7 Items You Should Avoid Ordering From Texas Roadhouse

When you're absolutely ravenous at the end of a long day, pseudo steakhouses like Texas Roadhouse stand as a beacon of hope and hearty meals. Unlike other meat-focused chains, the 31-year-old joint has never hidden behind smoke and mirrors. Starting with the butcher case of meat that greets you at the entrance, the restaurant instead adopts a what you see is what you get approach when it comes to both its Southwest-style cuisine and its come-as-you-are atmosphere.

With peanut-littered floors, line-dancing staff, and colorful wall murals representing local communities, the restaurant never claims to be fancy. At the same time, makes it impossible to not feel at home. It must be that sweet Southern hospitality at work.

Named the fastest-growing restaurant brand in the world in 2023, it's evident that Texas Roadhouse's one-of-a-kind environment resonates with customers. Beyond that, it's also doing something right over yonder in the kitchen. From hand-cut steaks to Rattlesnake Bites, the chain has managed to lasso a handful of winning recipes; all served in Texas-sized portions. And don't get us started on the rolls dreams are made of accompanied by iconic dollops of honey cinnamon butter.

In the midst of tasty vittles, though, the chain was barking up the wrong tree when it cooked up a few of its "Legendary" menu items. Armed with firsthand experience — as well as information from both customer and employee reviews alike — I have organized a list of these Texas Roadhouse dishes better left in the dust. 

7. Country fried sirloin

Any Southern-style restaurant worth its salt knows better than to leave fried foods off the table. The crispy cuisine is a staple of the region, and one which comes in many forms from chicken and catfish to pickles and okra. There's a fine line between sticking something in the fryer and calling it dinner and cookin' up a true down-home favorite — a line that Texas Roadhouse crosses with its country fried sirloin steak.

Vexations with the dish start with the name itself. While the terms country fried and chicken fried are often used interchangeably, they do have subtle differences. And this sirloin smells a lot like chicken fried steak with its extra crispy coat and white cream gravy. That's strike one. As you dig into the meat slab, these semantics become the least of your worries.

A profuse and unfaltering saltiness plagues the entire platter, hitting from every angle. It's noticed first in the mounds of hand-battered breading — the same one that coats the chain's famed Cactus Blossom appetizer. Then, the chalky gravy packs another sodium-filled punch along with a few blows of strange, unidentified smokiness. The cut itself is thin and elusive, hidden underneath this pile of fuss and feathers. Chewy and without much flavor, it's a welcome relief from the salt but a disappointing treasure after cutting through a thicket of gravy-soaked crust. It's safe to say that if you're looking for a slice of Southern comfort, you won't find it here.

6. Mac and cheese

When you dine at a steakhouse, even a casual one like Texas Roadhouse, there's an expectation that you will be served food that differs from the same old same old you whip up at home. Evidently, the restaurant didn't get this memo. For a long time, when customers ordered a side of mac and cheese at the chain, the dish that materialized in front of them would be filled with none other than Kraft.

Even for fans of the cheesy brand, this is a lousy letdown. Especially when you think about how much extra you're paying for a product that sells for a retail price of just $1 and some change. TikTokers have even reported paying $4 at the chain for one small cup of orange noodles, according to the Independent.

Kraft is still on the menu at various Texas Roadhouse restaurants. Within the last couple of years, the chain has attempted to redeem itself by switching to what it calls "homemade mac and cheese" at many of its locations. But don't get your hopes up. It sports a wildly unbalanced ratio of gloopy cheese to noodles and manages to lack much character. An ultra-mild cheddar seems to be the cheese of choice, and seasonings — even basics like salt or pepper — are scanty. Plus, if you were hoping for some fancy mac and cheese fix-ins like panko bread crumbs, you won't get it. At least you can top it with a light helping of cheddar and bacon for an additional $1.29.

5. All-American cheeseburger

Burgers at a steakhouse should not be an obligatory afterthought. As an American classic, they deserve the same gentle love and care given to their steak brethren, especially since the secret to a good burger lies in the details.

From the outside, Texas Roadhouse's All-American cheeseburger gives off the impression that it's doing everything right. Stacked high with a thick patty, tomatoes, lettuce, and onion, it's a big-mouth burger if we've ever seen one and comes held together with a toothpick as another gentle reminder of its size. As you take the wooden stick out to dig in, everything begins to fall apart — both literally and figuratively.

The meat's denseness is appreciated, but the fact that it's often overcooked and chewy is not. Spices, seasonings, and condiments also seem to be foreign concepts to the sandwich. The responsibility of dressing the burger falls to the customer: no mayonnaise, ketchup, or droplets of mustard are found under the bun.

Drab and forgettable, it's a creation that could easily be made at home—but cheaper and better. There may still be hope for the chain's other hamburger renditions: the bacon cheeseburger and Barbecue Smokehouse burger, which throw supplemental flavors into the mix. As for the All-American, it's far from the American dream.

