Saturday, March 9, 2013

a little piece of home.

I was out running errands the other day and happened to drive past a sign.  Not just any ol' sign, but something oddly familiar and strangely exciting. This sign immediately caught my eye with its familiar font and striking words. COMING SOON... OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE! It is true my friends. Outback Steakhouse is officially opening their first ever Queensland location right here in Brisbane and I could not be more excited!!
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I know what you are thinking. "Umm... wouldn't Australia be the first place you would find Outback Steakhouse?" (nope- it is an American restaurant) or "Really, Outback Steakhouse isn't that amazing" (three words- Bloomin' freakin' Onion) or "Who really cares" (Umm.. THIS GIRL!).

It is hard to explain to people unless you have moved to a new country, but over time you really start missing food you never thought you would miss. Every time you start to think about a trip back home, you find yourself planning all of your outings around food and shyly saying things like... "Oh, and while we are at the mall we will have to stop by Panera for a Sierra Turkey sandwich on a toasted everything bagel" like you hadn't been thinking about it for the last forty two days. Or, "Oh, I guess while we are here filling up the car, I might as well duck in and get a bag of fritos, some white cheddar popcorn and a diet sunkist." I mean, who even likes fritos anymore?!?!

So when I saw that bless-ed "COMING SOON" sign, I damn near drove off the side of the road in shock and unnecessary excitement. You mean to tell me that in the very near future I can have a BLOOMIN' ONION any day of the week?!?!!?

Really though, seeing that sign was more about feeling like a little piece of home was moving in next door. As sad as it sounds, Outback Steakhouse holds a lot of really good memories for me. It was always number one on my special Birthday Dinner list as a kid and was the place my dad always took me out to when he would come visit me at college (Go Gators!). We would sit there for hours drinking cold margaritas and eating way to much food as we talked about everything under the sun. You see, my dad is full of advice. Advice about money. Advice about business. Even a little bit of advice about relationships. And I seriously value his advice! But every time we visited Outback Steakhouse, my dad would end the conversation by telling me how proud he was of me and what I was doing with my life. And as much as I enjoyed the free meal and tender steak, what I really loved was that one-on-one time with my dad. It was our place, Outback, and now I can go there whenever I'd like for a little taste of home. Amen!

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Fun Facts:
- There are already 6 Outback's in Australia but they are all located in New South Wales (how did I not know this?!?!).
- The menu is slightly different, but they have been sure to include the standard American restaurant trend of free refills on soft drinks (which is not done in Australia).
- As you probably guessed, the prices are much higher here (even though our dollar is worth more... can someone PLEASE explain that one to me!) American Outback Special $16.99, Australian Outback Special $29.95??
- The next chain restaurants I am hoping make the big jump to Australia are (in no particular order) 1. Tin Lizzy's Cantina 2. Carrabba's Italian Grill 3. Moes Southwest Grill 4. Bagelheads 5. Panera Bread... not that I have given this any thought or anything, haha.

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