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I just don’t want to look back and think “I could have eaten that.”

Ranchman’s Cafe – a taste of Texas

When you live in Texas, there’s a steakhouse on every street it seems like. There are plenty of fancy schmancy places in Dallas. I’ve been to a few, but have you ever been to an authentic Texas steakhouse? A family friend took us to one. I had the pleasure of eating lunch at a place called, Ranchman’s Cafe. It’s located in a small town about 50 miles north-west of Dallas or 33 miles north of Fort Worth. A long way for a Texas meal, I know. It was worth it though.

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Ranchman’s is located at 110 West Bailey – Ponder, Texas 76259.

Hours of Operation:

Sunday – Thursday : 11a.m. – 9p.m.
Friday & Saturday : 11a.m. – 10p.m.

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The Ranchman’s Cafe first opened it’s doors on Thanksgiving Day in 1948. The restaurant really takes you back in time with its decor. Check out the light fixtures. What are they called? Frontier lanterns? Look at all the memorabilia on the walls. We were the first ones in this back area, but more people showed up while we were ordering our lunch. There was some serious acoustics going on in this room. Since it’s kind of intimate, all the conversations were amplified. It was not a quiet lunch that’s for sure. Our group was kind of talkative anyway.

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This, if you can believe it, is their menu. It looks like a newspaper. How cool is that? This little beauty gives you some history and a little bit of extra. Oh and of course, the menu.

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I did not know until today that Ranchman’s has been featured on the Food Network a couple of times. How cool is that? I love the Food Network (obviously) and have always wanted to visit a place that has been featured on any of its shows.

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Sorry this picture is a little blurry, but you can still make out their steak menu. They have a butchery in-house and hand-cut their steaks.

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One of the appetizers that we ordered was the fried green tomatoes. It came with ranch dressing. This was my first time eating fried green tomatoes. The ones I’ve seen on television have always been battered in cornmeal. This was nice though. It was light and had a slightly tart taste to it. The ranch was delish! Just thought I’d slip that one in.

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We also ordered the quail quarters. Half deep-fried and half grilled. I only got to taste the grilled version and it was seasoned to perfection. Totally delicious. Everyone should try the quail here. EVERYONE!

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My friend, Ken, actually ordered the single quail entrée with fries. There’s also the double quail. These little birds are so small that it makes sense to have a double version. The next time I go, I’m ordering this baby.

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I ordered the single pork chop with fries and peach chutney. The pork chop was a little on the dry side, but it was great with the peach chutney. It added a nice sweet and spicy component. A wonderful addition.

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My dad sure was surprised when they brought out this 12 ounce chicken fried steak with cream gravy. He was encouraged by our friend to get the 12 ounce over the 6. Let’s just say that a couple of us ended up sharing this big boy with him. Consensus was that this was yummy.

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The rest of our party ordered steaks. Sirloin, t-bone, the club and ribeye steaks. My brother and sister, both ordered the ribeye. Before I gave up red meat, ribeye was my most favorite cut. I did get one bite of this steak and it was delicious. It was so tender, it practically melted in your mouth. I know, I know. I gave up red meat. I’m allowed a bite here and there. Aren’t I? This was actually my first bite of steak since April 2012. It’s for science.

The service at Ranchman’s was wonderful. Our waitress was so friendly and nice. In fact everyone was nice. They all greet us when we walked through the door and then did it again when we left. It’s what you would call southern hospitality. If you’ve never been to Ranchman’s, I recommend that you do. It’s a great place to take out of towners. A friend of mine is coming in from California. Maybe I should take her. It’s a true Texas experience.

P.S. Did I say enough about their quail? I highly recommend it!!!

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