I thought that the first Longhorn I ate at was in Topeka, KS. A couple years later, after a nice hike in a state forest near Waldorf, MD, I stopped at a Longhorn there and realized that I had eaten at that location (with my friend Harold) at least five years before the stop in Topeka. I have generally had very good experience at Longhorns.
So after a decent hike in Patapsco River State Park Monday, I ran across the Longhorn in Columbia and decided that I needed a decent steak. I got there around 1930 and left about 2045. The restaurant was about 50% full the entire time.
I started the meal with a bowl of potato soup; great stuff. I ordered one of my standard steaks, a medium ribeye. That was a fine steak. Tender, full of beef flavor, not super peppered like some places do. It was literally fork tender for about 3/4s of the steak. I didn’t leave a scrap. I also had a baked potato (it was on the small side).
The tea was excellent and kept refilled. Service was right on the money. My check was $26.15.
This Longhorn experience was very much consistent with other Longhorn locations I have been in. In a lot of ways, I prefer to eat at local places, instead of chains, which get boring. But even eating at local places all the time has its own kind of boredom. Sometimes I just want a known, good meal, and usually that means steak. There are a couple places, like Longhorn (another is the Saltgrass chainlet) that make a consistently great steak for a decent price.