Read This Before You Eat At Texas Roadhouse Again

The first thing you'll notice about Texas Roadhouse is the mess, thanks to the giant vats of peanuts in the waiting area that customers can help themselves to while they wait for their table. Peanut shells are scattered everywhere. They don't even have trash cans. So if you're the type of person who wants to make yourself feel right at home, and you wished your home was a roadhouse with super loud music, lots of booze, and delicious and plentiful food, than Texas Roadhouse is the place for you.

The first Texas Roadhouse was opened in 1993 in Indiana, and the company is based in Louisville, Kentucky, but you can find them almost everywhere. In fact, there are 580 Texas Roadhouse locations, with restaurants in 49 states and nine foreign countries. They are part of the casual steakhouse category of restaurants, a place where families are welcome and you don't have to wear a jacket and tie to sink your teeth into a big, juicy slab of meat. If you have yet to experience the glory of this place, here are a few things you should know before going.

You should be careful planning when to dine

This place is busy. So busy that the average Texas Roadhouse location serves 5,000 guests a week, which makes it one of the busiest restaurants in the industry. And they're not even open for lunch on weekdays.

But thanks to some inside intel, we've got the scoop on which days of the week are best to plan your night out. According to a Texas Roadhouse employee on Reddit, "Mondays and Tuesdays you definitely won't have to wait. Sundays usually are pretty slow too. Thursdays are usually decently busy, but not too bad. Wednesdays are always packed because of our WildWest Wednesday special. Obviously Fridays and Saturdays will always be busy." 

So basically, go on a Monday or Tuesday to avoid the crowds. Or plan to be a little patient and use their call ahead seating option to get your place in line. Another thing to consider is that a lot of the Texas Roadhouse locations have a kid's night on Mondays or Tuesdays (depending on location) where they offer a free meal to kids under 12.

Kids are totally welcome there

In addition to the kids' nights, Texas Roadhouse is the sort of place your kids will feel right at home. It doesn't matter if they make a mess, because the floor is already littered with peanut shells, and the company's senior investor relations director had this to say when it comes to why this place is so great for families: "You can take your whole family. And oh, by the way, we play really loud music, so we're not going to hear your kids screaming. It's just a comfortable place for families to go where they feel they can take their kids and they're going to be OK. I don't have to worry about them crying or screaming. It's really a nice, comfortable place." 

Anyone who has ever dined with a cranky toddler or a teething baby or an elderly relative who talks a bit too loud can appreciate that. It's the sort of restaurant without quiet piano music and stuffy waiters and white linen tablecloths. It's the sort of place where if your kid spills a drink you won't feel like crawling under the table.

You get free food there

In addition to the buckets of peanuts in the waiting area and at your table, you also get free rolls before your meal even arrives. The rolls are delicious and warm and baked in-house. They come out of the oven every five minutes and they are more than happy to bring you extra. Even better than the bread is the homemade cinnamon butter served along with it. It's a big perk, and people are obsessed with these rolls. 

Proof? One Twitter user said, "When I die... bury me with Texas roadhouse rolls." Another lamented, "I cried last night because we accidentally left our rolls at Texas Roadhouse." And yet another bemoaned, "I want someone to love me the same way I love Texas Roadhouse rolls." But probably the best advice of all was uttered by this Twitter user, who said, "Get you a man that chooses Texas Roadhouse rolls over Red Lobster biscuits." 

Need even more proof of how good these freebies are? One person loves them so much, they even got a tattoo of them. The rolls are legendary for a reason, and are a perfectly reasonable excuse to go to Texas Roadhouse any day of the week.

They have their own butcher in every restaurant

There is so much meat served at Texas Roadhouse that every location has their own butcher who cuts steaks by hand, and hand-cut, never frozen steaks are always going to be better than the alternative. There's even a giant meat cooler in every restaurant, where the meat is kept at a temperature of 34 degrees. They serve everything from rib eyes to filets to prime rib and New York Strips. That's not even including the ribs and other meat items on the menu.

One Redditor, who says they work in meat prep for Texas Roadhouse, had this to say about the quality of the meat: "I don't buy it so I can't say as to the cost but the quality of it is good. The steaks would be the highest grade, then the leftovers from them are used for the kebobs and Dillo bites... so it may not be the best meat ever but it is good."

