You heard about that Texas-themed chain restaurant? No, not Longhorn Steakhouse. Not Texas Roadhouse, either.
I’m talking about Texas Longhorn Steakhouse, a temple to the Lone Star way of eating out that’s based in Sweden. According to Texas Monthly, the franchise in the land of Ikea was founded by former San Antonio chef Philip Huntzinger in 1994, hoping to bring the flavors and hospitality of his home to the much colder clime he found himself in. The menus on the Texas Longhorn Steakhouse website feature plenty of dishes you could find anywhere around the state: nachos, ribs, no-bean chili, fajitas, brisket sandwiches, tacos and yes, steak.
The menus are mostly in Swedish, so you’ll have to do a little more work to figure out what exactly comes with all those tasty-sounding dishes. There’s even a chipotle béarnaise sauce, for a little cross-continental mash-up. Huntzinger told the magazine that he also takes his partners and franchisees on annual trips to the Hill Country for barbecue and live music.
But what’s this? Not enough of a Swedish-home-away-from-home vibe for you at Texas Longhorn Steakhouse? Never fear: Huntzinger also opened a restaurant called Austin Food Works in Stockholm. There you’ll find a “large mural of Austin-themed words” and Rainey Street-inspired design. But the food? That’s what has us looking to invest in a high-quality parka and booking plane tickets. Some selections from the English-friendly menu:
- Queso dip with barbecue brisket chili and jalapeno
- Grilled jalapeno black bean chili and pico de gallo (plant based, the menu helpfully clarifies)
- “Super spicy guacamole”
- Mexican-style smoky hot wings
- “A.F.W's classic Mac n' Cheese “ with smoked Cheetos and Doritos
- Fried tofu
- “The all in BBQ,” which is literally all the kinds of barbecue the restaurant serves
- Various tacos, of course
- Texas Amber beer
- Variations on the margarita, including a blueberry mint variety and a pineapple “glamourita”
- Southern sweet tea (it has bourbon in it)
- A brunch menu that includes concoctions like a house-made doughnut stuffed with maple bacon, jalapenos and macaroni-and-cheese, and something called “Cinco de mayo barbecue brisket tacos”
“The smell of old wooden planks, hickory smoke, tender meat, Mexican flavors … That’s what hits you when you walk thru our doors,” the Austin Food Works website reads. Honestly, sounds great. Keep Sweden weird.