Nov 12, 2021 - Food and Drink

Why is it impossible to get into Texas Roadhouse?

A Texas Roadhouse storefront

Give us this day, our daily sweet bread. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

I'm a big fan of our local restaurants, but not going to lie, sometimes, I just want to stuff rolls in my mouth in an environment that doesn't judge me.

  • That's where Texas Roadhouse comes in.

My problem: Literally, all of you have the same idea and want to bring your second cousins too. Ugh.

  • I refuse to wait more than 40 minutes for a dinner spot. This is Des Moines, okay? We get through the airport in under 20 minutes.

Yes, but: Like the cowboys do, sometimes you have to giddy up and just go.

An armadillo drinking an empty Corona
A symbolic representation of me, parched, waiting to get in. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

On a Tuesday night (one of the least busy times), I went to the Johnston location around 6:30pm.

  • The wait time: One hour. Nope.

I thought ahead and jumped on the online waitlist for the new West Des Moines location before driving over.

  • About 30 minutes after my initial reservation, I was able to get in.
  • Yeehaw.

The experience: Honestly, everything that I wanted. Cheeky Western decor. Cheap prices. Giant cut of meat that was actually cooked rare. Super friendly server.

  • The cherry on top was the four birthdays that night and watching people sit on a saddle and yell a Texas Roadhouse cheer.
bone-in ribeye steak from Texas Roadhouse
Bone-in 23 oz. ribeye steak ($33) from Texas Roadhouse in WDM. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

Between the lines: I talked to the hostess about the packed house and asked if having two locations now has alleviated the congestion.

  • Not at all, she said. Figures.

Recommended reading: If you're a secret chain restaurant connoisseur like me, learn about the life of Texas Roadhouse's late CEO, who recently died by suicide after suffering from long-term COVID symptoms. (NPR)


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