They make all their food from scratch

In addition to hand-cutting steaks and making those yummy rolls from scratch, Texas Roadhouse also makes all their sides items, salad dressing, and even croutons from scratch. Every entree comes with your choice of two sides, and you can choose between typical steakhouse options like a baked potato or seasoned rice, or upgrade to things like steak fries loaded with cheddar cheese and bacon, or sweet potatoes with mini-marshmallows and caramel sauce. 

This matter because a lot of large chain restaurants don't bother with cooking their food from scratch, as Money, Inc explains: "In most cases, when a restaurant chain grows as large as this one has, they take shortcuts in preparing meals that feature some prepackaged or frozen ingredients that are microwaved or heated in some other way and served." Creating food from scratch is part of the recipe for Texas Roadhouse's success, and according to FSR Magazine, Travis Doster, the company's senior director of communications, said, "If you think about it, Kent [Taylor, the founder of Texas Roadhouse] wanted to serve food he was proud of. Well, the men and women running our restaurants, they have that same mentality. They want the restaurant clean. They want to serve food they're proud of..." Being proud of the food you serve your customers is probably difficult when all you're doing is dumping some frozen vegetables on a plate and sticking them in the microwave. Thank goodness Texas Roadhouse doesn't do it that way.

They rarely change the menu

You can afford to have a favorite item at Texas Roadhouse, because chances are it will still be on the menu 20 years from now. Texas Roadhouse knows what works for them and their customers, and they don't go around chasing the latest fad or changing things up on their menu according to trends or whatever molecular salad smoke with a hot chocolate blood orange infusion is all the rage these days.

When FSR Magazine, asked company exec Travis Doster about the last time they changed the menu, he said, "We added a steakhouse filet salad. That was one of the more recent ones. That's been four or five years." And it's not like a salad is some sort of wacky trend that would shock customers. There's something reassuring about knowing your favorite restaurant is still going to serve your favorite meal and that you don't have to worry about it being discontinued.

They embrace a culture of rowdiness

Texas Roadhouse is a rowdy, loud, fun place. "If your employees are having fun, they are going to have fun with the guests." That's a quote from the founder of Texas Roadhouse, Kent Taylor (via Complex).

Employees have been known to line dance — even if it is against the law. Say what? Servers at a Wichita, Texas Roadhouse line danced every hour on the hour, even though it was technically illegal, thanks to an obscure city ordinance that said a restaurant that served alcohol couldn't also allow dancing without a permit. Thank goodness they finally had the permit approved... 

If you're celebrating your birthday at Texas Roadhouse, you don't just get the standard birthday song, you get the birthday song sung to you while under a spotlight. After that, servers bring out a saddled sawhorse for the diner to sit on while other customers are encouraged to yell "yee-haw" at them.

They spend a whole lot of money on meat

Texas Roadhouse spends over a $1 billion on meat annually, and the restaurants serve USDA Choice, which means the meat has been graded by the USDA "using a subjective characteristic assessment process and electronic instruments to measure meat characteristics." The beef grades are Prime, Choice, and Select, and the grade Texas Roadhouse serves "is high quality, but has less marbling than Prime. Choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy, and flavorful and are suited for dry-heat cooking." Not too bad, right?

Texas Roadhouse also says their beef supplies are leaders in sustainable beef production practices, which means that the delicious steak you order has to come from a cow that was raised responsibly. According to Beef. It's What's For Dinner., sustainable beef "balances efficient production with environmental, social and economic impacts." Consumers can do their part in helping with sustainability, too, they explain. Even though beef only makes up 20 percent of wasted food, if that were "cut in half, the sustainability of the whole industry could be improved by 10 percent." That just means that you need to be sure and eat the leftover steak you bring home from Texas Roadhouse (if there is any).

You get a lot of bang for your buck

Eating out is expensive, especially if you are a family with some adults in the household who enjoy an adult beverage with their meal. One of the reasons Texas Roadhouse is so successful, averaging about 300,000 meals per day, is because they know their customers so well. Business Insider notes that plenty of Yelpers mention the chain's "flawless execution of basic American food." People go to Texas Roadhouse because the food is reasonably priced and good quality, they can bring their kids there, they don't have to dress up, and they can relax. Those are all important, but there's even more to appreciate about the restaurant chain...

