Saturday, November 10, 2007


Sometime after the Civil War, a man named T J Campbell built a sturdy two-story house in the pleasant farming village of Lebanon. Cattle drives later stopped there, giving the tentative town status, but in 1902 the railroad bypassed Lebanon for Frisco, hastening the former farming center's demise. A year later, the undaunted Mr. Campbell moved the house lock, stock, and barrel to Frisco, where it sits today, It's classic country charm serving as a beautiful backdrop to world-class dinners as Randy's Steakhouse. My lovely wife the Rock Star and a party of nearly two dozen revelers made the delightful drive north for an unforgettable experience.

Since our party was so large, reservations were made for the ample yet cozy room on the second floor reserved for large groups. While ascending the rather narrow stairs, we oohed and ahhed over the period furniture and fixtures, supplied by the antique mall located across Main Street. Since this was a celebretory occasion, the planners of our party had agreed to a complete menu, starting with a round of cocktails and conversation. While the Rock Star and myself renewed and reminisced with old acquaintences, our waiter Eric and his genial colleagues attended to our drink needs while at the same time effortlessly preparing our party for the repast that lay ahead.


After cocktails were concluded, we seated ourselves around our vintage rectangular table to await the appetizer portion of our leisurely paced meal. Delectable boiled gulf shrimp with remoulade or New Orleans Creole mustard sauce were heavenly, and the stuffed jalapenos had a subtle but swift kick, but the crab cakes were the real standout, delivering a narcissistic knockout punch of flavor. Needless to say, they didn't survive long. Most of our fellow foodlovers, including my wife, opted for sumptuous salads next, but I was intrigued by the soup of the day: turtle soup featuring ground tenderloin and Cajun spices. Rich, delicious, and absolutely satisfying, you must order it on your visit if it is offered, as it was easily the best pre-entree feature of the meal.

Despite Eric's insistence that the rock lobster tail was delectable, just about every member of our party took the "when in Rome" approach and opted for steaks, prime-graded beef meticulously cut by hand and beatifully prepared. Most diners selected the blue cheese filet, eight ounces of sheer goodness stuffed with cheese and roasted walnuts. However, I am a ribeye fanatic, and while I usually try the bone-in variety, I decided it's 28 ounces were a bit much to handle after starters and soup and instead opted for the smaller 12oz version. Medium rare and accompanied in classic fashion with superlative sauce Bearnaise, this steak was sheer perfection and ranks as one of the finest meals of it's kind I've enjoyed anywhere, enjoyed with sensational alacarte sidekicks of steamed asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, and garlicky mashed potatoes. Cloudlike, airy spongecake rounded out our repast quite nicely, since we couldn't have managed a heavy dessert after such a large meal.


At the risk of sounding redundant and in the face of a feast of such quality, I must note that the stellar attraction of Randy's Steakhouse is indeed the house itself. The century-and-a-half-old former dwelling reminded me of my late, beloved grandmother's house in Brenham, hard by the railroad tracks and also filled with period charm. Sure, great steaks are available at numerous locations in the Metroplex, but I challenge anyone to find a restaurant more lovely or homey. In fact, I wanted to turn around as we were descending the stairs (watch those steps, they are tricky!), hoping against hope to once more gaze upon her enchanting visage. Eric and his cohorts paced the party perfectly over a span of three hours so we could furthur enjoy one another's company. The Man Himself (Randy, that is) graciously made repeat visits to us topside to ensure all was well.


The URL for Randy's on the internet is, naturally enough,, and they use the Open Table system for advanced reservations if you so desire. Overall, a truly unforgettable experience, although accuracy compels me to report one very real quibble: I feel the wine list, featuring Kendall Jackson selections, is grossly overpriced, with not one bottle priced below the $20 mark; $32 is, by any standard, too much to pay for ordinary white zinfandel and unfortunately all choices are similarly inflated in price. Thus, I believe that cocktails or beer might be the way to go here: in fairness, the wine-by-the-glass prices are not outrageous. Still, if your finances are sufficient, Randy's Steakhouse is truly a delightful destination for fine dining, guaranteed to deliver an outstanding experience. Visit on your next special occasion, and remember:


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