Indian Cliffs Ranch
Fabens, TX, 79838
(915) 544-3200
Steak and Barbecue
I Ate: The "Cowboy" T-bone steak (2 lb); two BBQ beef ribs
Price: ~$32 + tax/tip

(Five stars at its best; three-and-a-half at its worst)

There are Cattleman's Steakhouses scattered all over the country; this particular restaurant is affiliated with none of them.  Take I-10 East out of town to the Fabens exit (#49, 15 miles past the loop 375 exit), and turn North over the highway.  Drive 'til you think there can't possibly be a restaurant here, then go another mile; you'll spy the Indian Cliffs Ranch entertainment center.  The restaurant is up a road that meanders through the complex.


After a fun drive out to the restaurant, I sat down and promptly ordered the Cowboy, the headliner steak, a 24 ounce porterhouse.  Wanting to try the barbecue, I also ordered two beef ribs from the appetizer menu.  They arrived without much delay and I grabbed one big rib.  I was pleasantly surprised; most restaurants will paint barbecue sauce over ribs after taking it off the grill, but here they omitted it, with a dish of sauce on the side.  With or without sauce the ribs were very good, spiced and grilled 'til the meat was fairly tender.  The sauce itself was thick and sweet, full of tomato, not spicy at all.

After a short intermission, the main course arrived.  The enormous 24-oz steak was cuddled by a side of rice (I'm not a baked potato man), with separate plates of beans, cole slaw, and a basket of bread.  The bread wasn't bad, fresh-baked soft white buns.  No butter over the buns, thankfully.  The beans were plain ol' pinto beans, not baked and drenched in sugar.  The cole slaw was very good, with diced pineapple added for flavor.


After prize-winning ribs and wonderful sides, I'd have to say the steak was a bit of a let-down.  It was a big hunk of meat, grilled well, and the filet side of the porterhouse was very tender, but the strip side was somewhat on the tough side.  Not awfully so, but not what I expected for a $24 steak.  I've run into far too much of this 'round here; I think Texas ships too much good beef up East.  Still, the taste was good, and I can't say I didn't enjoy it.

All in all, I'd have to opine that it isn't worth driving the 20 miles JUST to eat steak.  There are restaurants as good or better inside the city limits.  On the other hand, if you want to take your family on a holiday excursion, have fun at the Indian Cliffs ranch, and THEN drop in for a solid meal, its hould be a nice change from the usual water park or carnival.


Please send comments to

FastCounter by LinkExchange