offer just a hint of heat, and lemon aioli which brings some brightness to the finished dish. They also add some parsley on top for some extra freshness. This isn't a dish you'll see on every chain steakhouse menu, and we're huge fans.
Victoria's Filet Mignon & Lobster
Filet mignon may not be the fattiest cut of meat, but it is ultra tender. We also like that it's on the smaller side, which makes it the perfect cut for pairing with a seafood dish for a surf and turf situation. The Victoria's Filet Mignon & Lobster entree at Outback Steakhouse offers just that: Both meat and seafood for the ultimate indulgent experience. We suggest asking for your filet mignon cooked medium rare for the most flavorful experience, but feel free to order it however you prefer your meat cooked. The lobster tastes fresh and has that bit of chewiness we love in seafood.
This is a simple surf and turf combo that, when cooked well, is bound to taste delicious. It feels a little elevated, and a little fancy, but since you're having the dish at Outback, it's not ridiculously expensive.
Seared Pepper Ahi
You'd expect that steak would be the best thing on a steakhouse's menu, right? Well, it depends on where you go. We love a lot of the steaks at Outback Steakhouse, but they have one dish we love even more than all that red meat, and it's the Seared Pepper Ahi. This tuna is just barely seared to cook the outside of the fish, while the inside is left tender and raw. The garlic pepper seasoning adds a ton of flavor to the fish, which is only enhanced by a creamy soy sauce dressing and wasabi.
This dish is fresh, flavorful, and probably the best way to start your meal at Outback. If you don't want to eat it as an appetizer, order it with some additional side dishes, and you have a seafood-focused meal that can compete with the biggest steaks on the menu on the flavor front.
We visited Outback Steakhouse several times in a few different cities taste testing most of the items on this list. For dishes we didn't try personally, we consulted online reviews and comments to offer a well-rounded perspective on the dishes featured here.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.