BY COL. ANDREW J. SMITH
This month I considered a few places to review, but circumstances carried me to Suffern. So I decided to try out the Outback Steakhouse at the Indian Rock Plaza off Route 59.. I seated myself and was shortly joined by my waitress, the very cordial and efficient Linda. I had a fair idea of what I wanted, as I tried an Outback upstate a few years ago, so I only took a brief perusal of the menu before ordering.
I ordered my typical seltzer with a lemon wedge and opted for the infamous onion bloom. It came with their traditional spicy dip and I added some bleu cheese dressing. Within seconds, Linda brought me a section of dark pumpernickel-like bread, steaming hot, which I made short work of. I had barely finished it when the onion bloom arrived. It was nicely crisp and flavorful, but what stunned me most was that their bleu cheese dressing was the thickest I have ever had. It had big chunks of cheese and I couldn’t help but exclaim some “mmmm”s of delight. I asked if it was proprietary or could I buy some and I was told that they make it up daily in the kitchen. I said that if I ever planned a party I could arrange to purchase some from the manager and I was given his card.
Next I ordered their Cobb salad. Everyone knows that I have a long-standing study of whose Cobb salad is the best so I couldn’t pass this up. I also ordered honey mustard and, of course, more bleu cheese dressing. First off, the menu explained that I could order either grilled or crispy chicken chunks for the salad, but it was extra. This puzzled me because Cobb salad traditionally consists of bleu and/or cheddar cheese, scrambled egg, bacon, and either chunks of chicken or turkey. I cannot lay any blame of this variation to the management of this location as this is due to the home office creating a national menu. So I ordered the crispy chicken. I had just finished the onion when the salad arrived and I have to say that it was larger than most I have seen, which definitely wins points. Add to that the great dressings and I had a fine lunch indeed.
The restaurant was clean, especially the restroom, which is often an indicator of general cleanliness. I wasn’t made to feel rushed and the staff was very friendly and attentive. So I give high marks across the board for each of the important factors in grading any eating establishment. The entire tab came to a reasonable $29.23 so I would recommend it to anyone. And for those who are steak eaters, which I’m not, they have plenty of choices as they do with their exotic cocktails, which were tempting. Stop in sometime—you won’t be disappointed.