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Apr 1, 2010 04:41 AM

San Benito, TX: Longhorn Cattle Company Barbeque & Steak Restaurant - Mesquite mmmm

This report may not totally help Texans, but this San Franciscan can't help compare how different bbq is in the Bay Area ... and not in a good way.

At Longhorn last night I was amazed that not only the bbq was delicious, but the sides were excellent as well. In SF we sort of comfort ourselves saying that it is the meat that is important and the sides (usually lousy) don[t matter. Instead of the wonderful white bread with the thick cut, we get cheap slices of bread that makes Wonder look artisan.

So I'm not expert on bbq, but like someone uneducated in art, I know what I like. I liked Longhorn ... a lot.

We had

White cups of bean soup are served immediately. Though a little salty, it is beany goodness with lots of pieces of pork with lots of beans.

While I'm not an expert on steak, my friend who ordered the ribeye is. He loved it and gave me a taste ... it was wonderful. I can't think of a better steak I've tried. The mesquite flavor came through on the delicious aged angus ribeye.

I had a taste of the green salad which had lots of great croutons and came with a pack of Saltine crackers. The smooth blue cheese dressing was great. My friend stopped after a bite and said "The salad with this steak is perfect". The large foil-wrapped baked potato looked good also.

I loved my bbq ribs. The sauce is served on the side which is nice. Almost all the SF drown the meat in sauce if you don't ask for it on the side. It covers up substandard bbq.

The lean brisket had a nice smoke ring but not a lot of smoke flavor. However, when the bbq sauce was added it brought out ... or added ... that.

The sauce was elegant, if bbq sauce can be elegant. It didn't overwhelm with overly strong flavors such as too much sweetness, vinegar, catsup ... are you getting a picture of how bad SF bbq can be.

Even the mild spice was nice. Itgently purred on the tongue like a baby kitten sniggled unter its mama's chin.

Perfect cole slaw and potato salad. The thick soft slice of white bread went so well with this. The only thing I didn't love, love, love was the pickles, but only because I prefer bread and butter pickles rather than hamburger slices. There were also thingly sliced fresh white onions on the plate

The drings come in big pitchers. I liked the tast I tried.

This is a fun place. The large room with concrete floors and wooden tables looks out on a ranch-like area. Huge bleached skulls of longhorns decarte the walls. There are some colorful neon beer signs and western photos.

A huge grill is in front of the room, the flames leaping up.

The service is friendly.

This is my last ddinner in the Brownsville area. It may be my last for a while in the US. I can't think of a better ending

Longhorn Cattle Company Barbeque & Steak Restaurant
3055 W Expressway 83, San Benito, TX 78586

The Cattle Company
1703 W Broadway St, Van Horn, TX 79855

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  1. Good on you, I'm glad you had a quintessentially American dinner under your belt. I'd kinda hoped you would make your way to South Padre island, but can't argue with more barbecue for your ending.

    1. Thanks for the great report!

      Only want to mention one thing...

      Just for future reference, what you're referring to as "bean soup," may actually have been bean soup, but I'd bet a hundred bucks it was not, and was rather what we refer to down here as just "beans."

      Mexican/tex mex/cowboy/frontera/charro/borracho-style pintos beans are always served soupy, in bowls, and you eat them with a spoon in order to slurp up all the bean "juice."

      If I'm right, and you went into that restaurant and asked for "bean soup," they might well tell you that they have no such thing.

      Unless they do, of course, offer some sort of real bean soup, which most likely would be a soup of pureed beans with flavorings and topped with a little crumbled Mexican white cheese or sour cream.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jaymes

        i think you are correct, though I thought the menu said soup. The servers just called them beans