They are regularly voted among the best in customer satisfaction. They are big on charitable giving — their restaurants average four fundraisers a month for local nonprofits and schools. They are supportive of our military and provide free meals for our troops on Veteran's Day. And they are supporters of The Special Olympics. That's a lot, right?

It's this sort of commitment to their customers and to the community that makes this place a lot more than just steaks and big margaritas. Plus, those rolls!

It might be habit-forming

Beware: You might find that you love Texas Roadhouse so much that you develop a bit of a habit...

Ron and Diana Watson of Wichita, Kansas have been married for 20 years, and for 15 of those years they have been going to the same Texas Roadhouse and eating basically the same thing six days a week. (The only reason they don't go seven days a week is because Diana gets off work too late and by then their Texas Roadhouse is too crowded.) They even sit in the same booth, and arrive between 3:00 and 3:15 p.m. most days to take advantage of the early bird special. 

According to the Wichita Eagle, Ron doesn't want to cook — and doesn't want his wife to have to cook after a long day at work, either. While this might sound like a Texas Roadhouse love story for the ages, it also serves as a cautionary tale for future diners as proof of just how easy it is to become addicted to this joint.

They take cocktail hour very seriously

Texas Roadhouse has more than a dozen different specialty cocktails on the menu (as of June 2019), including tempting concoctions like the Jamaican Cowboy made with rum, peach schnapps, orange and pineapple juice, and a cocktail made in honor of country singer Kenny Chesney made with coconut rum, peach schnapps, lemonade, sweet and sour, and blue curacao. They also served classic mixed drinks and wine so you can certainly get in the celebratory spirit. What we're saying is, there's something for everyone on this cocktail menu. 

But while their mixed drinks and margaritas are delicious, some of them aren't the healthiest choices, and Eat This, Not That! cautions against ordering the frozen raspberry margarita because "the classic drink costs you nearly 500 calories and 83 grams of sugar." Instead, they advise that you "order the original margarita on the rocks for just 170 calories and 14 grams of sugar." Or, you know, you could order another basket of rolls with cinnamon butter and down a few more frozen raspberry margaritas because you're a grownup and you do what you want.

They serve very cold draft beer

If foofoo cocktails aren't your thing, you can also order a beer from the drinks menu and know that you're in for a treat. That's because Texas Roadhouse takes the temperature of their draft beers very seriously. 

Money Inc explains, "The Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain takes extra measures to ensure that each draft beer that they serve their customers has been chilled to a specific temperature. The staff is very particular about following the rules to ensure perfection. The beer is kept at a chilly temperature of 36 degrees Fahrenheit." 

Steak is a natural fit with beer because the carbonation acts as a palate cleanser and the bitterness takes away some of the fatty mouthfeel of your favorite cut of beef. According to the The Kitchn, "When your tastebuds are overloaded with the meatiness of your meal, the beer acts like a mouth referee, bringing out steak's flavor and minimizing its fattiness." That means you aren't just drinking beer with your meal because it's five o'clock somewhere and your kids are yelling and Game Of Thrones is over, you're doing it because you're a gourmand and all fancy-like and you know it's going to enhance the flavor of your meal.

You probably want to try Bubba's 33

If you love Texas Roadhouse, you'll definitely want to know the fast casual chain called Bubba's 33. Also founded by Kent Taylor, the menu features items like burgers, wings, and pizzas, all made from scratch just like Texas Roadhouse. This restaurant also wants to be a destination for everybody, so they have a garage bar area along with a family dining section, so those without screaming kids can instead scream at big screen TVs while their favorite teams play the sports ball. They claim to be a place for "all things American — food, family, sports and beer!" 

The ratings on Trip Advisor are a strong 4 out of 5 rating (as of June 2019) with customers saying, "Bubba's has my strongest 5 rating as it is a place you will want to come back to till you have sampled ALL their items. I have previously dined on burgers, pizza, shrimp, and potatoes, ALL of which were highest quality. Bubba's is in the same family as Texas Roadhouse and you will notice they both are moving a great deal of people every day and night." 

Sounds like an excellent place to take the family and/or an excellent place to go hide from your family.