Texas Roadhouse: Fried Chicken vs. Ribs vs. Pork

by Kelly J. Larson | The Dish | May 2012

If you like your chicken fried and a cold beer on a Friday night, Texas Roadhouse may be the right place for you. With the radio up playing country music and peanut shells littering the floor, this restaurant offers “blue-ribbon” winning, fall-off-the-bone ribs and a slab of fried chicken that will surprise you.

“Literally, it’s the size of my face,” UW senior Amanda Axel said.

Known for its steaks, the chain restaurant started 19 years ago in Clarksville, Ind., and now has more than 300 locations in 44 states. Its location on Madison’s far east side requires a car or bus ride from campus, but it’s worth it.

Texas Roadhouse is not a place to watch the sunrise, but you might be able to see the love in a woman’s eyes, feel the touch of a precious child or know a mother’s love because it’s very family friendly. People of all ages can enjoy watching the staff dance to a song or a birthday guy or gal sit on the saddle and receive a happy birthday “yeehaw.”

Not wanting to miss out, I ventured east with my friends Amanda Axel and Jackie Nelson to determine whether Texas Roadhouse offers better fried chicken or “fall-off-the-bone” ribs.

When I asked the waiter why the ribs were dubbed “blue-ribbon” winning, he said, “I have no idea. I’ve never seen an award, but apparently they win every year.”

Regardless, they usually do fall off the bone as its name suggests. Amanda ordered the country fried chicken. It was breaded and very thin, and, according to Amanda, it tasted “like a giant chicken nugget.”

Jackie ordered the pulled pork.

We talked and laughed as we ate and drank. Dinner with friends is always a good time, and if you agree, have a drink with me and raise your glasses for a toast because the moment has come for me to make a decision: The ribs beat the chicken.

Amanda would disagree, and Jackie would vouch for the pork.

Despite our different opinions, we learned that whether you’re in the mood for fried chicken, ribs or pork, Texas Roadhouse is simply a fun place to go.

“I’d definitely come back,” Jackie said.

It really is the little things in life that mean the most, not where you live, what you drive or the price tag on your clothes. Spending a couple hours with friends, stuffing my face with the best honey buns in town and wearing jeans that fit just right make me happy. That’s all I can really ask for when going out to eat.

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