This Might Be The Most Underrated Part Of Texas Roadhouse

Remember when Olive Garden put the kibosh on the whole filling up on free breadsticks and salad thing? (via Olive Garden) They started charging customers who wanted to make it a stand-alone meal. (Asked The Cold Wire) You can now order unlimited bread, salad, and soup anytime you want, but it will cost you varying amounts depending on the time of day and whether you order it off their lunch or dinner menu.

Many of the formula Mexican restaurants still offer free chips and salsa to pair with your number 11 combo of taco, burrito, and enchilada, but other than that, there just aren't many places left that supply you with freebies. Texas Roadhouse, the largest steakhouse chain (Statistica) in the country, is one exception. Their complimentary buckets of whole peanuts are a fun, peel-able, and poppable treat, even if the oily residue from discarded shells does turn the floors into something resembling a greased-up slip-and-slide.

Peanuts are the perfect food to hold you over before your meal, especially at a steakhouse, where you hope to conserve ample room for that ribeye or porterhouse. These pea-sized members of the legume family are crunchy, salty morsels that address immediate hunger needs while not spoiling your appetite as much as a basket of bread (assuming that you're not devouring an entire peanut bucket solo).

Good for your wallet and your body

More importantly, if you're looking to save money, noshing on Texas Roadhouse's free peanuts can prevent you from splurging on an appetizer that might set your wallet back another $10-$15. Peanuts also provide health benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack, and are packed with protein, according to WebMD.

Of course you can also request a basket of Texas Roadhouse's complimentary fresh-baked bread with butter if you want to up the ante and risk occupying valuable stomach space that could be reserved for succulent steak. But peanuts are the safe bet.

However, it should also be noted that since the pandemic, some Yelp reviewers have shared that at certain Texas Roadhouse locations, the peanuts now either come bagged or don't show up at the table at all (via Eat This, Not That!). 

There can be no doubt that Texas Roadhouse's leadership recognizes the complimentary peanut's strong association with the franchise. Travis Doster, senior director of public and government relations for Texas Roadhouse, told the National Peanut Board that it's one of their main identifiers, and "you will always hear people say, 'Oh the peanut place.'" Texas Roadhouse does spend an eye-popping $20 million annually on peanuts and bread, which becomes harder to justify in times of staffing shortages and supply chain disruptions, but what a tragedy it would be if "the peanut place" stopped giving away free peanuts.