Perini Ranch Steakhouse
3002 FM 89, Buffalo Gap, TX
Owners: Tom and Lisa Perini
Cowboy cook and rancher Tom Perini made a bold decision in 1983. With oil and cattle prices depressed, he turned a hay barn on his family spread into a restaurant, hoping to draw folks from nearby Abilene. Serving Texas standards with genuine hospitality, he has created a signature rural roadhouse.
Grilled steaks are the heart of the menu. Tom knew that if he opted for prime beef, he’d price himself out of the local market. He chose instead to grill the best choice rib-eyes, strips, and filets. The appeal of those steaks owes much to mesquite. The scrubby, thorny trees grow everywhere in this arid terrain. And their coals yield a pungent smoke that perfumes the air.
Comfort foods and chuckwagon favorites fill out the offerings, which include green chile hominy and garlicky cowboy potatoes. For dessert, there’s whiskey-laced bread pudding.
The America's Classic award is given to restaurants with timeless appeal, each beloved in its region for quality food that reflects the character of its community. Establishments must have been in existence for at least ten years and be locally owned.