Nearly 20 years ago, Texas Roadhouse started out as a small-town eatery in Clarksville, Indiana. Through determination and hard work, founder Kent Taylor has now expanded his chain to 46 states across the country.
According to their website, Taylor wanted to open an establishment that was "not just a family restaurant and not just a steak restaurant, but a place where everyone, of all ages, could come and have a great meal and great fun for a great price," and he did just that.
In 2009, the western-themed restaurant opened its doors to nearby East Meadow at 2571 Hempstead Tpke., bringing a bit of southern hospitality to Long Island.
The grand opening attracted diners from every corner of Nassau and Suffolk, and still, two years later, patrons can expect a bit of a wait during dinner hours.
As soon as you enter the restaurant, you know you're in for a treat. The floor is covered in crushed peanuts and the walls hang a combination of flat screen televisions and western-style decor. Country music is usually playing through the speakers, and if you're lucky, you can even catch the staff line dancing.
The dining room is filled with booths of various sizes to welcome any sized party. Off to the side of the dining area lies a large, round bar, providing the perfect place to kick back or order appetizers and a few drinks. The bar offers an assortment of beverages including signature margaritas and domestic and imported beers.
Although it may be one of the most common things in a restaurant, the complimentary rolls at Texas Roadhouse are a must-try, mainly because of the honey-cinnamon butter that sits on the side.
When looking for a meal starter from the actual menu, the combo appetizer ($9.99) is your best bet, especially if you are dining with more than two people. Chicken critters, tater skins and rattlesnake bites (diced jalapenos and jack cheese lightly fried) are served with your choice of three sauces. The baby blossom hand battered onion ($3.99) is another beginner and is certainly generous enough to split.
Though most known for its steak, Texas Roadhouse's dinner options are very diverse, and even include a full kids menu.
The bone-in ribeye steak (20 ounce, $19.99) is the largest steak on the menu and is one of the restaurant's most popular items. The USDA choice sirloin is another common order and comes in different sizes to accommodate all (6, 8, 11 and 16 ounce). Each steak can be cooked to your preference and can be smothered in sautéed mushrooms, sautéed onions and gravy or cheese for an extra $1.99.
For those looking to try something different, test out the portobello mushroom chicken ($10.99), a juicy dish marinated and topped with signature sauce, jack cheese and fresh parmesan. Grilled salmon ($13.29) is the perfect plate for any seafood lover, serving up a moist and tender dish smothered in lemon-pepper butter. Other dinner choices include racks of ribs, healthy salads, burgers and pulled pork.
The East Meadow restaurant is open seven days per week: Monday-Thursday 4-10 p.m., Friday 4-11 p.m., Saturday 12-11 p.m. and Sunday 12-10 p.m.