Perini Ranch Steakhouse
Never has a converted barn been such a warm and hospitable refuge. Surprised by one of those weird West Texas spring northers—rain pouring, mud squishing, temperature 38 degrees—we settled in for an evening at the most famous little country steakhouse in Texas. Amid trophy-quality mounted cow horns and dusty chile ristras, we got down to business with cocktails (consider Tom’s Pomtini: vodka plus red grapefruit and pomegranate juices) and wine (ask for Lisa’s List if you fancy a serious bottle). The menu is classic, concise, and not too fancy. Start with a Caesar or maybe a good, straightforward chopped lettuce salad with blue-cheese dressing. Chicken-fried quail legs (moist on the inside, crunchy on the outside) stave off hunger until entrées arrive. Among the short selection of mesquite-grilled, Certified Angus beef, there’s serious stuff like a big ol’ bone-in ribeye and a strip steak encrusted with cracked peppercorns, but even lesser cuts, like the super-tender eight-ounce filet, are treated with all the respect they deserve. Piscivores will be grateful for the super-crusty fried catfish, three ample filets sided by chunky tartar sauce. Sides like bacon-and-green-chile hominy fill up any empty corners, and the steakhouse’s private label whiskey perks up the sourdough-pecan bread pudding. Oh, to avoid disappointment, you’d best make dinner reservations, especially on the weekend.
City: Buffalo Gap