Last week Danny and I ate dinner at the newly opened Longhorn Steakhouse. As usual with new eateries in New Braunfels, it was packed. And it was packed with couples, families, and parties of meat-eaters. The decor was western, of course. The seating was comfortable with tables for two, booths for four, and round tables for eight. However, despite being open only a month, there were tears in the vinyl of my padded booth seat. The food was good; the prices were high. We will go back but not often.
Before choosing the Longhorn Steakhouse that evening, Danny and I had walked into the nearby Longhorn Cafe. It was almost empty. The decor was unsophisticated and the staff wore UT (University of Texas) t-shirts with the longhorn logo. You had to order at a counter and have your name called. Not what we were looking for, so we drove across town to the steakhouse. However, yesterday after golfing, Dad and I tried it for lunch. Big mistake!
As we passed one of the huge windows, there sat my sister Lynne with three of her tennis mates finishing up their meal. When I pulled open the door, we could not walk in. The line to the counter was packed, but Dad refused to go elsewhere. Lynne came over to talk with us and apologized for the line. (Do not ask why, that is just Lynne. ) After a couple minutes, Dad could get through and went in search of a table, of which there were many. (He’s 84 and not able to stand in long lines.) Lynne stayed with me for another five minutes while the line moved slowly along. Halfway to the counter, I finally suggested she finish her lunch.
I was in line for ten more minutes. It took twenty-five minutes to get our food: two teas, one fish sandwich, and one smoked turkey sandwich. No fries or frills. Cost: $14+. My turkey sandwich was made with cold toast; I could taste the congealed butter or grease. The turkey and cheese were tasty, though. Dad’s sandwich was so big he had to eat it with a plastic fork, but he said it was good. The place was very noisy; Mom would have hated it. There was congestion at the narrow drink station. The cheapest things I saw on the menu were iced tea for $1.69 and chips with salsa for $2.49. The okay food, convenient location, and UT gimmick will keep people going back, but not us.