by Kat Robinson
The new Texas Roadhouse has opened at Shackleford Crossing. And just like its other area location in North Little Rock, it's loud and proud of its country fried roots. The volume (as in the noise, not just the influx of people) is intense; those wooden floors and overhead beams do nothing to quiet down the hubbub of a crowd. This is not the place for quiet conversation.
The menu is just as loud -- lots of steaks, lots of big sides (like the loaded sweet potato you see above), lots of names that raise eyebrows like "rattlesnake bites" and "chicken critters" and "roadkill." The side salads are loaded with hardboiled egg and cheese.
We did discover on this last visit that the Baby Blossom ($3.99) is actually a much better bargain for us than the Cactus Blossom ($5.99) -- another version of the "awesome blossom" deep fried onion and sauce you tend to get at most of these big chain restaurants these days.
Thing is, Texas Roadhouse is a guilty pleasure. We love our local restaurants, but sometimes you just want to go kick back and throw peanut shells on the floor and listen to Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton and have a cold beer. And, selfishly enough, we like a spot of Prime Rib (10 ounce for $13.99, larger sizes available) now and again, and dropping everything to run up for a really primo Prime Rib at Cagle's Mill in Russsellville isn't always convenient.
Which brings me to this -- there's got to be another couple of great places for steak and prime rib in Central Arkansas. Where do you go when the urge for red meat strikes you? Share and care.