Bloomin’ Onion


Sometimes unexpected things happen that add an interesting and special touch to something you are doing. Last evening was one of those nights.  We decided to go to Outback, one of our favorite restaurants, to enjoy a special evening out for Valentine’s Day.   I was hungry for a Bloomin’ Onion and we also had a $25 gift card. We arrived at 6:15 and the tall, young fellow at the door took our name and solemnly announced as he was handing us our “notifier” that it would be a 70-80 minute wait.  For a few moments we debated what to do. That seemed like a long time to stand in a very crowded entryway full of people but we finally decided to stick it out.

After about 30 minutes of leaning against the wall, looking at a menu, watching the staff clear and clean tables, and listening to the greeter saying 75-85 minutes to the endless incoming stream of people-he now had upped the time wait, we were approached by a gentleman who said, “Good evening. Would you like a table if I have one available?” Now what fool would say “no”?  He then said, “It will be at a tall table with bar stools”.  That was fine with us.  Bar stools are actually more comfortable than sitting in a booth-particularly when you go to get up!   We were wondering about our sudden fate of luck as he led us to the back of the restaurant to the right of the bar and next to the kitchen door.  We hoped up on our stools like birds roasting on a post.

Gene asked the gentleman, who was obviously the manager, how we got picked out of all those people.  He said, “Because you made eye contact with me. You looked me in the eye when I approached. Most people look down or ignore you”.  We did???? We didn’t realize that we do that!  That left us with some interesting conversation.  The manager chatted with us a bit and asked us why we were there.  I mentioned how much I love the Bloomin’ Onion and he said, “the onion is on the house tonight. Enjoy your meal.”

We ended up with the best waiter I think we have ever had.  He was friendly and helpful but not a hovering helicopter. The manager stopped by our table several times to chat and each time we chatted like old friends. I’m not sure who was more intrigued, him with us or we with him.  We talked about the Bloomin’ Onion. I told him I tried to make them at home but could not get the batter to stick. He informed me that it would be impossible for me to do. They have a “special” onion and “special” technique that I can’t duplicate and it is all a big secret, including the sauce!  He said he sees the “look alike” recipes on the internet and they are not the same.  He found out we were from Powhatan and own a feed store. His wife wants chickens now that Chesterfield County has loosen the law and a garden.  She has been researching on the internet the “best” chicken for laying eggs.  Now if anyone knows me, they know I can talk chicken and garden and of course we knew just the place to recommend that they shop!  Chickens and gardening are my two favorite areas of expertise! We found out he was from Orlando, Florida and Gene told him he was leaving the next day to go to Orlando for a Purina expo.  He ended up asking for a business card and said he would bring his wife out to the store to purchase her chickens and seeds. I also referred him to our website which is loaded with helpful advice and pictures on both subjects.

It was the small, interesting chat that made our evening special and the Bloomin’ Onion was the best I think I have ever eaten!  We both agreed when we left that it was probably one of the best restaurant experiences we have ever had.  You never know!


  1. Sylvia Said:

    I agree…you never know…where a conversation will lead or how you might brighten someones day and learn something in the process!! I, too, have tried to make the onion at home. Even if you can get it half-right, what a mess!! Buying it is a much better way to go!!

  2. Pat Said:

    I guess there are just some things you have to be content to purchase!!! It makes eating out special.

  3. so beautiful your night out,Iemjoy this place also,very good food alwaysxxxxxxxx

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