Restaurant review: Texas Roadhouse in Hadley

Sep 1 2016

The chain’s Hadley restaurant, located on Route 9, reflects the chain’s in-your-face country-western personality.

Big, bold, and brash is the agenda at Texas Roadhouse, the Louisville, Kentucky-based casual dining brand.

The chain’s Hadley restaurant, located on Route 9, reflects the chain’s in-your-face country-western personality, from the rustic “pine-board” decor to the plaintive country ballads that play in the background.

The menu at Texas Roadhouse is all about red-meat enjoyment. The chain prides itself on the hand cut steaks and slow cooked ribs that represent its signature offerings.

Steak choices include four sizes of USDA Choice Sirloin as well as a Dallas Filet ($20.99) and a Bone-In Ribeye ($25.99). Prime Rib ($22.99) is available, as is a cheese-and-onion-topped chopped steak that’s mischievously labeled “Roadkill” ($10.49)

Other options Texas Roadhouse makes available range from Portobello Mushroom Chicken ($11.99) and Grilled Pork Chops ($10.49) to Fish & Chips ($11.99) and Grilled Salmon ($14.99).

Burgers, salad plates, and several sandwich variations complete the lineup.

Starters are of the hearty sort. Fried Pickles ($4.99) are featured, as are Boneless Buffalo Wings ($8.99) and Rattlesnake Bites (cheese-stuffed jalapeno nuggets — $5.99).

We began our dinner by sharing a Cactus Blossom ($5.99), the restaurant’s version of a pull-apart onion appetizer. More than enough to share, the batter-dipped, deep-fried onion came with a horseradish dipping sauce ginned up with a dash of Cajun spice.

Texas Red Chili ($2.99) is another agreeable possibility. Heavy on the chili powder, a characteristic that gave the “Texas Red” a distinctive cumin kick, the chili was served topped with grated cheese and diced red onion.

From the eatery’s steak repertoire, we settled on two favorites. A Ft. Worth Ribeye ($18.99 for a 12-ounce cut) was cooked as we’d specified; its beef flavor only lightly “enhanced” by a proprietary brush-on. The New York Strip ($18.99) was equally to our liking; both steaks had been grilled, rather than being “charbroiled,” the latter a technique that too often translates as “burnt and slightly bitter.”

Steaks at Texas Roadhouse can be “smothered,” for an additional $1.99, with any combination of mushrooms, onions, Jack cheese, and brown gravy. We opted to enhance our red meat moment with the mushrooms and were pleased to find they’d been simply prepared – butter, some salt and pepper, and a whisper of garlic.

Roadhouse’s “Fall-off-the-Bone” Ribs ($14.99 for a half slab) were also agreeable enough, with a low-key smoky flavor and barbecue sauce brush-on that contributed suggestions of caramel and molasses.

The same sauce dressed up the BBQ Roasted Half Chicken ($10.99) we enjoyed, the sauce enhancing the pleasantly moist poultry.

Main course selections come with a choice of two sides picked from a roster of a dozen options. Based on our experience, the house does a great job with salad, whether one opts for the “house” or “Caesar” variations. Baked potatoes, whether white or sweet, are freshly prepared and generously buttered.

The seasoned rice, however, is just like grandma used to make — assuming she wasn’t a very good cook. Flecked with green pepper and flavored with brown gravy, the rice was mushy and overly salted.

Meals come with a basket of dinner rolls and cinnamon butter is provided to slather onto them.

Beverage options at Texas Roadhouse include a dozen beers, six mass-market wines, and various margarita variations. Soft drinks, iced tea, and flavored lemonades are available as well.

Picking from the trio of desserts Texas Roadhouse promotes, we decided to share Granny’s Apple Classic ($5.99).

“Big” is the adjective of choice to describe Roadhouse desserts. Our “Classic” proved to be a whole quarter of an apple pie mounded with vanilla ice cream and dark caramel sauce. The dessert was enjoyable but had nothing remarkable about it beyond its size.

Other dessert possibilities include a “Big Ole” Brownie and Strawberry Cheesecake (both $5.99).

Texas Roadhouse offers an early dine menu that features 11 entrees such as sirloin steak, pulled pork, and country fried chicken. Days and times vary by location, but at the Hadley restaurant the “early dine” deal is available until 6 p.m.

Name: Texas Roadhouse
Address: 280 Russell Street, Hadley
Telephone: (413) 584-0100
Website: texasroadhouse.com
Hours: Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday noon to 10 p.m.
Entree prices: $9.49 – $26.99
Credit cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Handicapped access: Accessible, with restrooms equipped for wheelchair use
Reservations: Call-ahead seating

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