October 21, 2006
Outback on the Thames
We've been living here three months now, and tonight we made a nostalgic culinary discovery: they have an Outback Steakhouse here! It's in Staines, a shopping town about 15 minutes from our house. I don't know why, but this thrilled me. I think of myself as being very happy here, and loving the intercultural experience, counting my blessings to be living abroad...but this familiar sight and taste nonetheless delighted me to no end. Looks like there are six Outbacks in Great Britain, but not a single one in any other country in Europe. Believe it or not, they actually have two of them in Australia itself. Huh. I wonder who eats there.
Freshly squeezed orange juice, coconut shrimp, Caesar salad with honey-mustard dressing instead of the standard, bushman's bread with a big knife sticking out of it, Victoria's filet with baked potato covered in fixings, and of course a shared Chocolate Thunder from Down Under to top it all off: they were all as familiar as the inside of my closet. Tasty and varied and filling.
Differences here (UK) vs. USA:
- the special bread isn't complimentary, you have to order it
- likewise, first course salad doesn't come with the steak
- the Thunder comes in two sizes, and the smaller one is smaller than the regular one in California.
- they have Appletizer (a fizzy 100% apple juice drink), of which Emily partook
- there's smoking allowed at the bar (but it didn't filter too badly back to our table, which we requested to be as far away as possible)
- the waitresses speak with a British accent
- the kids' menu has British spelling (colour, etc.)
- THE THAMES RIVER IS RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOOR (instead of the Apple Computer campus!). This was really an amazing experience, to exit this Australi-American restaurant and be standing on the banks of the Thames River, the same famous one that flows through London and a great deal of the southern British countryside.
Otherwise, it was exactly the same restaurant we know and love. With one more small exception that our daughter Emily wishes you to know about: she has outgrown the beloved macaroni and cheese. She had it again tonight and finally decided it's just a bit too plain and tasteless for her now. No comment; we'll just sit back and watch this fascinating growing up process.
October 21, 2006 | Permalink
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When we lived in Germany, I was always glad to eat at a familiar American place when we found one. Once on a trip to PARIS of all places, I was pregnant with my first daughter and we ate at Chili's for lunch one day!
Posted by: Melene | Oct 22, 2006 2:35:24 AM