Taste Of Texas should probably greet folks at the visitors’ center. Filled with more certified Texas memorabilia than steaks in the butcher case, this steakhouse is the perfect backdrop for a celebratory dinner—or as a yeehaw archive for when the spaceships arrive.
Eating here is a lot like dining inside a museum diorama given how many framed plaques, antique guns, various saddles, and actual doors from the Alamo are hung up around the barn-like dining room. If Sam Houston was at Taste of Texas, he’d appreciate the well-seared steak and extra bread rolls, but even he would be a bit freaked out.
And while the Memorial area restaurant has the usual steakhouse suspects, including massive sides, the food is as relentlessly Texan as the space. Cut into some bacon-wrapped quail while admiring worn leather chaps. Throw back a couple of Eagle Rare pours and stare at a photo of some long-dead general. Dining here might even qualify as a 7th-grade Texas History exam. And yes, the steak here is great—It’s a steakhouse in Texas—especially the prime rib, available in a 24oz cut that resembles a couch cushion made of meat.
But a tour through the restaurant’s salad bar really makes the experience special, because this one has more salad options than one sneeze-guard-protected buffet should reasonably offer. Grab baskets of jalapeño cornbread, throw a few sundried tomatoes on some spinach, or slice cheese straight from a giant block. If it’s your first time at Taste Of Texas, an intrepid server will lead you through the salad bar like it’s a prize in the Price is Right Showcase Showdown. Forget a kid in a candy shop, you’re an adult in a salad bar, and you’re putting bacon bits on everything.
This is the kind of place where you can order a boozy milkshake in a giant glass cowboy boot, and where you get a free dessert and a commemorative photo on your birthday. Taste Of Texas combines theater, history, an expansive custom framing budget, and taking a photo mid-roller coaster drop into a dinner experience. If you enjoy theme parties or miss going to Chuck E Cheese every birthday, roll up to Taste Of Texas, and make sure to get a reservation first.
Hidden behind yet another wall of memorabilia lies the salad bar. And yeah, salad exists here, But most folks are jostling for fresh asiago cheese rolls, cowboy caviar, and seeing how much fresh cheddar they can slice from the giant cheese block before someone gives them the side eye.
Every steak at Taste Of Texas is prime Angus, wet aged for a minimum of 40 days, and gets presented on a sizzling cast iron plate in the shape of a cow. The steaks is grilled—not seared—with each one hit with a little garlic butter.
When dessert-selection time arrives, a server will bring over a giant tray of fake dessert molds. Maybe, somewhere, the desserts are listed on a menu, but choosing from the display is part of the fun. Even though the boozy cowboy milkshake does seem thrilling, nothing feels more Texan than the pecan pie and ice cream. Especially when Blue Bell makes the cinnamon-flavored ice cream just for Taste Of Texas.