Confusion Over A Bloomin Onion

Although it happened more when I had just moved to the US than now, I still occasionally hear from Americans about the positive things they admire about Australians and Australia (they are able to see past our nasty wildlife sometimes). Steve Irwin is still greatly missed, some of our animals are cute, and we created the much loved “Bloomin Onion”.

The what?

I had never been to an Outback Steakhouse (apparently they have only a few in Australia) before dining at one in the US. I’d heard of it, butΒ  I had no idea it was Australian themed. I thought it was just…a steak house. And by Australian themed, I mean they have some very stereotypical Australian decor – Aussie flags, maps of Australia, boomerangs, signs that say “G’day”….but not particularly Australian foods. Including the Bloomin Onion, which is one of the more beloved dishes served up.

The problem with running an Australian themed restaurant is that we don’t really have a strongly defined Australian cuisine. There are definitely a few things that are Australian, but for the most part….we just borrow dishes from other cultures that have settled here. Which is awesome, obviously, but makes it harder to come up with a uniquely Australian menu. So I can see why you might just make stuff up and say it is Australian. If most of your customers never visit the country, how are they to know?

I finally ate at an Outback Steakhouse in Vegas, and obviously ordered the famous onion to find out what the fuss was about. I didn’t like it that much. Most of their customers here seem to really love it though, so……

…..maybe I should just shut up and claim it as Australian anyway.

Aussie flag bloomin onion post

So much Aussie pride as I bite into my Bloomin Onion!

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I am an Aussie currently enjoying my time as a non-resident legal alien in the US. You can find me on Facebook and I have also just started lurking around Twitter and Instagram. Come lurk with me!


  1. Hahaha, that’s awesome. I’ve been to Outback Steakhouse once, and it was years ago. I didn’t even remember in was Australian-themed! I just remember it having a steakhouse menu pretty similar to most other steakhouses… Next time I go, I may use your story as an interesting fun fact though, hahaha.

    We do have an Australian Smoke House restaurant close by, here in Utah. It’s called Wallaby’s. I believe their mascot is a kangaroo, so, they must be legit, hahaha.

  2. That’s too funny. I actually love the blooming onion, because fried. I’m surprised that more Americans don’t realize that Outback isn’t actually Australian. I mean, their most famous dish is fried.

  3. I grew up as a vegetable hating kid and loathed onions. Later in life I went to Outback Steakhouse and the people I was with convinced me to try a Bloomin’ Onion. It was love at first bite. I started eating all kinds of onions regularly. Before you knew it I was also eating mushrooms, lettuce, peppers, and all other assortments of rabbit food. So even if it’s not “really” Australian, you and your fellow mates should take credit for getting me to eat something besides meat and potatoes.

  4. At the Australia Festival that used to happen where I live the food tents sold meat pies and also spinach-and-cheese pies which I guess were more Australian than anything you’ll find at Outback Steakhouse.
    There were also vendors selling Vegemite and other Australian imported goods.
    And I remember the Australian poet Les Murray mentioned eating “cold creamed spaghetti for pudding”.
    But it’s okay that Australia doesn’t have its own distinctive cuisine, unless you count the native foods the aborigines eat.

    • Meat pies are very Australian indeed! I think the traditional bush tucker is usually eaten by aborigines who still maintain those traditions, and tourists who eat them for the novelty factor.

  5. Heh. I’m disappointed that Outback doesn’t serve vegemite with at least one dish πŸ˜‰ Would that be sufficient to make it a legit Australian steakhouse?
    Can’t believe you didn’t like the bloomin’ onion. Did they serve you a soggy one? When they come out soggy it’s gross and grossly disappointing.

  6. Sorry can you delete that first comment?:

    Hahah! I remember asking my penpal if they had any Outbacks in Australia? And she was like do you mean the land? Because the outback to y’all is well the desert, or whatever you call it (The Outback) I was like no Outback steakhouse.

    I also remember us mentioning steak and she was like mmm steak. So are there any traditional foods that relate to Australia. Clearly Outback Steakhouse, is nothing like how Australia is. If you were to suggest one thing for me to eat when I come to Australia what would it be?

    I guess for the blooming onion you have to be a fan of crispy onions. I am not really impressed with chained restaurants steaks, I prefer local places anyhow.

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