May 16, 2016

Review: Applebee's - Hand-Cut Top Sirloin

Applebee's Hand-Cut Top Sirloin showcases their recent switch to wood-fired grills and features a hand-cut USDA Choice top sirloin steak.

The steak is available in 6-, 8-, and 12-oz portions for $13, $16, and $18, respectively. I went with the 12-oz medium-rare, which was provided courtesy of Applebee's.

The steak came with a choice of two sides and I went with Hearty Grains & Rice as well as Maple Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes, since both were listed as "new" on the menu.

My steak came a little overdone and varied between medium to medium-well depending on where I cut into it. Thankfully, it was still pretty tender, juicy, and flavorful. The oak lent a subtle and delectable smokiness to the surface, while the grill marks added just a bit of crispness. Any seasoning was very light and served to enhance the meat.

There was a chewy strip of connective tissue that ran right down the middle of my steak. It's generally not the type of thing most people prefer to eat and would have been better off trimmed before cooking. I can only guess they they didn't trim it because they were worried I might be miffed that I received two small steaks rather than one big one. Other than that, the steak was cut to a pretty nice thickness.

The Hearty Grains & Rice seemed to be mostly white rice with a bit of wild rice, mushrooms, and what seemed to be kamut, which added a bit of chew to the mix. The rice was parboiled, which seems to be the norm for a lot of American cuisine. There was an enjoyable Cajun-type of seasoning to the rice that offered an occasional spicy kick.

The Maple Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes was just barely warm but otherwise good. Between the maple and the glazed pecans, it's just sweet enough to pass for a dessert. I especially like the contrast between the smooth mashed potatoes and the crunchy pecans.

Overall, I heartily enjoyed Applebee's Hand-Cut Top Sirloin steak. While there were a couple of hiccups in the execution, but the beef was good and I especially liked the light, smoky quality that the wood-fire grill lent the meat.

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