This year marks the 40th anniversary of Perini Ranch Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap, Texas, some three hours west of Dallas and a half hour outside of Abilene. Diners who haven’t made the trek might not be aware that one of the state’s most notable steakhouses is out on 640 acres of rural Texas land. But it sure is, and notable Dallas food lovers and chefs travel there to eat the Perini’s beef.
Tom and Lisa Perini are celebrating with the release of a new book, Perini Ranch Steakhouse: Celebrating Forty Years with Tom and Lisa, which features photography from Tom’s collection of the steakhouse and its famous visitors over the years. The couple also released a podcast, Meet Me at the Wagon, with interviews with famous fans Reba McEntire, actor Rex Linn, and Dallas culinary giants Dean Fearing and Stephen Pyles.
The couple has visited Dallas a lot over the years, and their daughter, Caroline, has her own beefy business here. They gave us a tour of some of their go-to Dallas dining and drinking spots, with a glimpse into what they love to order and where they like to linger.
2701 Main St.
Of course, our first love is Easy Slider in Deep Ellum, Downtown, and food trucks around town. Tom’s daughter, Caroline Perini, can surely make a gourmet burger we drive to Dallas for! They are amazing.
Jimmy’s Food Store
4901 Bryan St.
A longtime favorite in Dallas. Authentic Italian grocer – incredible wine selections, and we stockpile pancetta and hot Italian sausage.
The Mansion Restaurant
2821 Turtle Creek Blvd.
We both love an elegant hotel. Throw in one of the best people-watching bars in Dallas, and it’s perfect. I don’t think we’ve ever been in and not unexpectedly run into friends.
8300 Preston Rd.
Formerly Houstons, and there’s comfort in that spinach dip. We split the French dip sandwich every time.
5610 E Mockingbird Ln.
Only the original location for us, where we’ve enjoyed many years of fabulous crab claws and pizza.
The Rattlesnake Bar
2121 McKinney Ave.
This spot in the Ritz Carlton is pretty “ritzy” for folks from Buffalo Gap, but we love it! Dean Fearing has been our longtime friend and is one of the guests on our podcast, Meet Me at the Wagon.
Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano
4912 Cole Ave.
Best atmosphere and green salsa in town. And we’ve spent a few evenings in that cigar bar.
3311 Oak Lawn Ave.
This is more than a neighborhood bistro. It’s a quick trip to Paris.
S&D Oyster Co.
2701 McKinney Ave.
We’re quickly transported to New Orleans and can enjoy a good po’ boy, oysters however you’d like, and some delicious gumbo.
8526 Harry Hines Blvd.
We’re not just partial to our own! We love Dunston’s for its classic atmosphere and fantastic steak dinner.
Beverley’s Bistro & Bar
3215 N Fitzhugh Ave.
We love to support independent restaurants, and the first time we met Greg Katz, we became instant fans of him and his restaurants — and, of course, the food.