John Writes: One of the finest steaks in the greater Houston area is served at a tiny, simple cabin not much bigger than a mobile home on Route 494 (still known by oldies like me as Black Cat Ridge) just outside of Kingwood, and last night starts 6 decades for me of visiting this local gem, Bill’s Cafe, which has been going strong since 1943.
I’ve taken Richi to Bill’s several times, and we again did what my family has done since the early 1970’s – shared one of their massive bone-in sirloins for two. We ordered off a menu that’s virtually unchanged since my first visit when I was 7. Service is sweet and relaxed—don’t go expecting fast food because everything is cooked to order, and the tiny kitchen has only one tiny grill for the steaks, which means yours gets 100% of the kitchen’s attention and arrives to you right off the grill, as juicy and flavorful as any you’ll ever eat. Expect huge baskets of fried never-frozen okra and onion rings at ridiculously cheap prices. Fried mushrooms and zucchini slices are sold by the piece (a dime each—$2 brings a pretty sizable serving!). Steaks come with a basic side salad, too.
Grab your own beers from a huge cooler on the porch. You’ll usually find someone on the covered outdoor patio with a dog who will gratefully accept the bone from your steak. The indoor seating area is virtually unchanged from my first visit over 50 years ago, including the same baseball caps nailed to the walls. Whether inside or out, sit back and revel in a quintessential Houston dining experience.
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