So, look. We're in Killeen, Texas, proud home of Fort Hood and the place where Husbear's working on and off for the next couple of weeks. Hopefully.
Killeen's a strange town, an army town. The vast majority of the men you see here have crew cuts or are actually in uniform. Lots of restaurants and bars have happy hours from 9 to midnight, something I've never seen before.
Also, it's a center for chain restaurants. I've never seen so many chains in such a small town - every one you could ever imagine.
And they've sucked us in.
Here, I have to give the edge to Texas Roadhouse. A behatted Texas beats out a sign with half the lights burned out.
Logan's 0, Texas 1.
These places are shockingly similar inside. Peanut shells strewn all over the floor, fake wood, lots of neon beer signs, et cetera. As soon as you sit down, you get a bucket of peanuts and a basket of bread.
Both places make a big deal about their bread - "We bake it every 5 minutes," said the waitress at Texas Roadhouse. They were basically the same, though Logan's Roadhouse had regular whipped butter and Texas Roadhouse had stickily sweet cinnamon honey butter. The yeast rolls tasted like they could have been from the same overly-sweet mix, though Logan's were cooked a little longer and had a reasonable facsimile of a crust. Ish. Plus, the peanuts at Texas Roadhouse were stale and dry.
So 1 point for the peanuts and 1 for the bread, both to Logan's Roadhouse.
Logan's 2, Texas 1.
On to the salads! At Logan's Roadhouse, on our first night, we tried two. And were too naive to ask them to leave off the grated cheddar cheese.
And Logan's House:
And Texas Roadhouse's House, which we asked for without the cheese - see, we learn eventually:
Honestly, all of these salads were kind of silly. It's sort of sad that there are probably people who think a salad is a healthy alternative here, only to find out that it's covered in cheese and eggs and fried bacon and topped with dressings including, of course, ranch, bleu cheese, and deep-fried lard.
Logan's balsamic vinaigrette dressing was less sweet and a good bit more tart than Texas Roadhouse's Italian. Plus, the croutons at Texas Roadhouse were soggy. Point - Logan's!
Logan's 3, Texas 1.
And, because I know this is the moment you've all been waiting for....
ENTREES! No, we didn't order steak.
At Logan's, Husbear ordered the fried shrimp and catfish with a side of macaroni and cheese (hey, it counts as a vegetable, right?)
and I got their hilariously enormous grilled meatloaf, which comes topped with these onions they're apparently particularly proud of. My side? Mashed taters.
Husbear thought the shrimp were fairly good and the catfish was sort of sad - not enough seasoning in the breading, perhaps? My grilled meatloaf was... food. Not good, not bad, certainly wouldn't have been memorable but for the fact that my leftovers (more than half the plate!) stank up our hotel room every time we opened the fridge.
At Texas Roadhouse, Husbear ordered an appetizer portion of their "award-winning" ribs. Ha. Think crunchy outside and almost powdery middle - it was like meat product had been reconstituted around a bone structure (Husbear's description). The fries were nothing special.
The enormous cricket crawling along the wall was something of a shock.
Trying to be a little healthier than the meatloaf extravaganza the night before, I ordered a grilled shrimp kabob on rice pilaf.
There were lots of factors that kept this from being anywhere approaching healthy. First, the double portion of shrimp. Second, bacon in the beans, though that was hardly a surprise. Third, what the hell is that dipping sauce? It tasted like the butter substitute that goes on popcorn at the movie theater, which is apparently called "buttery".
And the rice pilaf was inedibly bland and greasy. Hmmm.
In terms of our arteries, the meals are probably a draw, but I have to give a slight tastiness edge to Logan's. Slight.
This brings the final score to....
Logan's 5, Texas 1!
Winner and still CHAMPEEN!
Not that we'll be back to either anytime soon, if we can avoid it... though I might want to run some sort of experiment on which chain has the squishier rolls.