Friday, May 13, 2011

I’ve got to admit it’s getting better

longhorn Jonesboro’s culinary choices were pretty limited when we came to town four years ago, but the transformation of the city’s restaurant scene has been dramatic and it continues to expand.

Four years ago, you had few choices outside of “brown” (fried) Southern fare of barbecue and catfish. Yes, there was an IHOP, an Outback steakhouse, what could pass for some of the world’s worst pizza places, a pretty darn good Italian restaurant, a stellar steak house, a few Oriental buffets, a decent Japanese place, and a trendy burger bar downtown. There were several Mexican restaurants, but since it’s a dry county and none had the requisite “private club” liquor license. And there were a bunch of McDonald’ses and an unnatural number of Sonics.

Since then, the restaurant scene has exploded downtown with several eateries, a faux Irish pub and a Thai restaurant. We even got Chipotles, a Mexican eatery with a club license, so it’s now possible to have a Dos Equis or a margarita with your dinner. Things got even more interesting last year with the opening of an Olive Garden, followed this spring by a Longhorn Steakhouse and, beginning next Monday, a Red Lobster.

We had lunch yesterday at Longhorn Steakhouse. We’ve visited Longhorn Steakhouses elsewhere, but my memory had blurred them into a mishmash with Texas Roadhouse and Lone Star Steakhouse.

I had the black and bleu burger with bleu cheese, which was pretty good. We split a piece of spectacular Key Lime pie for dessert.

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