Virginia couple’s nationwide tour of Texas Roadhouse restaurants includes stops in Utah

Jun 16, 2023, 12:00 PM | Updated: Jun 17, 2023, 10:17 am

A Virginia couple arrived in Utah this week on a nationwide tour of Texas Roadhouse restaurant loca...

A travel weary Virginia couple on a quest to eat at as many Texas Roadhouse locations as they can, is in Utah this week to visit locations in Orem, Lehi and Spanish Fork. (Mike McNamara)

(Mike McNamara)

LEHI, Utah — A Virginia couple arrived in Utah this week on a nationwide tour of Texas Roadhouse restaurant locations.

Judy and Mike McNamara have been on the road since May on this most recent leg, but Mike says they’ve been on a quest to eat at as many Texas Roadhouses as possible. 

“We started out in 2018 trying to visit as many as we could,” said McNamara. “I think we got around 40 or so restaurants. It then became an obsession, and in 2020 we went to 72. Last year was 70-some-odd. This year we’ll push close to 80.”

After years of eating off the restaurant’s menu, Mike said neither he nor his wife are tired of it. 

“We switch up enough on the menu that we’re not really tired of it yet,” he said. 

Treated as Texas Roadhouse royalty

After a long drive from Boise, Idaho, Mike and Judy arrived in Orem, Utah on Thursday, ready for a meal at Orem’s State Street location. He said the staff and manager already knew who they were and treated them like royalty.

“I got the Chicken Critters, the salad and baked sweet potato, and my wife got the six-ounce sirloin, a salad and sweet potatoes,” recalled McNamara.

Mike said after 344 Texas Roadhouse stops in 48 states, they’re pretty well known inside the doors of most of the locations they’ve visited. So far in Utah, they said the hospitality has been wonderful.

Mike said of all the hundreds of Texas Roadhouse restaurants they’ve visited, he’s had a bad experience at only two locations but said that’s some pretty good odds.

“We’re at these Roadhouses one time. We rarely ever go back to the same place twice, so you have to take your experience with a grain of salt because it may not be the server’s best day, it may not be the cook’s best day, so you can’t really hold it against them,” said Mike.

After three days in Utah, with visits to Lehi, Spanish Fork and Orem, they’ll move on to Evansville, Wyoming by week’s end. After that, it’s on to Colorado Springs, then a swing through the Midwest, and eventually back home to Virginia in July. 

Why not?

Mike says in 2017, his wife Judy retired from the Union Camp/International Paper mill in southeastern Virginia. The couple decided that travel would be next on the list. 

A memory of the first Texas Roadhouse in 2013 while visiting Judy’s brother in Tennessee sparked the idea. 

Mike said it’s not all about Texas Roadhouse, their trip by camper also took them to Rapid City, South Dakota, to Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Badlands National Park. 

However, he said most of the rest of this trip, which ends on May 5, will include stops at their favorite restaurant.

They’ll head back out with the camper again in November for a vacation through Christmas. Mike said they’re on the adventure of a lifetime nearly three months out of this year alone. He said at 70 years old, all the driving can be a bit much, but he’s loving every minute of it.

Related: 93-year-old woman and grandson complete journey to all 63 US national parks

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Virginia couple’s nationwide tour of Texas Roadhouse restaurants includes stops in Utah