Restaurant With Ties to Famous Texas Ranch Slated to Open in Galleria Area

The King Ranch, covering 825,000 acres between Corpus Christi and Brownsville, is world-famous and thanks to a partnership with über-restaurateur Tilman Fertitta, is also soon debuting a restaurant in the ritzy Galleria area of Houston. Called King Ranch Texas Kitchen, the restaurant is slated to open before the 2020 holiday season at 1605 Post Oak Boulevard in what was the Willie G’s Seafood space.

“Houstonians will get to experience a first-of-its-kind, Texas-flair urban kitchen that we know everyone will enjoy,” said Fertitta via a press release. “We look forward to opening our doors this fall and bringing this exclusive and unique concept to our city.”

chef Carlos Rodriguez
Executive chef Carlos Rodriguez of forthcoming King Ranch Restaurant. Photo courtesy of Fertitta Entertainment.

To Houstonians who have long followed the food scene, the executive chef name should be quite familiar. Carlos Rodriguez served as the executive chef of the original Vic & Anthony’s in downtown Houston before taking a role as the concept chef for Fertitta’s flagship company, Landry’s.  Rodriguez’s accomplishments include replicating the Vic & Anthony’s brand to additional locations in Lake Charles, Las Vegas and Atlantic City. “We worked diligently with King Ranch to translate their brand into a culinary experience unlike any other.” said Rodriguez. “As a legendary part of Texas history, we are thrilled to bring their vision for the first-ever King Ranch branded restaurant to life.”

Just a few of the Texan- and Mexican-inspired dishes being teased include Slow-Smoked Brisket Queso, King Ranch Nilgai, Wagyu Surf and Turf, Vaquero Tacos, King Ranch Fried Quail and Cajun Spiced Whole Fresh Gulf Coast Redfish. According to the press release, meats are being sourced from small, local ranches and produce from nearby family farms. In addition, King Ranch Texas Kitchen plans to serve fresh-caught Gulf and sustainably raised seafood.

Of course steak is on the menu, and the cuts offered as daily specials include USDA Prime Ribeye, USDA Prime New York Strip, a 32-ounce Tomahawk Steak on the Block Ribeye, Wagyu Surf and Turf, and The Beast: a five-pound, Texas Wagyu-X braised beef shank. It’s served with everything diners need to build their own tacos, including corn tortillas, beans, queso blanco, guacamole, tostada chips, red onions and cotija cheese. Other options include the Smoked Big Beef Rib, Sixty South Grilled Salmon and The Whole Red, a fresh Gulf Coast Redfish made with a Cajun seasoning blend and served with freshly baked buns, cornbread and beer bread.

Wagyu Surf & Turf at forthcoming King Ranch Texas KitchenThe adult beverages are tequila- and whiskey-focused — nods to both Mexico and Texas — and tasting flights for each type of spirit are planned. The menu will also feature curated cocktails made with refreshing ingredients and Texas Spirits. Ten percent of the wine list is reserved for Texas wines — a category that’s grown in sophistication and respect over the past decade.

The restaurant design, heavily influenced by Texan culture, includes a gift shop called The Saddle Shop, offering King Ranch-branded mementos. (In fact, some of the merchandise is already available online.) Adorning the interior will be hand-forged chandeliers made from metal oil drums, framed livestock bills of sale and land deeds and hand-crafted vintage leather saddles.

The COVID-19 situation, which led to both permanent and temporary restaurant and bar closings, left many hospitality workers unemployed or underemployed. So, one benefit of this opening is that King Ranch Texas Kitchen is creating new jobs. The restaurant is still looking for personnel for all positions including servers, server assistants, cooks, broiler cooks, bartenders, bar backs, stewards and hosts. Those interested can apply in person at the restaurant or by visiting the website.

King Ranch Texas Kitchen will open daily at 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner. Reservations can be made by calling (832) 427-3049 by visiting the website.

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