"For troops in Kandahar, comfort is an Outback meal delivered on a C-17.
But for those traveling to prepare the meal, it’s a nerve-wracking mission.
The rumor started about a month ago. It spread through the 101st
Airborne Division in Afghanistan like a dust storm in Kandahar. Nobody
really believed it, because it sounded too good to be true.
The Outback Steakhouse people were coming. And they were bringing food .
Thus began an article that ran in the 2 July 2002 issue of
the /St. Petersburg Times/ and which has subsequently come to land in
On 19 June 2002, fifteen Outback Steakhouse
international chain of Australian-themed restaurants) employees worked
with military personnel in Kandahar, Afghanistan, to cook and serve
ribeyes and bloomin’ onions to members of the 101st Airborne Division
stationed in that desolate region. Temperatures hit 117°F that day, and
the fifteen civilians wore water-filled backpacks called "camelbaks
" to keep themselves hydrated.
It took those fifteen Outbackers three days to reach Kandahar from the
United States (travel into war zones is a tricky affair), but once they
arrived the U.S. troops were served the best meal they’d had in a long
The folks from Outback brought 6,700 steaks, 30,000 shrimp, and 3,000
giant onions with them. Broccoli, rolls, french fries, and cans of
O’Douls (a non-alcoholic beer) completed the meal. For dessert, Jeff’s
Gourmet Pies of Tampa donated 6,600 slices of cheesecake.
This is good eating even to those who haven’t spent months chowing down
on little else but powdered eggs and T-Rations. For the troops in the
field, it was manna from heaven.
Lush, Tamara. "Heaven in Time of War: 6,700 Ribeyes."
/St. Petersburg Times/. 2 July 2002 (p. A1).
Meadows, Andrew. "Outback Takes Feast to Forces."
/The Tampa Tribune/. 2 July 2002 (Moneysense, p. 5).
/The Topeka Capital-Journal/ "A Bloomin’ Treat."
8 July 2002 (p. A4).