Let me preface this article by saying we have added another member to the team. Texas is a 21 year old male, who also loves food. He's a big fan of the blog and decided to contribute some content. He's my room mate at college and he has my full support on his opinions. This brings the total review team up to 3. Welcome to the team Texas!
At least three restaurants in the area around Bourbonnais by which I mean a 1 hour radius have an appetizer on their menus in the form of an onion that is cut into a blossom, battered, and fried. Outback Steakhouse calls it the Bloomin' Onion, Texas Roadhouse calls it the Cactus Blossom, and Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon calls it the Texas Rose. Technically speaking, they are all relatively identical. However, I chose one week to challenge all three to my judgment and see which is truly superior. My credentials are that I love this appetizer. Also, I should mention that I am a born and raised Texan so I have to hang up my bias in order to allow Outback a fair fight.
I should also mention that these appetizers typically run about 5 bucks but it is pretty easy to find coupons for a "free appetizer with purchase of two meals" for both Roadhouse and Outback so take a date.
Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon (N. State Route 50, Bourbonnais)
Lone Star itself is an ok place. The food is good and despite being in Illinois, the Texas influence in its meals is obvious. The Texas Rose? It was just ok. The sliced fried pieces of onion were sometimes cut too thin and burned leaving just a miniscule burnt onion in a hunk of fried batter. The dipping sauce was also pretty gross tasting to me.
Texas Roadhouse (Route 45, Tinley Park)
I'm a huge Texas Roadhouse fan. I have always loved the food here and its selection is vast. The Texas influence makes me feel right at home. How do I like their Cactus Blossom? It's pretty good. The blossom itself is quality. The downside is once again, a crappy tasting dipping sauce.
Outback Steakhouse (Orland Park)
I really just go to Outback for the Bloomin' Onion. It's menu is limited and expensive and they are always out of Shock Top. What about their Bloomin’ Onion makes it so great? It is always thick-cut, extra fried, and has the best tasting dipping sauce. It's only flaw is that it takes longer to come out than the ones I order at Lone Star and Texas Roadhouse.
Lone Star's Texas Rose: 4/10
Texas Roadhouse's Cactus Blossom: 7/10
Outback Steakhouse's Bloomin' Onion: 9/10