News and notes from Fredericksburg's entertainment scene
Restaurant review: Logan’s Roadhouse at Spotsylvania Towne Centre
BY KURT RABIN
When my wife really feels like hurting me, she’ll make fun of my taste in music.
She labels the sounds I like “roadhouse” music, which she characterizes as falling somewhere between blues and rock, while retaining the best elements of neither.
But there’s one thing I like even more than roadhouse music, and that’s roadhouse food. And that’s something my wife can also get behind.
Especially after dining with me recently at Logan’s Roadhouse, a place noted for its aged hand-cut steaks, ribs and steakburgers. Of course, any discussion of Logan’s must begin and end with those complimentary buckets of highly addictive peanuts in the shell.
Webster’s defines “roadhouse” as an inn or tavern usually outside city limits providing liquor and usually meals, dancing and often gambling (and—in the case of “Road House,” the 1989 Patrick Swayze vehicle—lots of beer-soaked free-for-alls).
So, one might ask, what’s the difference between the modern roadhouse and a steakhouse? Just this: Apparently, at a roadhouse you’re welcome to discard your peanut shells on the floor with impunity.
Founded in 1991, Logan’s now boasts over 200 eateries throughout 23 states and continues to grow. Besides being famous for their liberal peanut-shell-throwing policy, they’re also known for their vintage decorations.
Like the roadhouse in which Swayze bounced many a roughneck on his ear, the Fredericksburg location, in front of Spotsylvania Towne Centre, sports a splendid display of neon signage, along with its fair share of ’80s hairstyles.
The moderately priced menu features more than 50 entrées, and Logan’s makes things even more appealing by running appetizing promotions. For example, we chose to order from an early bird menu that offered two three-course meals for just $19.99.
We started out with delicious signature butter-top fresh yeast rolls. Then, in a transparent ploy to make certain Logan’s hadn’t lost any of its pre-2004 deep-frying prowess (it hadn’t), we ordered a pair of personal favorites, Roadhouse Shrooms and Rockin’ Onion Petals, both served piping-hot.
My entrée, a 6-ounce Black Angus sirloin cooked precisely to my medium-rare specifications, had, along with its nifty cross-hatched grill marks, a pleasingly smoky taste. My wife’s mesquite wood-fried chicken with a cheesy peppercorn sauce atop rice pilaf was equally toothsome.
Our sides included a grilled vegetable skewer with enough flavor to masquerade as a main course, nicely seasoned fresh broccoli and the meal’s lone disappointment, “home-style” mashed potatoes, which qualified as home-style only if you’re referring to homes that serve canned or frozen food exclusively. They tasted bland and a bit mealy.
For the last course we ordered a pair of dessert shooters called mini buckets.
Logan’s has disassembled three of the most popular American desserts—strawberry shortcake, chocolate mousse and fudge brownie sundae—and reconstituted their components in replica peanut buckets, with satisfyingly smooth and sweet results.
Our waitress, the ever-attentive Kate, said the buckets were ours to take home. She used hers, she said, in the console of her car to hold loose change.
That mini bucket—just like our waitress and our overall dining experience at Logan’s—turned out to be a keeper.
Kurt Rabin is a freelance writer in Spotsylvania County.