Steakhouses are as much a part of America as apple pie. There really is no way around it; we Americans love our meat and potatoes. I am as guilty as the next guy is. There is nothing I like better than a well prepared steak. Unfortunately, not all steakhouses have mastered that technique. I even find that many can’t manage to cook the steak to a customer’s request. I often get medium well when I order medium or rare when I order medium rare. I finally learned the best thing to do is to order the steak a level below what I really want. That way, if it isn’t correct, I can still send it back for a little more fire. On the other hand, if I order medium in anticipation of actually getting medium and it comes back over cooked; I am stuck with shoe leather. To that end, I have been in search of the perfect steakhouse on the Virginia Peninsula for many years. I finally found it in Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon.
Lone Star offers a relaxed atmosphere geared primarily to the family. However, they also offer a fully functioning bar which allows them to enjoy a significant amount of singles’ traffic as well. Unfortunately, the service at this restaurant varies greatly. I have experienced excellent service on many occasions. However, I have also experienced some of the worst service ever. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground here. For some reason it is all or nothing which is a shame because it can spoil what otherwise would likely be an absolutely wonderful dining experience.
While the restaurant specializes in steaks, they also have many other delicious dishes. My husband swears by their sweet bourbon salmon. I have found their chicken and lobster quite good. The point is that Lone Star has a varied menu with some outstanding dining choices. Here is an example of some of their most popular items:
Texas Teasers (Appetizers, soups, and salads ranging in price from $2.99 to $7.99):
- The Texas Rose is a whole onion cut to bloom, hand-battered and served with the restaurant’s special seasoned sauce;
- Amarillo Cheese Fries, crunchy and smothered in melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, topped with bacon and served with ranch dressing;
- Wild Fire Shrimp paired with cherry peppers tossed in a spicy garlic sauce;
- Lone Star Skins are potato halves loaded with Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses topped with bacon and served with sour cream and chives;
- Lone Star Wings in mild, hot, or Texas fire;
- Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip with jalapeno, topped with Jack cheese and served with tortilla chips.
- Steak Soup with chunks of steak and vegetables in a hearty beef broth;
- Chicken Pot Pie Soup with grilled chicken and vegetables in a creamy broth and topped with a freshly baked pie crust;
- Dinner Salad of fresh mixed greens with Cheddar cheese, red onions, tomatoes, croutons, and a choice of dressing; and
- Soup and Salad which is a dinner salad and a bowl of the soup of choice.
Entrees (ranging in price from $10.99 to $19.99), served with a dinner salad or cup of soup and a choice of baked potato or sweet potato, steak fries, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, or Texas rice and served with Lone Star’s renown yeast rolls:
- Chopped Steak that is fresh and juicy smothered with sautéed onions and mushrooms;
- Five Star Filet Mignon wrapped in bacon;
- New York Strip or Ribeye, mesquite grilled to be tender and succulent;
- Cajun Ribeye hand-cut and marinated in Cajun spices and then mesquite grilled;
- T-Bone big enough for two;
- Garlic Lover’s Medallions & Shrimp with five grilled shrimp and sirloins of beef;
- Sirloin & Crab Legs;
- Texas Trio of BBQ chicken breast smothered in Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and mushrooms and served with three crispy fried shrimp;
- Steak & Lobster with a center cut sirloin and cold water lobster tail;
- Baby Back Ribs slow-cooked tender, meaty ribs lightly barbecued in a special tangy sauce;
- Grilled Pork Chops with two center-cut bone-in-chops, mesquite grilled to perfection with barbecue or Cajun seasoning upon request;
- Abilene Chicken with two boneless chicken breasts grilled to perfection and topped with BBQ sauce, Cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, and chives;
- Grilled Chicken with two juicy boneless chicken breast grilled over mesquite wood with barbecue or Cajun seasoning upon request;
- Filet Mignon Medallions served over Texas rice and steamed vegetables;
- Sweet Bourbon Salmon grilled over mesquite;
- Fried Shrimp with 15 crispy large tails served with cocktail sauce;
- Mesquite Grilled Shrimp with 10 plump, succulent shrimp, grilled and basted with Lone Star’s own special seasoning and served on a bed of Texas rice;
- King Crab Legs fresh from the sea;
- Lobster & Lobster with two lightly seasoned, grilled cold water lobster tails; and
- Prime Rib slow roasted to be full of flavor;
- Steakhouse Salad with strips of grilled sirloin on a bed of the garden’s best greens, tossed with chipolte bleu cheese dressing and topped with red onions, bleu cheese crumbles, tomatoes, and crispy tortilla strips;
- Chicken Caesar Salad with tender grilled strips of chicken breast on a bed of crisp romaine, tossed with Caesar dressing, Parmesan cheese, and croutons;
- Cobb Salad with fresh grilled chicken on the garden’s best greens with diced egg, bacon, tomatoes, Cheddar cheese, and avocado; and
- El Paso Salad with the garden’s best greens, Cheddar cheese, red onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms with bacon, croutons, and a choice of dressing.
Burgers & Sandwiches (ranging in price from $7.99 to $9.99):
- Swiss & Mushroom Burger with ½ lb of fresh ground beef with melted Swiss cheese topped with sautéed mushrooms;
- Alamo Burger basted with BBQ sauce, Cheddar cheese, and stacked with crispy onion strips;
- Steak Sandwich with a sizzling 7 oz steak served on a golden roasted sesame seed bun; and
- Bubba Chicken with a boneless breast of chicken with Cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce, and bacon.
Lone Star desserts include a choice of a brownie blast, apple cobbler, key lime pie, or cheesecake at an average cost of $4.49.
The restaurant offers many of their menu items, in smaller or the same portions, at reduced luncheon menu prices between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. They also have a kid’s menu open to all children under the age of 12. Choices here include a hot dog, grilled cheese sandwich, macaroni and cheese, cheeseburger, chicken sandwich, chicken tenders, or steak medallions. Kid’s meals include a choice of beverage, French fries, and an ice cream dessert. Kids eat free on Tuesdays (up to two children per adult entrée) and on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Drinks at Lone Star include the typical, water, tea, and soft drink along with alcohol free smoothies, and frozen lemonade. Adult beverages include both domestic and imported beer, spirits like bourbon, tequila, gin, vodka, scotch, and whiskey and specialty mixed drinks.
Although Lone Star may be slightly higher than some family steakhouses overall, their prices as typical for such establishments on the Virginia Peninsula. At any rate, Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon is well worth any insignificant difference in price. Food portions are sufficiently generous so that a couple can easily share a single meal.
For good, old fashioned, deliciously grilled meat and potatoes, there is no place better than Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon. Give them a try and develop “the Lone Star State of Mind.”