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Family-friendly LongHorn Steakhouse opens in Plano, and it’s a blue-ribbon winner


It’s taken a few years, but LongHorn Steakhouse has finally made its way to the Dallas area, opening its first area location today in Plano.

If you love good steak but hate prime prices, LongHorn should be on your short list of steakhouses you need to visit. Yeah, I know, it’s owned by Darden Restaurants, the same big company that owns Olive Garden and Bahama Breeze. But they also own Seasons 52, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, The Capital Grille, Yard House and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.

LongHorn’s menu moseys all over the mid-tier casual dining space, so there are salads and burgers and chicken with stuff on top. Skip all that and head to the prime  ribeye steak, found only on LongHorn’s Texas menus. Served with a side dish and a big loaf of bread, it’s the best $33 prime ribeye you’ll find in town. Sure, you can order mac and cheese (their four-cheese affair is pretty good) or fried okra (nearly as good as the okra at 18th & Vine, which is saying something), but opt instead for the spaghetti squash, baked and served in its shell with maple syrup, butter and melted white cheddar cheese. Damn good stuff. LongHorn tends to use a heavy hand of salt when it “boldly seasons” its food; ask them to go lighter, then add more if you need it.

There’s Texas kitsch speckled throughout the restaurant, but LongHorn makes it seem like you’re in a modern ranch house plopped on 40 acres of Hill Country, so you won’t roll your eyes.

I like LongHorn quite a bit. I like that their produce arrives fresh every day and whatever isn’t served by day’s end is discarded. I like that they use good quality beef that’s never been frozen. And I especially like that their kitchen was spic-and-span clean, even during a busy lunch shift. (I visited during a public staff training preview where no one was charged for their food.)

If you’re looking for steakhouse experience where the whole family can eat without breaking the bank, LongHorn is the place.

3421 N Central Expy, Plano, 469-782-3758.

 

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