Talking with Jamie Corbett, Managing Partner at LongHorn Steakhouse
1. How would you describe LongHorn Steakhouse in a sentence or two?
At LongHorn Steakhouse, we pride ourselves on our fresh, never frozen, expertly grilled and boldly seasoned steaks. We’re also proud of our friendly service and restaurant atmosphere, which celebrates the natural beauty of the American West.
2. What sets LongHorn Steakhouse apart from other steakhouses?
We always use high-quality ingredients, bold seasoning and we grill to perfection. We offer a an excellent variety of fresh, never frozen, steak cuts that are hand-seasoned, then expertly grilled by a Certified LongHorn Grill Master. Beyond our fresh steaks, we also offer fresh grilled chicken, fresh Atlantic salmon marinated in our homemade brown sugar bourbon sauce, and fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs that are slow roasted.
Aside from our food, our people differentiate us and are key to our success. The people of LongHorn aim to be a positive force in the communities we serve. One of the ways we make a positive impact in our communities is by coordinating fundraising efforts, donations and grants that benefit local organizations and causes.
Through our LongHorn Harvest program, we donate surplus, wholesome food to local nonprofit organizations. Each day, we "harvest" surplus, wholesome food that wasn't served in our restaurant and we donate it to local community food banks. Items such as fresh fish and other meats, baked potatoes, soups and vegetables (not leftovers; just unused, fresh food) are donated. Through this program, we can engage the Jacksonville community and deliver high-quality food outside of our restaurant to help people in need.
3. What's the ambiance of LongHorn Steakhouse?
LongHorn Steakhouse’s restaurant design is inspired by the American West and is reminiscent of a rancher’s home. Its interiors feature updated, contemporary artwork and western landscapes and sunsets complemented by warm tones, wood, stone and steel fixtures.
4. Is LongHorn mostly for dinner or is lunch a big part of your service as well?
Our restaurants open at 11 a.m. every day for lunch. Guests can enjoy a wide variety of lunch appropriate dishes or one of our $7, $8 or $9 lunch combinations featuring soups, salads and steakhouse burgers, chicken and sandwiches. We recently added a Steak & Bacon Cheddar Melt that features American Kobe shaved steak with crispy applewood smoked bacon, aged cheddar and bacon mayo. A perfect steakhouse lunch!
5. If you had to pick one thing to recommend for a newcomer for lunch, what would it be?
From our lunch menu, I’d recommend our Primetime Burger – our half-pound fresh beef burger piled high with shaved prime rib, sautéed onions, mushrooms and Swiss cheese. It is served with au jus, horseradish sauce and Parmesan Garlic fries.
6. Is steak the most popular item on your menu?
Steak is certainly the most popular item on our menu. However, we also have other signature dishes. Our Parmesan-Crusted Chicken and the LongHorn Salmon are other guest favorites.
7. What's the most popular steak at LongHorn?
Our signature steaks are the most popular dishes at LongHorn; including our Outlaw Ribeye, Flo’s Filet and Renegade Sirloin. Our 11 ounce Ribeye is also very popular. My personal favorite is our 18 oz. bone-in Outlaw Ribeye.
8. Why is the Outlaw Ribeye your favorite?
Because it is so juicy and flavorful, and it’s a large, high quality steak!
9. Are there particular dishes that you'd consider signature dishes at LongHorn?
In addition to our Outlaw Ribeye, other signature dishes include our Wild West Shrimp appetizer, which has crispy, hand-battered shrimp and spicy cherry peppers, garlic butter and housemade Ranch dressing, our tender, fall-off-the-bones Baby Back Ribs, and our LongHorn Salmon, a hand-cut, fresh Atlantic Salmon that is marinated in our secret bourbon marinade and grilled to perfection.
Flo’s Filet is also a guest favorite. It’s our most tender center-cut of beef; lean yet succulent, mouth-watering buttery texture, and subtle flavor. Like all our steaks, it’s hand-seasoned and cooked to perfection, then served with choice of side and hand-chopped salad. We offer a 6 oz., 8 oz., and 10 oz. filet.
Our Porterhouse for Two is another signature item and it’s perfect for sharing. It is our largest filet and largest strip in a single, thick steak. It is brought to the table on a special serving platter and served with our housemade steak sauce, two sides and two salads.
And finally, our signature cocktail is our Perfect Margarita: Grand Marnier, Patrón Citrónge, triple sec and orange. The perfect accompaniment to a perfectly grilled steak!
10. What can you recommend for dessert?
For dessert, I'd recommend our Chocolate Stampede, which has six types of chocolate in peaks and layers that are served with vanilla bean ice cream. We’re currently featuring a Black Forest Cherry Lava Cake on our Winter Peak Season menu and it’s delicious.
11. Are there any items that have surprised you by their popularity?
Our LongHorn Salmon is a surprising favorite only because it is not a traditional steakhouse dish – but we understand why it’s a favorite – it’s fresh, and we flavor it with our secret marinade!
12. What's the Chef's Showcase?
The Chef’s Showcase is a section of our menu that rotates four times a year with each season and highlights one exclusive dish at a time. For example, this winter we are featuring our Lobster Hollandaise Filet, which is a tender center-cut filet topped with lobster meat and lobster hollandaise sauce, over fresh steamed asparagus, served with choice of side and hand-chopped salad.
13. What's your Peak Season menu and how is it different from your Chef’s Showcase?
Our Peak Season menu also rotates four times a year with each season and was created to highlight the fresh flavors of each season. Whereas the Chef’s Showcase highlights one exclusive dish at a time our Peak Season menu typically features four dishes – an appetizer, a salad, a side and a dessert.
14. Can you tell us about your background?
I have been with LongHorn Steakhouse for 12 years. I’m currently a Managing Partner at the LongHorn Steakhouse on Airport Road in Jacksonville (map). In this role, I oversee more than 50 team members and help ensure each of our guests receives excellent service and food each time they visit us.
15. What attracted you to LongHorn Steakhouse?
It’s a funny story that actually ended up impacting my life in multiple ways. I was a regular guest at LongHorn Steakhouse before I was a team member. I met my now-wife when she was working at LongHorn in Orlando. I visited her frequently, and through that, met her Managing Partner and learned a lot about the company. He spoke so highly of LongHorn that I decided to join the company.
16. Have there been a lot of changes in the approach LongHorn takes to its menu over the years?
We are always looking for ways to evolve our menu to cater to our guests tastes while remaining true to our passion for grilling and steak expertise. Chef’s Showcase, Peak Season, our Bold Bites and expanded lunch menu are all examples of ways we’ve evolved our menu over the past few years.
17. Anything else?
At LongHorn, our people make us great. We are proud of our culture and commitment to doing things the right way and not taking any shortcuts. Our restaurant teams are a strong part of the community – regularly partnering with local organizations and donating food. For example, in the Jacksonville area, our team supports several local nonprofits year-round with food donations through our Darden Harvest program, and fundraising events through our Campfire Breakfasts and Dining for Dollar events, among others.