Last week we checked out YO Ranch Steakhouse in downtown’s West End. This nearly forgotten side of Dallas actually has a few remaining and decent restaurants. Recently we had a lovely dinner with out of town guests at The Palm for a larger than life lobster dinner, and Ellen’s Southern Kitchen, all nestled together as if they were protecting one another.
The fact is these restaurants stay quite busy without an influx of local traffic. These are frequented more by visitors to Dallas and conventioneers. Gone are the crazy days of the 90’s where hoards of locals and visitors alike trafficked the streets in search of frozen margaritas and giant haunches of beef, but instead the area is walk-able, quiet and safe.
This is why YO Ranch does so well exactly where it resides. They do an enormous job of providing the weary traveler a slice of Texas and a nicely grilled slab of cow. They also host plenty of parties, both wedding and corporate in the adjacent barn. Yes, YO has a real barn reassembled from the actual 69,000 acre Texas Hill Country YO Ranch.
YO the steakhouse is now owned by the same folks who bring you Liberty Burger (and very soon Liberty Chicken). Owned and operated by Tony Street, YO has undergone some changes for the better. The original dining was converted to the party space, or the barn. The new dining room was once home to Tony Romas, the rib joint that vacated Dallas some years ago.
With all the changes, the menu was spiffed up a bit, but the steak remains king of the ranch.
On our visit we enjoyed several perfectly executed appetizers that made the rounds at our table, leaving behind clean plates and smiles. Louie’s Venison Roll Ups with their bacon wrapped venison, jalapeño, and smoked mozzarella, grilled and brushed with molasses Dijon was our top pick of the night. Never has venison tasted so perfect.
The Quail Medallions are grilled quail breasts with a pomegranate molasses horseradish glaze and served on cheesy grits. Perfect way to get dinner started.
After a few well-chosen starters you may wish to share salads. They are large enough to order as a meal. We usually stay clear of house salads, but this version was incredible. The house made garlic and cilantro vinaigrette danced well with the field greens, caramelized pecans, green apples, local goat cheese and tomatoes. House salads should all be mad this special.
Possibly item on the menu is the Buffalo Filet, all moist tender and juicy, and you can order this by itself. Or, you can take advantage of the Mixed Grill that has the Buffalo, Elk and even portions of Quail for a perfect plate of meaty goodness. Oh, never listen to anyone that tells you that fried lobster is a sin. Lobster is an excellent entree regardless how you prepare it, and fried is just alright by us. It needs to be tasted to understand. Think chicken fried steak, only better. Lobster better.
You will need to order sides for the table and YO has plenty to choose from. The Mac and Gouda, creamy Tabasco cheese grits and the smoked baked potato are stars in that line up. Leave room for desserts. These are made in house and are rustic, charming and flat out delicious.
For ranch house taste and hospitality check out your very local and very satisfying YO Ranch Steakhouse.
YO Ranch Steakhouse | 702 Ross Avenue, Dallas | 214.744.3287