Dining Out: Outback Steakhouse

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Outback Steakhouse

2348 Bell Blvd. Bayside

Phone: (718) 819-0908

Fax: (718) 380-2271

Welcome to the 21st century and welcome to Outback, the no-rules. just-right Australian steakhouse, the newest restaurant in the newest building of the Bay Terrace Shopping center, one of a chain targeted to open throughout the five boroughs. We're the very first, here in Queens.

It all started in 1988 in Florida when Crocodile Dundee was hot. The steakhouse is a take-off with sheep shears and boomerangs ad infinitum on display. There's Outback simplicity in its decor: wooden tables and clean-cut white, metal hanging lights, with ceiling fans lazily going round and round.

Tall, slim glass steins at Outback hold Fosters, an Australian beer. (There are free refills on soft drinks and tea.) and if you are so inclined the Wallaby Darned is a down under slurpy slushy drink with peaches, Schnapps, champagne and vodka. It's ever so smooth, served in a short version of the glass beer mug.

It was packed the night we dined. There are no reservations required, but there are beepers which you pick up at check-in.

You're now free to wander the shopping center while you wait. You're table is ready and waiting at the sound of the beep.

One of Outback's founders was from New Orleans and worked with famed chefs there to further develop the recipes. Whatever the formula, the food is terrific, cooked beautifully and seasoned to perfection No matter where you look in Outback's bar or dining area, the onion (claimed to be an "aboriginal") is blooming and served by a waitstaff dressed in bush shirts.

Our appetizer, known here as an Aussie-tizer) was Grilled Shrimp on the Barbie seasoned and served with Outback's remoulade sauce, a creamy delight. Five shrimp are arranged all in a row on a six-inch long pumpernickel loaf. These shrimp are seasoned magnificently.

Walkabout soup comes in two versions: creamy onion and baked potato. If the potato matches our luscious onion, I say, "Yippee!" Gold Coast Coconut shrimp looked worth a return trip.

It's served up with six large - really large - shrimp, dipped in a beer batter, rolled in coconut, deep fried to a deep golden brown and served in a tangy sauce.

Salad comes with all land rover menu options of steak or rack of lamb. Or for $1.99 you can have a house salad or a Caesar salad. An Outback's Caesar would do any Roman proud. Loved the long shreds of fresh Parmesan. Could there be a bit of anchovy in the dressing adding to its authenticity? For the record, my dining companion approved of his house salad.

The Queensland chicken and shrimp entree shows how well Outback handles a chicken breast. Admittedly, I gravitate toward the dark meat but here the breast was thick, ultra moist and actually flavorsome. This I like.

Another plus, it's served with beautifully seasoned shrimp atop Fettuccine Alfredo. (The Alfredo alas, could have been creamier, i.e. moister.)

His ribs on the barbie were baby backs, smoked, grilled, and served with Aussie chips (a notch above). When it comes to steaks, there are six choices, from ribs to a center cut sirloin or a 9-ounce tenderloin.

For seafood options, there's a fish of the day seasoned and grilled or lobster tails. And don't forget the Aussie sandwiches.

Desserts feature Blue Bell ice cream, a Texas company. Our Cinnamon Oblivion was served in the largest black-rimmed soup plate in the USA or Australia: it's vanilla ice cream with cinnamon apples and pecans and a crispy coating topped with caramel sauce. This is special tucker (that's food). But, coffee was just OK. I can't rave.

Welcome, too, to Outback's curbside takeaway. No worries. You can get your tucker without getting out of our car. Just call up, pull up and they'll bring it straight to your automobile.

The Bottom Line

Crocodile Dundee Australian setting and food, seasoned to perfection. Dinner only from 4 pm. Favored by both young adults & seniors. First one in New York.

Chefs' Choice

Bloomin' Onion... $5.95

Gold Coast Coconut

Shrimp ... $7.99

Queensland Chicken N Shrimp ... $14.49

Outback Special (a 12-ounce center cut sirloin) ... $13.99

Drover's Platter (ribs and chicken breast on the barbie with Aussie chips, cinnamon apple)... $14.99

Jackeroo Chops ...$14.49

Alice Springs Chicken (grilled chicken breast and bacon smothered in mushrooms, melted MontereyJack and cheddar with honey and mustard sauce)...$12.99

Botany Bay Fish of the Day... $14.49

Victoria's Filet... $17.99

Parking: Large lot

Location: Bay Terrace Shopping Center

Dress: Casual

Credit cards: All major

Takeout: Curbside, without exiting car

Catering/private parties: Not yet

Smoking: At bar

Noise level: Moderate

Handicap access: Yes

Takeout: Yes and delivery

Noise level: Moderate

Smoking: None

Handicap access: Yes

Smoking: At bar

Updated 10:25 am, October 12, 2011
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