Presenter/Trainer - SPJ Media and Journalism Training • SPJ Regional Conference • Indianapolis, IN • April 13-14, 2012
Session Presenter - Media and Journalism Training • NYPA Annual Meeting • Saratoga, NY • March 30-31, 2012
Conference and Festival Coverage • SXSWi • Austin, TX • March 8-15, 2012
Guest • Tonya Hall Radio • February 2012
Attendee - Content Creator • Dell DoMoreIT Event • San Francisco, CA • February 26-29, 2012
Guest • Tonya Hall Radio • December 2011
Social Event Coordinator • SEMA Show 2011 • Las Vegas, NV • November 1-3, 2011
Speaker, Session Presenter • Journalism Interactive Conference • College Park, MD • October 28-29, 2011
Session Leader, Guest Speaker • Tech Day Camp • Quincy, MA • October 22, 2011
New Media Trainer, Social Media Tools and Techniques • Boston Globe Training Session with Kara Sassone • Boston, MA • October 20, 2011
Keynoter, Moderator, Panelist • Association of Cable Communicators Forum 2011 • New York, NY • October 5-6, 2011
Session Presenter • Excellence in Journalism Conference 2011 • New Orleans, LA • September 24-28, 2011
Guest • Tonya Hall Radio • September 2011
Guest Speaker • Social Media Integration Conference 2011 • Atlanta, GA • September 16-17, 2011
Moderator • The Business of Social Media Online Chat • September 13, 2011
Social Media Trainer • The Tools Journalists Use • NLGJA National Meeting • Philadelphia, PA • August 27, 2011
Guest Speaker • South Shore CPA Group • Where to Go, What to Know on the Web • Braintree, MA • July 28, 2011
Social Media Trainer • Summer Session at SPJ HQ • Indianapolis, IN • July 12, 2011
Guest Speaker • Alliance of Area Business Publications Summer Conference • Providence, RI • June 23, 2011
Panelist • New England XPO for Business • Social Media 101 - Get Your Business Noticed • May 25, 2011
On-Air Guest • Follow Friday with Maggie Rulli on The Pulse Network • Friday, May 6, 2011
Panelist • American Bar Association • Fad or Future? Social Media's Place in Today's Legal Profession • April 16, 2011
BeanCast Guest • MARCH MADNESS • March 20, 2011
Guest Host • HubSpot TV • Social Media Techniques and Missteps • March 11, 2011
Guest Speaker • Parenting Publications of America Annual Conference • Arlington, VA • March 4-5, 2011
BeanCast Guest • SUPER BOWL SATURDAY • February 5, 2011
Consumer Electronics Show • CES 2011 • Las Vegas • January 6-9, 2011
NomX3 Taping • Kel & Partners • South Boston, MA
BeanCast Guest • Sunday, December 5
Speaker/Trainer North Shore Technology Council at the Peabody Marriott • December 1
SEMA Show • Las Vegas • November 1-4
Social Media Training • Multiple Sessions - SPJ Annual Conference in Las Vegas • October 3-5
BeanCast Guest • Sunday, September 26
Speaker at the 140Conf Boston • September 14
Speaker, Downtown Boston Rotary Club • September 7 • Cohosts David Cutler and Mike Langford
Social Media Club Oil Spill Event Speaker • August 25 • see the videos of the event at YouTube
Spent two weeks in New Orleans reporting on the BP Oil Spill
BeanCast Guest • Sunday, May 16
Social Media Training • Columbus Dispatch - May 1
TBD Session(s) • SPJ Region 1 Conference, NY, NY - April 9-10
Social Media Training • RTDNA in Las Vegas - April 12-13
Social Media Training • Bloomington Herald - February 25
Social Media Training • Wichita Eagle/Others - March 4
Social Media Training • Chicago Community Media Workshop - March 9
NomX3.com Tapings • South by Southwest - Various locations - March 13-16
Social Media Training • Community Newspapers, Saratoga - March 24-25
Guest Speaker at LaunchCamp Boston and Social Media Breakfast 16 in Boston. Event was held at NERD and topic was Content Creation.
