I was ready to hate Outback Steakhouse tonight. I'd tried to eat in that din several times in the past, but could never get in without waiting half my life. Tonight, though, there wasn't any choice. My brother, Sandy, had given Christina and me a gift certificate and with my son's family in town, I thought this would be a good time to spend it.
We expected a long wait up front, even though we'd called ahead--at Outback's direction--to say we were coming with eight people (in-laws included). But, truth be told, there wasn't much of a wait and the young women herding the crowd were pleasant, professional and, frankly, a delight. Same with our waitress. The food was above average--as steakhouse food goes--and everybody seemed happy. My four-year-old granddaughter had a nap before dinner and even she was on her best behavior.
I am genuinely surprised that the evening was as good as it did because I have little fondness for chain restaurants and the huge, loud crowds that frequent them. Maybe I'd do well to re-evaluate. The crowds are there for a reason (and judging from the bill, it's not the price).