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Jun 14, 2014 02:20 PM


It's my beloved's birthday and I want to pick the right romantic spot we are staying in downtown Houston in two weeks and I need to ask as I narrowed it down to three:
Would you pick Killen's and drive 35 minutes
Stay close and go to Vic and Anthony's
Or Pappas Brothers?

Oh and he loves California cabs Silver Oak to be exact.

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  1. I dropped $250 on dinner with my GF at Pappas about a month ago. One btl of Patz & Hall Pinot ($85,, $43 at Specs), A couple of small fillet's and a couple of sides... Service was impersonal in the crowded side room seated next to a group of a dozen loud chest beating gorilla's. Wish I could get those 2hrs back. I'll never return to Pappas Steakhouse. Should have gone back to V&A!
    My steaks (purchased from Central Market) grilled, using Olive Oil & Montreal Steak seasoning, are better than I can find at any cost no object steakhouse in town.
    What I'm looking forward to trying is Killen's BBQ once the dust and hopefully the lines settles...

    2 Replies
    1. re: bornie

      They tried to seat us in that side room for a special celebration. Every table had at least one toddler. I asked for a table in the main dining room (we had reservations way in advance) and they complied. Once there, the service was impeccable and the food was fantastic. Vic and Anthony's is great, but I wouldn't call it romantic, more like a clubby man cave/sport emporium, definitely upscale. Therefore, he might love it! I haven't been to Killen's Steakhouse, but it certainly gets raves.

      1. re: bornie

        Agreed. I'm in DFW but I noticed this thread and wanted to pop in and let you know that I had a similar experience at Pappas Bros in Dallas a few months ago and found the steaks to be quite a let-down. So it's not just the one in Houston that has issues. If this is supposed to represent some of the better steakhouses I don't see myself trying another one.

        The sides and appetizers were good (locally sourced quail and creamed spinach with some rather nice mushrooms), but the steaks had the flavor and texture of a costco steak. Spouse had a rib-eye and I had a bone in fillet rare (both were supposedly dry aged). I'm not a fan of fillet but never had it with the bone in so I decided to give it a try. There was more sinew than meat (I was literally fighting with the steak), and the meat itself - while fresh- was incredibly bland. It had none of the flavor characteristics of a dry aged steak. I was very tempted to ask about their dry aging process in house, or who they source their dry aged meat from, but the poor server would have felt awful and I don't like to punish servers for the vile sins of the chefs. Was it a bad steak? No, but it' wasn't great. And I get ticked off when I go out to eat to a reputable steakhouse that fails to produce a better steak than what I can whip up at home.

        I didn't have a problem with the service, nor would I cared if it was terrible so long as the food came through. It didn't.

        Two weeks later grass fed cowboy ribeyes were on sale at Central Market and we grilled up a couple with just S&P, the flavor on those blew the Pappas bros steaks a thousand-fold, kicked it's sorry butt down the street and then ate it for breakfast.

      2. I have never been to Killen's and I too can't wait to try the BBQ.

        I am a BIG fan of Vic and Anthony's. Find Pappas over salted and mediocre service.

        Have never had a bad meal at Vic and Anthony's and besides the great steak they have the best Crab Cake in Texas.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rondl

          Thanks... So I guess it is Vic and Anthony's or Killen's we await great steaks, wine and romance not a mill with toddlers.. Killen's is closed on Sundays so they recommended V&A-- many thanks!

        2. So we had a friend coming in town and we were going to Hobby Airport so we all decided to finally try Killen's Steakhouse and now I know what everyone is talking about.

          Very busy for a Weds. night but it was Dec. Not the biggest restaurant.

          One of ordered the wedge, which filled the plate and had an incredible blue cheese dressing. I ordered the Caesar. The Caesar dressing was very good and the romaine lettuce was slighty grilled and the combination was terrifice.

          My wife got the Nebraska Wet aged filet and it was very good. OUr friend got the Piedmontese Strip and it too was very good. I got the Dry Aged Ribeye and it was one of the best steaks I have ever eaten. It was the flavor of the steak the was so incredible, not salty, not peppery. Just great steak flavor.

          We got two sides, the mac n cheese and the creamed spinach. Creamed spinach was delicious.

          All in all, it was worth the drive and I can't wait for my next excuse to visit Killen's.

          1. V&A!

            I love love love Killens BBQ - it is fabulous. But the steakhouse is not.

            Years ago, it used to have a lot better service and food. The head chef is working on other projects though and in my recent visits, it's gone downhill (sadly). The sides and excellent but the steak is less so - and that's why you're going.

            On my last visit with family to celebrate a special occasion, we ordered a dry aged ribeye and a Kobe special that was quite pricey. The Kobe was overcooked and the ribeye had tough gristle. It was so unusual. Worse, when brought up with our waiter, nothing was done. It was so frustrating since we were spending a lot and celebrating.

   two cents on Killens. Used to be great, seems hit or miss now, probably based on when Chef is actually in.