Ranches and Restaurants

It isn’t unusual to see a restaurant attached to working ranches in this day and time.  If you think about it, it is a perfect co-existence.  They have all the beef needed to run a restaurant.  Most working ranches have a cook who is very experienced in doing lots of cooking for lots of cowboys.  In my neck of the woods it isn’t unusual to see a cowboy with boots and spurs at the local Walmart (and smelling like a cowboy too!)

One good example of this is Pioneer Woman aka Ree Drummond.  No, they don’t have a restaurant on their ranch but she is very prominent on TV, writes cookbooks and blogs.  She lives on Drummond Ranch in Oklahoma.  It is a huge ranch not far from me in Texas.  To most people this way of life is quite interesting as a majority of people live in the big city where all the jobs are.  To imagine someone in cowboy boots, spurs and a big ole cowboy hat is like watching re-runs of Bonanza to a lot of people.

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Oklahoma isn’t the only state with big working ranches.  Texas has it’s fair share of them along with some of the best restaurants you can find.  One such restaurant is the Perini Ranch.  It is located just outside of Abilene, Texas and is home to some of the best cooking around.  Tom Perini, like Ree Drummond, has written his own cookbook and has been featured on Food Network and many magazines.  If you are ever in the area and want to eat there, be sure to call ahead for reservations.

Oh my goodness, then there is the Cattlemen’s Steakhouse located out in west Texas.  It is also a working ranch and located outside of El Paso, Texas.  This steakhouse has the most wonderful steaks I have ever eaten.  Of all the places I have had steaks, this restaurant by far has the most awesome steaks in the world.  If you are in the area, don’t miss going here, you won’t regret it.  All I can say is WOW!  This ranch knows how to cook!!!

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Another rancher who has a restaurant near his ranch (not on it) is the Meers Restaurant, home of the Meers Burger.  It is located in Meers, Oklahoma.  Joe Maranto raises his own longhorn cattle to supply the restaurant.  The famous Meers burger which is the biggest hamburger I have ever seen is delicious.  It is made of fresh longhorn beef.  They also serve up wonderful steaks which I have never tried but need to someday.  He also brews his own line of beer.  This restaurant is located in Oklahoma up in the Wichita Mountains.  The view up in these mountains is beautiful.  If you are ever in the area take a drive up to Mt. Scott, where you can look down on Ft. Sill.  You can also drive around the Wildlife Refuge where there are lots of buffalo roaming around.

Going out to eat on a working ranch will always involve a long drive out of a semi-large city.  After all, a ranch has got to be out in the wide open plains in order to raise their cattle.  They usually seem to be located out in the middle of no where but expect to eat some of the best steaks ever!!

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