4. Porterhouse T-bone

Steaks make up a meaty 44% of the menu at Texas Roadhouse. Ten separate cuts are featured as a meal all on their own, and a select few even pop up again as part of the chain's Texas Size Combos. The lion's share of this lot is worth the splurge, including the Dallas filet and the best-selling ribeye. However, there's one cut you'll want to steer clear of.

As a mash-up of both filet and strip, the porterhouse T-bone sounds like a glorious, prime choice, weighing in at 23 ounces of pure beef and taking the crown as the most expensive cut at the steakhouse. Don't fall into the trap. As a bone-in steak — and a behemoth-sized one at that — t-bone is extremely susceptible to over or uneven cooking. So, even considering the temperature request, overdone and dried-out edges often team up with nearly raw meat adjacent to the bone for an unpredictable and offputting eating experience.

This predicament could be chalked up to inexperience or inconsistencies behind the grill. One ex-employee on Reddit revealed that the porterhouse T-bone's mediocrity may actually be due to the fact that it's the only steak not hand-cut in the restaurant but shipped in frozen instead. A small but important difference that turns what should be a prized cut into, in the employee's words, one of the chain's "not so good" steaks.

3. Green beans

Green beans are a common side dish at a diverse range of restaurants, from BBQ joints to Asian-inspired eateries to more upscale dining establishments. Other chains like The Habit Burger Grill and Texas-based Saltgrass Steakhouse cook up crave-able versions of the green bean side dishes; however, the recipe at Texas Roadhouse falls short. It even ranks as the worst side dish you can order from the steakhouse, last on a long list of 16 total options.

Attempting to achieve a homestyle flair, the green beans are accompanied by bits of bacon and diced white onions, both of which appear to be only half-cooked. The stalks themselves, however, are exceedingly tender, almost to the point of disintegrating. All the ingredients are simultaneously drowning in a watery yet greasy base. A spoon may be more appropriate than a fork to tackle the saturated dish, which is more reminiscent of pea soup than a fresh vegetable. In terms of taste, there isn't much to speak of. 

The beans exhibit a touch of smokiness paired with a strange sweetness. For the most part, the dish can be chalked up to a bland and flavorless mush. If you still want to add some green to your steak dinner, one of the chain's side salads or steamed broccoli will likely be a better bet.

2. Pulled pork dinner

Texas is arguably the best state to enjoy good ol' American barbecue, with cities like Austin, San Antonio, and Houston taking the reins. But, did you know Texas Roadhouse has no original ties to the Lone Star State? That's right. The franchise actually got its start in Clarksville, Indiana, and is now headquartered across the river in Louisville, Kentucky. This lack of authenticity may rile up some Texans. It also may explain why one of the chain's prominent barbecue dishes, the pulled pork dinner, doesn't live up to the Southern state's name.

The bare-bones version of a pulled pork sandwich doesn't inspire much confidence from the jump, with a presentation that's less than appealing. The pork shreds and bits are presented a bit carelessly on the plate. It's quite unsightly, especially if the BBQ sauce — the dish's only redeeming quality — hasn't been slathered on yet. Digging in, half of the helping is often gristly and fatty. Conversely, the other half is often dried out with a tough texture.

Then, as the cherry on top of an already unsatisfying meal, the pulled pork dinner is served with a side of crusty, often burnt bread that is a far cry from the chain's pillowy and beloved dinner rolls. The only good news is that it also comes with a choice of two Legendary sides, so there's still a chance to end up with something palatable on your plate.

1. Steak fries

A steak would be nothing without its frites. That's why you'll find a version of the stringy spuds on nearly every steakhouse menu you can get your hands on. Some joints dazzle you with complex cuts from curly to crinkle, while others err on the side of simplicity with straight or shoestring fries. The Roadhouse lands somewhere in the middle with its thick-cut, Texas-sized steak fries. A perfectly acceptable choice, but one which is poorly executed.

Eat This, Not That! reports that Texas Roadhouse fries arrive frozen, which explains why the rectangular slabs somehow manage to lack both warmth and crispness — bare minimum attributes one would expect from any restaurant French fry. Instead, in my experience, they live in a constant state of sogginess with no crunch to offset their mushy potato interior. 

This less-than-appealing texture could have been overlooked if masked by a killer seasoning, but no dice there. Instead, you get a basic and overdone combination of salt, garlic salt, and onion powder to dress this side dish. Yet many end up bare, missed altogether in the dusting process; others are nearly drowned by tiny granules with a too-sharp flavor. Unfortunately for Texas Roadhouse, this adds up to a fry rendition that pales in comparison to the best french fries in America.


No matter how established, popular, or even well-perceived a restaurant is, it is bound to offer a few dishes that are simply not up to par with others. Texas Roadhouse is no exception. Over my years dining at the Kentucky-based chain, including dozens of visits, I've gained a stout understanding of which meals delight without fail and, conversely, what fare consistently sparks hissy fits amongst patrons. 

The dishes in this list were chosen and ranked for their lack of overall flavor as compared to numerous other options on the menu. The Cactus Blossom and butter rolls are still pretty Texas Roadhouse icons. But this compiled list of items falls short of our Texas-sized expectations — and, based on reviews and insider information, others certainly agree.