Disclaimer: LongHorn Steakhouse provided me with a dinner for my honest review of the meal. The opinions shared are my own.
Between my sensitivity to MSG and my inability to stomach bad food, dining out has become more and more difficult for me. I have to admit, I was nervous to dine at a steakhouse, because steakhouses have terrible reputations for heavily seasoned food and MSG. Since my reactions to restaurant foods have become increasingly worse since my pregnancy with baby #3, I begged the kind people of Longhorn to allow me to bring my friend, Chrissy, along for the meal.
Honestly, it had been years (before children when I was a vegetarian) since I last stepped into a LongHorn Steakhouse and crunched on the peanut shells spewed all over the floor and I could only recall eating there once. Since then, Longhorn has cleared away the discarded peanut casings and with it, it’s rough and tough Texas décor. Although some of the western décor remains, the ambience resembles an affordable Capital Grille.
After our introductions, I felt compelled to inquire about MSG. The manager assured me that their food does not contain MSG and they take food allergies very seriously. He advised me to avoid eating only one item and I predicted his answer before he name it: the ranch salad dressing.
Everything else on the menu is made in house. In fact, everything is made fresh and the salads are hand-cut daily.
Though we were there to taste LongHorn’s Flavorful Under 500 menu selections, we sample a few house-special appetizers, such as the Chilled Shrimp Cocktail,
Grilled White Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms,
and the Wild West Shrimp. I photographed more than I ate to keep my calories in check.
Besides, I prefer to drink my calories.
I washed down the starters with The Perfect Margarita made with Sauza Conmemorativo tequila, Grand Marnier, Patrón Citrónge, Triple Sec, plus orange, lemon and lime juices. I could certainly taste the juices as it lacked that heavy corn-syrupy taste that many places use to mask bad margaritas. The Perfect was a perfect choice and almost as good as homemade!
There were two chicken entrées on the Flavorful Under 500 menu that piqued my interest. Chrissy and I decided to share our dinners so we could sample both. I ordered the Napa Grilled Chicken which served two breasts topped with artichoke hearts, portabella mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and a white wine herb sauce.
Chrissy ordered the Sierra Chicken, two fresh grilled chicken breasts topped with tomato-basil salsa. Both dinners came with steamed vegetables for sides priced under $15.00 and are relatively low-cost, low calorie plates that served flavorful, very filling meals.
Of course, everyone knows that you eat low calorie meals to save room for dessert. Even LongHorn Steakhouse realizes this fact, which would explain why the Flavorful Under 500 can be found above the desserts in the menu.
To finish off a fabulous dining experience, the LongHorn Dessert Sampler offered a shareable sampler of three favorites: Chocolate Stampede, Caramel Apple Goldrush and Mountain Top Cheesecake.
Those were all very delicious, however, the must-try fork-licking dessert for the night was the Salted Caramel Cake, which was totally worth blowing 500 calories just to taste a forkful. This same dessert would be served in a two-bite tall shot glass in a fancier establishment for the same price. I happily ate more than two bites because the sweet-salty combination and airy yellow cake fooled my brain into thinking it was a “lighter”, low calorie dessert. As LongHorn’s pride of the dessert, the Salted Carmel Cake stacked up to its name.
I appreciate the reintroduction to LongHorn Steakhouse and I would most certainly return for another Flavorful Under 500 meal. Affordable meals, low calorie family-friendly dining experiences without MSG and reactions are so hard to find these days. I already told my oldest carnivorous daughter that we would return for dinner on her birthday, since steak is always her requested birthday meal and LongHorn Steakhouse has a wonderful assortment of reasonably priced kids meals for children 12 and under, including a Kid’s Sirloin. Then, she can celebrate her big day by blowing out the candle in a slice of her own Salted Caramel Cake.