“…and so much more.” How many times have we seen that claim? Usually, what follows is a long-winded infomercial that finishes with a price too high for an item we don’t need. Perini Ranch Steakhouse doesn’t need an infomercial. Word of mouth and great food does the job, but they do offer so much more. Located at 3002 FM 89, in tiny Buffalo Gap (pop. 463 until Betty gives birth), the Steakhouse is open Tuesday-Thursday 5 p.m.-11 p.m. They open at 11 a.m. for lunch on the weekends and stay open until 11 p.m.
“So much more” is a bold claim for any restaurant. Good food, pleasant surroundings, high-quality service, and a memorable experience. That should be the norm for a fine dining establishment. Then why the hyperbole about Perini Ranch? Perhaps the Country Market has something to do with it. Or, maybe the guest quarters are part of the reason.
The steakhouse (and we will get to the deliciousness in a moment) is only part of the story in this neck of the woods. Folks around here come to the Country Store for some socializing, a cup of coffee, and a pound of thick-sliced bacon.
“What is so special about a grocery store?” Sure, the produce is crisp and fresh, and the meat is expertly marbled, but you can find that many places. It’s that “so much more” thing. People from nearby and far away stop in for gourmet foods, gardening supplies, handmade toys, children’s items, and treats for the family pets. It’s a throwback to another age, made better. This is a General Store that is anything but plain and spare. You don’t need anything today? Just admire the rock house construction of the Country Store. Store hours vary, so it’s best to call 325-572-4444 for more information.
“Did you say, “guest quarters? So, it’s a hotel?” Well, yes and no. There are two houses available. The Main House is a recently restored and renovated 1885 farm house. It is an original part of the ranch and sleeps five in elegant comfort. Both bedrooms include a private bath (with rain showers) and are furnished with luxurious linens and bathrobes.
The Camp House is smaller, but it sleeps three. The same luxury items furnished to the Main House are at the Camp House, as well. The Camp House has a cool sleeping porch for the third guest.
“Sounds great, but let’s eat!” You’re preaching to the choir, my friend.
It is time now for the obligatory “Everything’s Bigger in Texas” line. It would be just a line if it weren’t so darned true in the very first section of the Perini Ranch Steakhouse dinner menu! Who offers a full rack of ribs…as an appetizer? The folks at the steakhouse were absent the day the culinary school teacher said a rack of ribs is a full dinner. These ribs are smoked over mesquite coals. You know those items cooked outside that you like best? They’re smoked over mesquite, as well.
Those who are still hungry, or who skipped the appetizer rack (I still can’t get over that.) may try the Prime Rib. Also, mesquite smoked, it comes with Perini’s horseradish sauce. The rib comes in a 12-ounce portion, but a double cut is available. Of course, it is.
Founder Tom Perini’s favorite entree’ is the rib eye. A full pound steak, it is another local and regional favorite. Catfish, prepared in two different ways, are on the menu for those who are hungry for seafood.
Perini Ranch strives to support local growers whenever possible. That means the vegetable menu will change with the seasons. Some favorites include green chile hominy and zucchini Perini.
For dessert (Lord, have mercy, there’s more?) Perini proudly offers some real favorites. The Texas Chocolate Cake is made with a touch of cinnamon and pecans over the top. The Strawberry Shortcake starts with homemade sugar biscuits and finishes with heavy cream on the side. If you’re anything like Gildshire Magazines it won’t stay on the side for long.
How about a walk around the ranch after dinner? We won’t make it all the way around on foot, but we will see enough to know why people love this part of the world. That said, the landscape could look like the moon and we would come back over and over again. We loved dinner…and so much more.
For restaurant reservations, visit Open Table or call 325-572-3339. Enjoy!