This is one of those reviews where I'm walking the fence on how to rate them. I literally tossed and turned over it last night. Quick tip: If you fall asleep dreaming of Texas Land and Cattle and your pillow's gone when you wake up, call your gastroenterologist and tell him to meet you at the hospital.
I ate here once last year and very much liked the food (and liked the fact that "House" was playing on one of the TVs in the bar at the time), so I decided to give it another try. I'm no stranger to TxLC, as my old best friend used to work at one in Dallas when I lived there, but my most recent trip makes only three trips in eight years.
I sat at the bar once again, and Kristin was my bartender/waitress. Very nice gal, she was. I think she waited on me last year, but I could easily be wrong about that. I first ordered a chocolate martini, which was good except for the whipped cream. I don't know what was wrong with it; it almost tasted like it had gone bad. It was warm, so I'm sure that had something to do with it. The rest of the martini was excellent, and the presentation was great.
I had a scant two minutes left to order from the lunch menu, so I quickly ordered the Lunch Sirloin with a loaded baked potato. I added some onion strings on the side, and got a side caesar salad.
I ordered the steak medium rare because it seems wherever I go, the steak is always overcooked to some degree. Such was the case on my last trip (it came medium well and charred on the outside), so I'm glad I ordered it two temps less. I caution to think what I would have gotten had I ordered it medium or medium well. I actually did want it to be cooked medium, but they were obviously unable to do that. I dealt with it.
One other complaint I have is about the size of the steak. The menu didn't specify what size the Lunch Sirloin would be, and I now see why. It was small. Granted, I had plenty of other food to keep me busy, but I figured the lunch size would be the same as the dinner size, but at a lower price. I figured I'd get a good 6-oz steak for the $9.99 I paid, but I got only 4 ounces. Other than that, the steak tasted pretty good, but I know I've had better at this place. I've also had it cooked the way I actually asked for it at this place. I had toyed with the idea of getting the 6-oz filet mignon, which is always my favorite steak, but that was $10 more expensive and I was feeling cheap.
The baked potato was very good, especially the bacon. They use real bacon pieces instead of Hormel bacon bits. Don't get me wrong, I love Hormel bacon bits, but this was better.
The caesar salad was pretty good. I thought it was a bit heavy on the dressing, and if you've ever seen me eat a caesar salad, you'd know that's really saying something. The croutons were unexpectedly tasty and not teeth-breakingly hard like the croutons at some other restaurants, which will remain nameless.
And finally, the complimentary bread. Don't waste your time on this stuff. Even if it was good I only would have had a few bites, being that bread is all carbs, but this bread wasn't even good enough for a few bites. It was just so plain tasting. Many of you read the accolades I gave Macaroni Grill for their crack-based bread that I am suddenly craving again. You won't find such accolades for the bread at TxLC.
Oooh... I forgot the onion strings. Those onions strings always house such greasy, oily, crispy goodness. Ah yes, here come the accolades. The onion strings were the Romeo to my Juliet. The Robin to my Batman. The Mr. Hyde to my Dr. Jekyll. Um, wait a minute...
I don't completely know why, but I left one bite of steak but nothing else on my plate. I think it was because that last bite appeared to be the driest and least red piece of any steak in the entire world.
So I've criticized the steak, caesar salad, and bread, but they still get decent marks from me. Why, you ask?
The service. Kristin was one of the most awesome bartenders I've ever had. Like I said earlier, the presentation on that chocolate martini was great. And I had a vodka martini after lunch that was equally great. AND, she asked me if I wanted extra onion strings. Say what? Don't you know you're offering cocaine to an addict?? Of course I took her up on that. She was there every time I needed her and was quick about everything, but she left me alone otherwise. I'm sure you can all agree that not many servers nor bartenders can successfully walk that fine line between being around only when needed and being annoyingly ever present.