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Outback Steakhouse logo   Outback Steakhouse
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    Bleu Cheese Dressing Condiments, Sauces, Seasoning
    Bloomin' Onion Condiments, Sauces, Seasoning
    Caesar Salad Dressing Condiments, Sauces, Seasoning
    Cinnamon Oblivion Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    Coral Reef 'Rita Beverages
    Honey Wheat Bushman Bread Appetizers, Salads, Snacks, Soups
    Ranch Salad Dressing Condiments, Sauces, Seasoning
    Sydney's Sinful Sundae Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    The Wallaby Darned Beverages
    Outback Steakhouse is a casual dining American restaurant chain based in Tampa, Florida with over 900 locations in 23 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. It specializes in USDA Choice and, occasionally, Prime steaks and other offerings in an Australian-inspired environment.

    It was founded in February 1988 by Bob Basham, Trudy Cooper, Chris T. Sullivan, and Tim Gannon. It is owned and operated in the United States by OSI Restaurant Partners, and by franchise and venture agreements internationally.

    Theme

    As the name suggests, Outback Steakhouse has a strong Australian outback theme, exemplified by Boomerangs, stuffed crocodiles, maps of Australia, a reproduction of Ned Kelly's helmet, whips, didgeridoos, and paintings by Aboriginal artists. Menu items are largely named after places in Australia, including the Ayers Rock Strip, Alice Springs Chicken, and Rockhampton Ribeye. Others are named after animals, like Kookaburra Wings, or Wallaby Darned. Some items are named after agricultural professions, such as the Jackaroo Chops or Drover's Platter. Others still take their names from pop-cultural references, such as the Mad Max Burger and Grilled Shrimp On The Barbie.

    Cuisine

    Despite its theme, Outback Steakhouse serves American cuisine, with Creole influences. All meat is heavily seasoned, including a 17 spice blend for the steaks themselves. Most seafood items are served with a Creole remoulade sauce. Outback bills its food as "full flavor". It fries its food in beef tallow, and uses real butter and heavy cream in many dishes. Burgers are ground from beef tenderloin. Menus are highly regionalized. Crawfish appear in some dishes in Southern American locations, as do sweet potatoes. Eastern locations often feature Maine Lobster tails, while western locations frequently serve Alaskan King Crab legs and cakes.

    Although a number of menu items are grilled, steaks are prepared on a griddle using butter as a heat transfer medium. Because they are cooked solely by conduction, their surfaces are cooked more rapidly than their centers, and so Outback has a nonstandard meat doneness scale.

    The Bloomin' Onion is a signature Outback item. It is a one-pound onion cut to "bloom" open, breaded, fried, and served with a horseradish-mustard aïoli. Other restaurants also offer items similar to the Bloomin' Onion, as in Chili's Awesome Blossom and Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon's Texas Rose.

    Outback's bar selections are also highly regionalized. Most Outbacks serve Foster's Lager, an Australian brand of beer largely sold outside of Australia. Other Australian beers include Coopers Premium Lager, Coopers Sparkling Ale, and Boag's. Wine selections also vary, but often include those from Australian wineries like Yellow Tail, and Foster's Group holdings Lindemans and Rosemount Estates.

    Community Involvement

    Outback has sponsored numerous sports organizations and competitions, including the NCAA Football Outback Bowl, NASCAR, the PGA, the Outback Champion Series of Tennis, and the NFL (supported by the Outback Steakhouse John Madden NFL Cruiser).

    Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Outback was one of the first groups to deliver food services on-site to rescue workers and emergency personnel.

    The company has also strongly supported coalition troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has organized multiple missions to feed soldiers overseas. Following Operation Enduring Freedom, Outback sent fifteen volunteers to Kandahar in June 2002 to feed 6,000 servicemen. It repeated the trip in January 2003, feeding an additional 13,000 in Kandahar and Bagram. Following Operation Iraqi Freedom, twenty-one volunteers were sent in January 2004 to cater for troops in Baqubah, Mosul, and at Al Asad Airbase. In September 2005, volunteers prepared food for 16,000 on the USS Nimitz at Camp Le Monier.

    Political Involvement

    The company and its founders are major contributors, via the Outback Steakhouse PAC, to the Republican Party, contributing $303,015 and $334,197 for the 2000 and 2004 election cycles, respectively. The Outback Steakhouse PAC itself is one of the largest donors in the food and beverage sector, second only to the National Restaurant Association, which itself represents 300,000 restaurants.

    Trivia

    . The company owns two blimps, the Bloomin' Onion I and Bloomin' Onion II, named after their famed appetizer.
    . General (ret) Tommy Franks sits on the Board Of Directors for OSI Restaurant Partners, INC., which owns Outback Steakhouse.

    Links

    Outback Steakhouse
    http://www.outbacksteakhouse.com/
    Outback Steakhouse logo
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