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Ruth's Chris Steak House -- Orlando, FL

7501 Sand Lake Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819
Phone: 407.226.3900
Date of Visit: 02 May 2004


I had not been to a Ruth's Chris Steak House since visiting my friend Peter and his family in Seattle quite a while ago. So I decided to check out the local Orlando steak house while attending a conference in Orlando.

What can I say? It's a Ruth's Chris. One could almost consider them the McDonald's of chain steak houses -- without the Happy Meal. They are consistent...and predictable. I am not saying this is a bad thing. But you generally know what to expect when you walk through the door.

Since I had enjoyed a libation (or two!) earlier at the bar, I was not in the mood for a full bottle of wine. I also did not feel like ordering any of their By The Glass wines. So I broke another of my dining rules ("Do Not Order Half-Bottles of Wine."), and ordered a half-bottle of 2000 J. Lohr cabernet sauvignon ($25.00). In my opinion, half-bottles are generally not a good value. But this wine was fine and carried me though the entire meal. When the server brought the wine, she started to pour the wine into the wine glass that was already set on the table. You know the kind: they are small and can be found at any Wal-Mart for about a dollar! I stopped her and asked if she had any "real" wine glasses. She smiled, said yes, and set off in search of something more functional. It was more of a search than it should have been, because she did not return for several minutes! (Is there a time limit that one can impose where, when it is exceeded, one can -- legally -- begin drinking directly from the wine bottle? I must investigate this option.)

I began with the Steak House Salad ($6.95). Sadly, it was very disappointing, except for the blue cheese dressing. The salad greens were not very crisp and lacked any decent flavor. The entree was the New York Strip ($31.95), accompanied by the fresh asparagus with Hollandaise sauce ($6.95). The Dead Cow was good but not exceptional, and the asparagus was a little bit astringent. (I know, wine and asparagus don't mix. But I was in an Asparagus Mood that night.)

The service was professional and efficient and the meal -- overall -- was good but not the best I have had at a Ruth's Chris. To be truthful, I personally like Morton's of Chicago better than Ruth's Chris (for a national chain).


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