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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Inadequately pretentious but quite acceptable

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My "Grazing" column this week is about visits to LongHorn and Outback. I did not have adequate space to mention that I also visited Cowtippers in my exploration of mid-priced steakhouses.

Cowtippers, which opened in 1993, is renowned for its inconsistent quality. My first review prompted the manager there to let me know that "pretentious" I was not welcome in the restaurant. My voice mail was also crowded with enraged messages from some staff members. I ignored the banishment, as I did when the management at Einstein's told me the same thing. Cowtippers has always been a fun hangout, even when the food wasn't its best.

So, it was a shock to me that my lunch there recently was significantly better than my dinner at Outback and at least as good as the one at LongHorn. I ordered the 8-oz. sirloin steak with mashed potatoes and mixed veggies, just $12.95. The steak was lightly seasoned and grilled, so the flavor was not compromised the way it was to a huge extent at Outback. The mashed potatoes actually tasted like potatoes and the veggies were fresh and crisp.

Although I do feel that I have to warn people about inconsistency, I would certainly consider Cowtippers when looking for an affordable steak.

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