Podcamp Western Massachusetts presenter - two sessions. Time management using social media tools; and How to create online video.
Also filmed an episode of NomX3 at Podcamp Western Massachusetts. This was #PCWM2.
Consumer Electronics Show - Las Vegas. Covering the event for MobileMag.com among other outlets.
NomX3 filming at Boloco, Fajitas and Ritas, Tastings Wine Bar and Bistro, and other venues.
Training sessions at NERD and also for the Society of Professional Journalists at newsrooms across the country.
Podcamp New Hampshire presenter. Also filmed an episode of NomX3 at the first NH Podcamp.
Arlington, MA Chamber of Commerce
Social Media Panel
University of Massachusetts - "How to Communicate with the Media -- Using Social Media"
"60 Sites in 60 Minutes: Site Stampede, a Journalist's Guide to New Media" at the SPJ Annual Conference, Sat. Aug. 29
Where to Go and What to Know: The Web
HRM DIet, Boston
Twitter for Business private session
MetroWest Chamber of Commerce
LinkedIn for Business
Nat'l Assoc. of Women Bus. Owners
Social Media for Business
Podcamp Boston '09 presenter
The Future of Work
Podcamp Boston '07 presenter
Salty Legs Career Club
Social Media for Job Hunters
Word on the Tweet radio show guest
---------------------------- If you'd like to have me speak at your event/to your organization, send an email to
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Tag Archives: Review
Here’s how the foodie thing works. I like to eat, I visit a lot of restaurants on my own, I follow suggestions that friends make when it comes to food. But, there’s nothing more fun than being on the inside … Continue reading
*Want a Longhorn Steakhouse gift card? I have one to give away to a lucky commenter. Person who puts the best comment on this post before Dec. 20, 2011 will get this gift.*
During the summer, I added a post to the blog talking about cooking steak. That post was pretty easy because during warmer weather, I’ll use any excuse to use propane to sear some meat. With our warm summer, I was out there constantly and was able to weave my way through rib-eyes, sirloins, tenderloins, filets and one porterhouse (which I mangled because I’m an idiot).
But I told you that little story to tell you this one. The agency for Longhorn Steakhouse read that post and some of my other review posts and asked if I’d be kind enough to dine at one of their locations and give my opinion on the blog. I jumped at the chance for two reasons. 1 – see the above paragraph. 2 – 80% of my meals are eaten out and it was just a matter of time for me to have a free slot in my meal schedule.
So, let’s get right into the review….
Longhorn Steakhouse is NOT Morton’s. It is NOT Capitol Grille. It is NOT Shula’s or Ruth’s Chris or even Abe & Louie’s. But it is a solid little restaurant chain that competes – in my mind – with Applebee’s, Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse and a bunch of mid-level chain restaurants.
They provide pretty good food for an affordable price, and sometimes you get surprised. When I went there for lunch the other day, I got surprised twice. Once in a good way, once not so great.
We arrived (two of us) for lunch around 1:30 on a Saturday afternoon. There was minimal crowd and the hostess and wait staff were very attentive. The bar had a few patrons in it and the bartender was boisterous and fun. We were seated immediately and there was nary a hiccup when I requested that we be seated at a booth instead of a table.
The main restaurant is pretty open. While different Western gear divides the room into distinct seating areas, the pillars are open and you can easily see across the entire restaurant. The booth was comfy and I didn’t see any worn furniture anywhere. One thing I didn’t check was when this location opened, but everything looked pretty new.
I almost got caught drinking a Bud-Light Lime, but yelled after the waitress to change my order to a Pomegranate Margarita. I thought, “If I’m reviewing a Western-themed steakhouse, shouldn’t I have a Western-ish drink?” The answer was yes. And the margarita was good. Flavor was pleasant without an overt taste of alcohol. Sometimes – especially during the day – I can appreciate a bartender who serves drinks correctly instead of going overboard on the booze.
