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Posted: 8/1/2002 2:39:48 PM EDT
OU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER SUPPORTING OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE RESTAURANTS WHEN YOU GET A CHANCE - READ BELOW AND SEE WHY. St. Petersburg Times July 2, 2002 Heaven In Time Of War: 6,700 Ribeyes By Tamara Lush For troops in Kandahar, comfort is an Outback meal delivered on a C-17. But for those traveling to prepare the meal, it's a nerve-wracking mission. The rumor started about a month ago. It spread through the 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan like a dust storm in Kandahar. Nobody really believed it, because it sounded too good to be true. The Outback Steakhouse people were coming. And they were bringing food. Members of the 101st Airborne, like all of the troops in Afghanistan,have been eating meals such as T-rations, food that is sealed in large tin containers. The entire container has to be boiled to heat the food. Powdered eggs the color of sand are a common T-ration breakfast entree. The possibility of ribeye steaks, grilled shrimp and, best of all, a deep-fried Bloomin' Onion, had them understandably excited. About 3 a.m. on June 18, a C-17 landed at the Kandahar Airport. On board were 15 men and women in white Outback T-Shirts. And a giant cooler. It contained 6,700 steaks, 30,000 shrimp and 3,000 giant onions. "Enough to feed 6,700 troops," said Dave Ellis,Outback's director of research and development. They also unloaded 13,400 cans of 'Douls, a nonalcoholic beer. Ellis wanted to bring Budweiser, but alcohol is forbidden on the base. The idea of feeding the troops was born a few months ago, when Outback CEO Chris Sullivan was at a social event with U.S. Army Gen. Tommy Franks. Sullivan "thought it would be neat to serve the troops a steak dinner and a Bloomin' Onion," Ellis said. Franks thought so, too. Ellis worked with Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base to figure out how to transport the enormous dinner and get military clearance for 15 people and cook in a war zone in the middle of the desert. The employees came from Outbacks around the country; Ellis is based in the company's headquarters in Tampa. Most of the food was donated to Outback by the restaurant's vendors;the rest was paid for by Outback. It took nearly three days to fly to Kandahar. The group stopped in Germany, then flew the eight hours to Afghanistan. Armed troops greeted the plane. "Nerve wracking," Ellis said. The Outback employees were in Kandahar for only three days. They were preparing food almost the entire time. That posed some special challenges in the 115-degree heat. Ellis and the other employees wore water-filled backpacks called "camelbacks" so they could constantly rehydrate. In between their tent and the kitchen, they were told not to stray off the gravel path or risk being killed by a land mine. And they were informed of the closest bunker to the kitchen, in case they were bombed. Base officials also pointed out the area's infamous sights: where American Taliban member John Walker Lindh was held. Where a firefight happened a few weeks ago. Where Osama Bin Laden's troops had trained nearby.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 2:40:20 PM EDT
"You could sense the evil," Ellis said. Watching the troops in action and seeing their Spartan lifestyle made Ellis realize the sacrifices they had made for the United States. "It gave me a sense of pride," he said. The sightseeing was limited. Almost immediately,the employees set to work preparing the meal. They used the military's industrial-sized appliances. They served the thousands of troops in 70 minutes, Ellis said. After eating the ribeye steak, broccoli, grilled shrimp, rolls and Bloomin' Onions, they ended the meal with cheesecake for dessert. "They were so appreciative," Ellis said. "Comfort is very hard to come by over there." Since he has been back in the United States, Ellis has received dozens of e-mails from soldiers and their families thanking them for the meal. "I just wanted to say thank you for supporting the soldiers over here," said Sgt. 1st Class Ryan D. Field. "You have no idea how much it means to get anything from the states, but to have someone ship both great food and sat people to prepare the food is awesome." One woman, a master corporal in the Canadian Forces who is serving in Operation Enduring Freedom, said it was the best meal she had all year.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 2:48:21 PM EDT
I know where I'm going to dinner this weekend.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 2:52:54 PM EDT
Outstanding, got to be the place to support! Anybody else doing anything for the US forces out there?
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 2:56:04 PM EDT
Whever we drive from NY to Fla. we target a Hampton thats near an Outback, and we've never had a bad meal and now this. My hats off to the Outback and we'll continue to support them whenever we can. p.s. the food is terrific too!
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 3:03:48 PM EDT
Anyone seen this article posted at one of the restaurants?? I will call the one closest to me and find out if they perhaps have it hung in their entry way. If not, I'll print it off, laminate it, and drop it off. They deserve to blow their own horn on this one. I'll also look up the emails or fax of the local media and send a copy to them. I'd say Outback can claim a job well done.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 3:07:42 PM EDT
Here's the link: [url]www.sptimes.com/2002/07/02/news_pf/Worldandnation/Heaven_in_time_of_war.shtml[/url]
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 3:10:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 3:16:23 PM EDT
Your experience would seem to be the exception. Bad tipper?[:D]
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 3:20:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By brouhaha: I have had nothing but bad service and horrible food from Outback Steakhouse. I've tried several different ones thinking I just happened upon a bad restaurant. Unfortunately, all were the same. Sorry, but I will not support them. Frankly, I'm surprised they are still in business.
