Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the tag “mac n cheese”

Outback Steakhouse

I’m not sure what’s going on with Outback but the service has declined dramatically at both the Poway and El Cajon, CA locations! I’ve visited both restaurants recently and in each case had to wait at least 15 minutes to be seated in a restaurant that had maybe 3 other tables sat at the time. The places were dead. At Poway there wasn’t even a host! Just stood there waiting for someone to emerge from the kitchen. Also at both locations, our first drink order didn’t even make it to the table until more than 30 minutes after our arrival.

On to the food. It seems like the only thing decent here any more are the proteins. Steaks, etc I’ve always enjoyed. I tried the new lobster mac & cheese and it was served nearly room temperature and without the crunchy, golden topping. At El Cajon I ordered the steakhouse mac & cheese and it came out stone cold! My broccoli at both locations have consistently been overcooked and tasted like some kind of funk. I don’t know how else to describe it.

I have to say, with the relatively high prices being charged for meals here, I cannot justify continuing to patronize Outback. It is just not at all worth the serious shortcomings in service and food quality I have experienced recently.

Way Point Saloon

Recently tried some new great appetizers at Way Point Saloon in Ramona, CA! Mac & cheese egg rolls made with their delicious bacon mac & cheese. It’s rolled up in an egg roll wrapper, then fried, etc. it was just excellent. Also tried their new spin on tater skins. Marinated steak and bacon crumbles fill these deep fried tater boats, then it’s topped with two different melty cheeses, green onions, etc. It was really tasty.

Cracker Barrel

On the way back from Big Bear we drove the circuitous route through Victorville, CA! Had to check out the first Cracker Barrel in the state of California! I never thought I’d see the day. It’s finally a reality with more locations scheduled to open in the Golden State. The architecture and decor are definitely a refreshing departure from all the traditional Barrels we’ve been to east of the Colorado River.

Cracker Barrel

Big, beautiful slab of meatloaf surrounded by some of my favorite vegetables! At the Cracker Barrel in Yuma, AZ.

Cowboy Chicken

Cowboy Chicken instantly won a place in my heart! Now on my short list of favorite restaurants in San Diego. They recently opened in 4S Ranch to much fanfare and enthusiasm.  After visiting recently, I can see why.  This chain is based in Texas and if I’m not mistaken, this is their first location in California.

I ordered the “Three Piece Dark”, served with two sides and a roll, only $8.39.  There is an absolute plethora of great looking country-fied sides to choose from that would please just about any taste.  I stuck with tradition and chose mac & cheese (my favorite vegetable) and fried okra.  

The chicken here is wood fire slow-roasted over an open flame rotisserie.  It comes out fall-off-the-bone tender, succulent and flavorful.  The skin has that perfect crispiness and chew that I love.  The chicken here does seem pretty salt forward though.  The mac & cheese was excellent!  Better than I was expecting.  This is a baked style and it’s far superior to what I’ve had many times at Cracker Barrel.  Fried okra was outstanding.  Hot, crispy, and well, okra tasting.  

Food came out hot and fresh tasting.  Service was all around fantastic.  Plenty of comfortable seating inside and out.  If there were any opening kinks at the beginning, they’ve definitely been worked out. Can’t wait to go back!

Omni Rancho Las Palmas

Outstanding lobster mac & cheese from Blu Ember at my favorite resort in Rancho Mirage, CA! I order it every time I stay here.

Italian Mac & Cheese

Outstanding homemade Italian style mac & cheese! Made with cavatappi pasta, a ricotta/mozzarella bechamel and Italian sausage.

Claim Jumper

Claim Jumper of all places served up one of the best looking and best tasting calzones I’ve had! Looks like a pillow for crying out loud! I definitely had to lay down after eating this!

Also including a photo of my son’s meal. Pretty amazing looking for kids menu fare…

Quizno’s

Quick one today… Outstanding lobster mac & cheese at Quizno’s! A meal in itself, you can order this side plain for $5; with bacon or chicken for $6; with bacon and chicken for $7; or their lobster/seafood meat stuff for $8.

A&S Catering & BBQ

Another quick one! If you’ve never been to an event catered by A&S Catering&BBQ, you are missing out! At a recent charity auction I enjoyed some outstanding brisket. Tender, succulent and thick sliced. Also the best tater salad I’ve ever put it my mouth, that I can tell you!

Happy to have also tried Anthony’s famous macaroni & cheese (made with penne pasta). Comfort food at it’s finest! Adorned with a liberal amount of bacon, I could have just laid down in all of it. Times like this remind me why mac & cheese is my favorite vegetable!

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