I ordered the oft-advertised Lobster-stuffed Filet. Don’t ask if advertising works, but I had seen it so much that I was curious. And Longhorn was picking up the tab, so I decided to splurge. I also had the French Onion Soup and a side of rice with my steak.
The soup was salty goodness and full of flavor. I’ve had better at top-end restaurants, but I’ve also had worse. This one made me happy with the right amount of cheese, bread and onions. I finished the entire crock.
The rice was a bit spicy, but not unnecessarily so. The spice gave a bit more flavor to what a diner might expect to be a bland pile of rice. I’m a huge rice fan and this met my approval. On the other hand, if a place screws up the rice, it might not have much hope in other areas.
The steak was also right up there with the other two pieces of my meal. In fact, the steak was the hero. As usual, I ordered it medium rare and it was delivered to the table perfectly cooked. The meat was flavorful and tender. Good points all around in that category. But that’s were things went a little south.
If you want to stop reading here, you can think of Longhorn as a solid B or B- restaurant within its category. You’ll get a solid meal with good flavors, but you won’t be wowed by the menu options or the inventiveness of the kitchen.
Still here? OK, let’s get right into it…
Lobster in a steak? That’s just silly. The lobster was not fantastic, and I think part of that is due to it being paired with such a tender piece of steak. The lobster, as a result, was dry and salty to me and totally extraneous. It’s a gimmick and if I went there for lunch today, I’d order just the regular filet sans crustacean.
The other person in my lunch party ordered a burger and fries. While her food was cooked correctly and measured up to our expectations, there were a few drawbacks…
1 – The burger – ordered as described on the menu – was not supposed to have cheese on it. It arrived with cheese.
2 – The burger – no matter how it was described on the menu – was not supposed to come with a plastic salsa lid in between the lettuce and the bun.
The waitress was kind when we brought this to her attention. But instead of getting a manager or offering to comp the meal, she instead apologized profusely and asked what she could do for us. My companion said she’d like a margarita…and that was that.
I would have also liked to have seen the burger taken off our bill, but that didn’t happen. What’s that say for this location? What’s it say for the chain? Probably nothing. I’m sure it’s not the first time a lid found its way onto a bun when a sous or line cook was prepping a burger. I’m just disappointed it happened when things in the store were slow – at 2PM on a Saturday with no lunch rush.
Overall thoughts? I’d go back. Longhorn surprised me with how well they cooked the steak and as a meat guy, that’s up near the top of my list. Were I not there to review the location, I would have been much more vocal about the kitchen slip-ups but I didn’t want to blow my cover.
As I said earlier, if you think of Longhorn Steakhouse in the right family or level of restaurants, you won’t be disappointed. Even with the hiccups, I’m still rating them a B.
Here’s some history from Wikipedia…interesting to note that Capital Grille is owned by the same parent now…
LongHorn Steakhouse was founded in 1981 by George McKerrow Jr. The first location, LongHorn Steaks Restaurant & Saloon, opened on Peachtree Streetin Atlanta, Georgia. The restaurant initially struggled financially. However, in January 1982 a sudden snowstorm trapped Atlanta’s commuter populationwithin the city limits and McKerrow offered $1 drinks to the stranded motorists. He made a huge profit and the Peachtree Street location became successful. By 1990 the franchise had spread across the South. As of 2011 LongHorn Steakhouse operated 350 restaurants in 33 states. In August 2007, LongHorn Steakhouse, formerly owned and operated by Rare Hospitality, was purchased by Darden Restaurants, which also operates Olive Garden,Red Lobster, Seasons 52, and Bahama Breeze restaurant chains. In addition, other chains operated by Rare, including The Capital Grille, were purchased by Darden.