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Maybe it is your bad luck. I've eaten at a couple in Florida and the one here in my town and they've all given excellent service and awesome food. Maybe they just don't like you. [:D] USPC40 [img]www.ar15.com/members/albums/USPC40/line.gif[/img] [url=www.nra.org][b][red]NRA[/red][/url] [url=www.nra.org][blue]Life Member[/blue][/url] [url=www.gunowners.org][b][red]GOA[/red] [/url] [url=www.gunowners.org][blue]Life Member[/blue][/url] [url=www.saf.org][red]SAF[/red][/url] [url=www.saf.org][blue]Supporter[/blue][/url] [url=sas-aim.org][red]SAS[/red][/url] [url=sas-aim.org][blue]Supporter[/blue][/b][/url] [img]www.ar15.com/members/albums/USPC40/alabamaflag.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 3:22:32 PM EDT
I pass by an Outback every day. Only eaten there once since it's opened. I'll try to go there soon! Need to find me womanz to go with me... :)
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 3:27:56 PM EDT
In the days immediately following 11 September, 2001, our very own Waverunnner was working at the World Trade Center site, and posted his mobile phone number here. I called and talked to him for a few minutes, and he happened to mention another Outback moment: Outback brought trucks full of steak, shrimp and all the fixins up to the WTC site and cooked free dinners for the rescue and recover personnel. After I heard that, my wife and I stopped into our local Outback for dinner, and I asked for the manager and told him why we were there. He had no idea that Outback had done that, and was really glad I gave him the heads-up. Contrast this with Starbucks, who charged FDNY guys for [b]water[/b] immediately following the attack...
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 3:29:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2002 3:35:55 PM EDT by USPC40]
Oh, just a reminder. Outback Steakhouse was one of the main sponsors of the "Million Mom March". They still make a good steak! USPC40 [img]www.ar15.com/members/albums/USPC40/line.gif[/img] [url=www.nra.org][b][red]NRA[/red][/url] [url=www.nra.org][blue]Life Member[/blue][/url] [url=www.gunowners.org][b][red]GOA[/red] [/url] [url=www.gunowners.org][blue]Life Member[/blue][/url] [url=www.saf.org][red]SAF[/red][/url] [url=www.saf.org][blue]Supporter[/blue][/url] [url=sas-aim.org][red]SAS[/red][/url] [url=sas-aim.org][blue]Supporter[/blue][/b][/url] [img]www.ar15.com/members/albums/USPC40/alabamaflag.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 3:33:09 PM EDT
Outback is a great organization. They are all the time doing great charity work. When I lived in Florida I went to several major community events that were sponsored by them. They did not advertise a lot about their good work. They just did it. The owner of Outback (I can't remember the name) is also a real conservative. I'm not surprised they would do a patriotic act to support our troops. They treat their employees very well. An example. Last year the local Outback had a major fire. They paid all the employees their regular salaries while waiting the couple of months to rebuild. They have good food. I've never had a bad experience with them. Outback is "good people".
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 3:55:13 PM EDT
Damn good food, but they give you ridiculously large portions. I have left-overs for the next three days.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 4:11:46 PM EDT
I want to meet Tamara Lush.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 5:35:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KBaker: Your experience would seem to be the exception. Bad tipper?[:D]
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Nah, I think their service sucks also.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 5:42:46 PM EDT
Another Yea!! I think the Nays lose...[beer] I don't think they want to toot their own horn...They realize that word of mouth is the best recommendation although Ollie did talk about it about a month or so ago...
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 5:57:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Atencio: Nah, I think their service sucks also.
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Outback was the first restaurant I ate at the last time I was in the states. The service was great, as was the food. The beer was good and cold. I was tempted to stay at the bar - but the little voice in my head warned me that my drinking habits are based on not having a car and never needing to drive - so I went home fat, happy, and sober.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 6:07:56 PM EDT
Outback rocks, just for doing this. I've never been there before, but they got my business now.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 6:27:36 PM EDT
That is just a very cool thing to do. Hats off to Outback.[^] -T.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 6:44:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2002 6:48:30 PM EDT by Raptor22]
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 6:45:56 PM EDT
I am not a big fan of Outback Steakhouse. I can find a better steak and service elsewhere. But, every now and then, my g/f gets a jones for the Killians there. She swears (and I concur) that it is the best at Outback. After reading this story, my g/f and went to the local Outback and ordered dinner and a few cold Killians. I am more than happy to vote with my wallet and support those who support our troops. Hats off! -Racer934
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 6:46:15 PM EDT
Outback will get some of my $$ soon.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 7:29:35 PM EDT
Never, ever, had a bad meal at Outback... Good food. I like what they did ! Everyone write Outback and tell 'em what they did was right on. Maybe they will do it again. http://www.outbacksteakhouse.com/
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 7:44:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AcidGambit: Never, ever, had a bad meal at Outback... Good food. I like what they did ! Everyone write Outback and tell 'em what they did was right on. Maybe they will do it again. [url]http://www.outbacksteakhouse.com/[/url]
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[:)] -T.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 8:05:28 PM EDT
I have never had anything but a good time at Outback and the food has always been great. I did get a lump in my throat after reading this.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 8:17:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Adam_White:
Originally Posted By Atencio: Nah, I think their service sucks also.
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Outback was the first restaurant I ate at the last time I was in the states. The service was great, as was the food. The beer was good and cold. I was tempted to stay at the bar - but the little voice in my head warned me that my drinking habits are based on not having a car and never needing to drive - so I went home fat, happy, and sober.
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I take it you are in South Korea by what your profile says. I know of at least one Outback in the land of the morning sun (or is the land of the morning breath?). It is located in Seoul by the tower record store or is it the virgin record store. I know that it is on the south side of the Han river not to far from USFK HQ. I think that they even list the location on their site. I ate there when I was over there and the food is just like the one at home. Really helps to lift the spirits on a long hardship tour. Good luck and fair dinkum!
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 8:39:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2002 8:41:22 PM EDT by warlord]
I go to the Outback's 166 E. Huntington Dr. Arcadia, Calif,(20 miles east of L.A.). I highly recommend to anyone. I took my dad there once, and he remarked "they really have good service," because they serve your food within a reasonable amount of time and it is piping hot. That is a real compliment because my dad used to run his own restaurant and never says things like this. We should all send the Outback CEO an e-mail complimenting him on his generosity.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:01:23 PM EDT
I have eaten there maybe 3 times. Not for a year or two.... I didn't have problem with the service, just the steaks. Each time I went they got a little worse. They were quite bad by my last time. Maybe I'll give them one more shot because of this story.
Originally Posted By Atencio: Nah, I think their service sucks also.
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Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:12:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BYU: I take it you are in South Korea by what your profile says. I know of at least one Outback in the land of the morning sun (or is the land of the morning breath?). It is located in Seoul by the tower record store or is it the virgin record store. I know that it is on the south side of the Han river not to far from USFK HQ. I think that they even list the location on their site. I ate there when I was over there and the food is just like the one at home. Really helps to lift the spirits on a long hardship tour. Good luck and fair dinkum!
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Yeah, there's quite a few good restaurants down there from what I've heard. Problem is it's a good 2 1/2 hours of bus / train rides to southern Seoul from here - plus then you gotta actually find the place. Add to that a need to be back by curfew - and busses and trains that quit running before midnight - and you can see why dinner that far away isn't so easy. Maybe a mid-afternoon steak feast is in order? Adam
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:24:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 10:46:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 10:51:59 PM EDT
I love eating at Outback...this is just another good reason to do so! medcop
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 1:57:58 AM EDT
Wheteher you like Outback or not, they're good people for doing this. I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this yet but Outback steakhouse was cooking it up for all Emergency Service Personnel during 9/11 in NYC. I remeber they set up one location underneath the FDR drive on South St. I haven't forgotten and continue to support them for that.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 2:17:42 PM EDT
I left a comment at their website last night and got this today: G'day, Thank you for contacting Outback Steakhouse regarding "Mission Outback". We are proud to confirm that fifteen Outback Steakhouse employees have just returned from feeding the troops in Kandahar, Afghanistan. We fed 6,400 United States and coalition troops. The troops were served a dinner of Bloomin' Onions, Victoria's Filets, Rockhampton Rib-Eyes, grilled shrimp on the barbie, aussie chips, jacket potatoes, mixed veggies, and Cheesecake Olivia. For our brave troops, an Outback meal was a taste of home and a reminder of how much they are appreciated by us all. The troops were overwhelmingly pleased and excited to see Outback Steakhouse in the middle of the desert. This effort would not have been possible without the support and contributions of the following purveyors: Morton International French's FoodService Performance Food Group National Beef Standard Meat Company Kingston Produce Best Foods Tulkoff Foods Medley Supply Dairy Farmers of America Newlyweds Foods Lamb Weston Andy Boy Produce Daisy Brands Conagra/Singleton Jeff's Gourmet Pies Michael Foods Milkco Cargill Foods Bakery Chef Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Pepin Distributing Matt Dietz Company Coastal Sunbelt We were very proud to have had our Outbackers involved in "Mission Outback" and we were honored to serve those heroes protecting our freedom so far away from home. Sincerely, Paul Avery President
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 3:09:39 PM EDT
Out-freakin'-standing that they listed the other contributors. I think I'll take my wife out Sunday to dinner.
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